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John Well-Off-Man

Works of Art

John Well-Off-Man works


John Well-Off-Man Portrait


Basic Information

Date of Birth: January 23rd, 1950

Place of Birth: Havre, MT, USA

Current Residence: Missoula, MT, USA

Family Background: married

Nationality/citizenship: US

Languages: Chippewa, Cree, English


Diploma in photography, Ohio Visual Arts Institute, Cincinnati, OH, 1978;

A.F.A, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fee, NM, 1990;

B.A. University of Montana, Missoula, MT, 2005;

Candidate Masters of Integrated Education, Creative Pulse Program, University of Montana.

Stays abroad: Germany 1999, 2004

Selected Exhibitions:

Contemporary Native American Art: Reflections After Lewis and Clark, National Traveling exhibition, Montana Museum of Art & Culture, 2005 - 2007

Montana: Two Visons. Te Manawa Museum, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 2004

Solo Exhibition, Outside Looking In, Davidson Honors College, The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, 2002

Solo Exhibition, Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Great Falls, MT, 2001

Indian Reality Today – Contemporary American Indian Art of North America, Westphalian State Museum of Natural History, Muenster, Germany, 2000

Solo Exhibition, Their Eyes Tell Everything: The Montana Chippewa-Cree, 1906-1945, Liberty Village Arts Center, Chester, MT, 1992


Artist Statement

”I consider myself as a thoroughly modern artist and in my art I am constantly seeking new ways of expression.

My oil portrait series depicts original members of Chief Rocky Boy's band of Ojibwe and Little Bear's band of Cree. This series is my way to honor these oldtimers, and to keep alive the memory of their way of life and their teachings. The color composition reflects how I see their personality and charisma.

Printmaking is one of my favorite media. I like the challenges and surprises involved in the different printmaking processes. With my linocut "60,000,000 Buffalo" I wanted to emphasize the beauty of these majestic animals, to remind the viewer there were once 60,000,000 to 100,000,000 buffalo in this country. This linocut reminds people how drastically the buffalo has been reduced, that even to this day, the buffalo is just as beautiful and they will always be that way.”

John Well-Off-Man


John Well-Off-Man, a member of the Chippewa-Cree tribe, was born and raised in Havre, Montana and on the Rocky Boy Reservation. He received his diploma in photography from Ohio Visual Art Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1978. He studied printmaking at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico and received his Associate of Fine Arts degree in 1990. He graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of Montana in 2005. John Well-Off-Man worked as a Photographer/Film Developer for Instructional Media Services at University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. During this time he also produced exhibits for the Missoula Historical Society and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library of the University of Montana. He produced the visual exhibit "Their Eyes Tell Everything," a photo-history of the Montana Chippewa-Cree with a grant from the Montana Committee for the Humanities. This exhibit is now in the permanent collection of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture. John created the Montana Chippewa-Cree Rocky Boy Reservation Calendars (1988, 1999, and 2000), which are collectibles now in demand. To produce his calendars he performed researches in historical archives, reproductions, layout and graphic design.

He was project director of the youth photo project "Photography, An Image of Each Other." The Montana Committee for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanties, and A Territory Resource have funded proposals he wrote for this cross cultural awareness program.

John Well-Off-Man's artworks are exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in the permanent collection of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture at The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana and the Westphalian State Museum of Natural History in Münster, Germany. The artist is well known for his series of oil portraits rendered in brilliant textured colors using nails and tooth picks instead of brushes. These portraits were meant to honor the old timers of Chief Rocky Boy's band of Ojibwe and Little Bear's band of Cree. John is going to set up a printmaking studio in Missoula, Montana.


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