William Anthony Monague – Beausoleil First Nation Artist
1956 - 2019
AN ARTISTIC NARRATION
William grew up on an isolated island with the People of Chimnissing. He enjoyed doodling Indian princesses and was inspired by stories, traditional teachings and the beauty of nature surrounding him.
He became a self-taught and well known artist with no access to formal education or
training in the arts. The artistic journey began with the encouragement of his sisters and mother. Influenced by High School teachers Mr. Lalonde and Fran Wraith he began learning from
library craft books and started sketching and painting. He felt a connection to Norval Morrisseau's Woodland style and soon developed his own contemporary style of art. During workshops and events
William shared the knowledge that learning is a lifelong journey.
He sold his first piece of art to high school teacher Fran Wraith. 1979 found him creating an extensive amount of arts and crafts. He left Christian Island with the ambition to travel, sell and find other people who would appreciate his art and culture. The first art show he attended was "Knott 80" and his art sold out. He aspired to become a respected and well known artist and began a long journey selling from his van on the Pow Wow trail. Over time museum curators started looking for him and acquired his traditional works of art. Art was sold throughout Canada, United States and Mexico.
He made his home in Mission, British Columbia and helped establish Monague Native Crafts Ltd.
now a leading Canadian global producer and supplier of native products.
Beausoleil First Nation Chief Paul Sandy and Fred Jackson Sr. founder of the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre recognized and supported his talent. Throughout his lifetime William's art was acquired by collectors, businesses, corporations and organizations nationally and internationally throughout the world. William remained humble. He never forgot the people or place where he grew up on Christian Island and when receiving awards of recognition he always thanked those who inspired him to follow his dream.
William remained dedicated to sharing his journey in the field of arts & crafts for over 40 years until his death. Always inspired by helping less fortunate he quietly donated time and artwork to numerous causes throughout his lifetime. Supporting movements against Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women and Children,Wildlife Safety & Animal Sanctuaries, Friendship Centres, Human Rights Offices and many more. His art is loved by many. Family continues to support the many causes he believed in.
His artistic legacy is reflected in his gentle words and thought, together, with style, technique and inspiration. Vision, technique, process—they are all essential to understanding an artist's lifetime and legacy.The Ojibwe artist's gift and love for nature continue to be alive in the vibrant paintings he created and shared with us. His artistic endeavour that lasted his lifetime will live on forever in his legacy.
Beausoleil Island, Georgian Bay National Park