First time living in Jasper in 1988, a new friend said to go downtown to a certain gift shop near the original bike shop garage and inside I would find the paintings of ‘Picasso of the North’ collected by the giftshop owner at that time. It is said Morisseau lived in Jasper briefly sometime in the 1980s.
It is hard not to be drawn into the depictions of what Norval Morisseau (Copper Thunderbird – Ojibwe) saw in culture, his people and wild animals intertwined together with heavy black outlines and eye-popping color within. Morisseau is a self-taught artist from the 50/60s and was featured at Expo ’67 and later was awarded the Order of Canada.
The collection has since moved from downtown to the Maligne Canyon Gift Shop and is worth a visit.
Norval Morriseau passed away in 2007.
There are some great old Jasper gifts still kicking around at garage sales, antique stores and even in some shops nooks n crannies in the town.
See some of what has been found in the slideshow below.
Jasper the Bear
Jasper the Bear is the mascot of Jasper National Park and was created by Canadian artist James Simpkins and he became the mascot of the Park in 1962 where a statue was placed down by the train station. It has since been removed and placed in the Jasper Museum after being vandalized in 2004. There is a great replica however placed at the NW corner of the main downtown park near the info center.