Connecting art and people in Chatham-Kent



Artist, Author, Art Therapist, Illustrator, Teacher and supporter of Native issues was born in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario of Odawa, Ojibwa and Pottawatomi lineage. The family travelled often to her father's Wikwemikong reservation on Manitoulin Island. These visits exposed the children to reserve life, Native customs, Culture & Spirituality of the pow wow and the teachings of the balance of the 7 grandfathers. A window into another reality. As a young child Darla painted with what was available to her. Wooden boards as canvas and her father's house paints which she mixed to match the colors of Michael Angelo, Raphael and Rembrandt, Pictures she referenced from the family bible. After the accidental death of her older brother Darla the tomboy grew closer to her dad forging a strong bond. Art was always with her and as a 6th grader she had her first commission a nativity scene for the local golf course. It would not be until high school that Darla had her first real artist paints.

While in Sault Ste. Marie Darla exhibited with John Laford, Peter Migwans and Benjamin Chee Chee. They were considered part of the second generation of Native Canadian Artists. In her early 30's Darla enrolled at York University for a year after which she took her aunt Daphne Odjig's advice "Follow your own heart, don't let anyone try to change you. You have your own style and remember to sketch, sketch, sketch." Since the 1980's Darla has participated in numerous solo and group shows in major cities across Canada, winning awards along the way. Her work has been donated to raise funds for charities one being the massive land clearing up in Northern Canada.Contracts from authors to illustrate book covers and create art work for their content pages led Darla to apply for and be awarded an Ontario Art's Council grant to publish her own book of poetry and prose. "My Healing Journey, a Walk in Two Worlds", available at Artspace. Darla has work in many public and private collections. Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Gallery, Gatineau Quebec. Sault Ste. Marie Airport, Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Ottawa/Canadian Native Arts Foundation-Visual Arts Toronto to name a few.

2009      My Healing Journey, A Walk In Two Worlds, Poetry & Prose, D. Fisher Odjig,

                awarded grant by Ontario Arts Council, An anthology of poetry and prose

                regarding struggles of a First Nations  woman.
2006      Aboriginal Treasures Exhibit, Mississauga, ON, Streetsville Gallery Artist Award for

               painting “Sweet Medicine Woman.”
1995      Indian and Inuit Art Collection at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

               “He Sheds A Tear”, (Pun Geh Geh Waazeeben Gwah)

2011      Anthology,25 yr. struggle of a First Nations woman,

                 Completed and Published book, by Xlibris, My Healing Journey, A Walk In Two Worlds
2009      Book Cover for “Aboriginal Women’s Studies” University of Sudbury- Kevin Fitzmaurice
1997      Warrior Cry, artwork & poetry New Native Voices, Joel Maki, Toronto, Ontario 
1996      Book Art & Poetry, “Let the Drum Be Your Heart”, Douglas & McIntyre,
1995      Book Steel My Rage, Poetry & Art Douglas & McIntyre, Joel Maki editor, Toronto,ON, Na-Me-Rez (Native Men’s Residence)
1995      Keeshig-Tobias, Lenore (Ojibwe), ed., Into the Moon: Heart, Mind, Body, Soul

                Cover Art & illustrations by Darla Fisher- Odjig (Ojibwe/Potawatomi). 
1995      Book Cover “In A Vast Dreaming” Art and poetry, Native Women In The Arts

2013       Solo Show-"CLOAKED", Artspace Gallery, Chatham, ON
2013       Solo Show-Satalite Show, "CLOAKED", Wallaceburg Musem Gallery,  Wallaceburg, ON
2012       Artspace Gallery, Chatham, Ontario
2011       Through Women’s Hands, Art Gala & Sale, March 8, Tammy Foster @ Chatham

                 Kent Women’s Centre, Chatham, ON
2010       Through the Eyes of an Artist, Crawford Lake, Milton, ON, Group Exhibition, Tiny

                 Object Teachings, Program Workshop on gifts from mother earth.
2010       Darla Fisher Odjig, November 22, FASM, Milton, ON Teaching Workshop.

                 How To Get Rid of the Block.
2009       Sheridan College, Symbols & Desensitization of First Nations People

2014       Desmond Juried Art Exhibition, Juror, Ridgetown, ON
2011-12 Group showings at Artspace Gallery, Chatham, ON
2011       Through Women’s Hands, Art Gala & sale, 
2008       Interviewed and included in The Life and Work of Daphne Odjig Video, by Raoul McKay, First Voice Multimedia
2003       Celebration Donation to AGO Art Auction. Toronto, ON.