Derek Harper

Born in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Derek Harper is the second oldest of seven children. He was raised by his grandparents in the small, remote community of Koocheching. From an early age, Derek hunted and trapped with his grandfather and absorbed the rich stories and legends shared by his grandmother.

In his late teens, Derek discovered a passion for drawing, inspired by the tales his grandmother told him. His artistic style has been greatly influenced by renowned artists Carl Ray, Norval Morriseau, and Lloyd Kakepetum. At 17, Derek transitioned to painting with acrylics, selling his first piece in Red Lake, and has continued painting ever since.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Derek faced the loss of a close friend, which led him to pause his artistic pursuits for a year and a half. However, he eventually found his way back to painting, driven by the inspiration of the wild animals he encountered during his hunting and trapping experiences.

Now in his forties, Derek is married with four grown children and one grandson. He continues to draw inspiration from his heritage and the natural world, keeping alive the wisdom his grandparents imparted: "One thing I always remember my grandparents told me is to always look out for each other."

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