Artist Linus Woods returns to Edmonton for Night Market at River Cree

By Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

(ANNews) – Acclaimed First Nations artist Linus Woods is returning to Treaty 6 territory this month for the fourth annual Night Market at River Cree.

The event, which is billed as the largest Indigenous outdoor market in Canada, is happening June 20-23 at the River Cree Casino and Resort in Enoch.

Woods, who lives on the Long Plain First Nation reserve in southern Manitoba, is no stranger to Amiskwaciy Waskahikan. He has served several terms as a popular artist-in-residence at Highland Junior High School in northeast Edmonton.

He’ll be coming to Enoch with about 50 paintings to sell throughout the weekend at the market, including a couple of large six-by-four ft. canvases. To the delight of patrons, he will also be doing live paintings “to keep busy,” and he might even take some requests.

Woods credits his work’s appearance at galleries, including Wah-Sa in Winnipeg and Bearclaw in Edmonton, for helping him build a large following, but these days he tends to eschew art galleries, because he doesn’t want to be limited in the types of paintings he pursues. Those looking to purchase his art can do so either at Winnipeg Art Gallery’s gift shop, at markets, like the one at River Cree, or via the boutique Wakina Gallery in Edmonton (

“I don’t have one style of painting,” he told Alberta Native News. “I paint so much and there are so many things I like painting.”

Woods described much of his art as “whimsical,” including paintings of rabbits in different scenarios, inspired by his natural surroundings on reserve.

“It’s half realism and half cartoon,” he explained. “Because I paint these little, hidden characters. We used to call them spirits. I had no way to explain them to some viewers. I called them ‘little grandfathers’ hidden all over the place. In some of these paintings, you really have to look to find a little cherry tree in there.”

The fabulous image on this month’s cover of Alberta Native News is a detail from one of his whimsical pieces of art. Entitled “Squirrel’s view of a Bull Moose from a tree” the viewer has to look twice to recognize the image – and then there is an “of course” moment of delight. The vibrant colours are joyful and the aerial view is simply wonderful. The painting is a 12” x 12” acrylic stretched on a wood canvas and it is available for sale at’s boutique location.

Woods said he’s not constrained by the traditional stylings of his nation’s art, which is Ojibway and Dakota, incorporating stylings from Cree, Inuit and South American Indigenous Peoples as well.

He communicates a broad spectrum of emotions in his art. In some paintings, he tells a story of movement where you can feel the speed of a galloping horse or the crashing waves of a river. In others, he conveys the still of a meadow or a cloudy sky with such detail that you immediately feel at ease.

There are many elements contained in each of Woods’ images. His large paintings are breathtaking, but even the smaller images and the portraits are full of surprizes and expression – and his use of colour is amazing, sometimes vibrant, other times layered but always interesting.

Woods’ mastery of his craft continues to amaze art lovers – the range of his subjects and techniques is diverse and elicits a sense of awe and wonderment in everyone who views his art.

Be sure to visit his booth at the Night Market at River Cree over the National Indigenous Day weekend. Admission is $5, but it is free for Elders who are 60 and older, and children under 12.

Attendees are eligible for a 10 per cent discount to stay at the resort, which can be booked by calling 1-844-425-CREE (2733).

The market is open 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day, except for the final day, Sunday, June 23, when it’s open noon to 5 p.m.

Linus Woods’ paintings can be viewed at


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