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Darren McKenzie is a Cree and Metis artist who began his artistic career as an illustrator and painter. He studied at Medicine Hat College from 1982 to 1984, the Ontario College of Art from 1985 to 1986 and then the University of Regina.
It was in 1993 that McKenzie started carving wood under the tutelage of Salish artist, Gerry Sheena. Shortly thereafter, McKenzie was fortunate to attend the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art and Design in Hazelton, BC which he graduated from in 1996. There he studied intensively for four years with master carver Ken Mowatt.
McKenzie is mostly concerned with the development of the refined skills that traditional art forms demand, which he has learned through his years of intensive training that have allowed him to push the envelope into the contemporary realm. He has a strong desire to inspire and educate emerging First Nations artists.
In 2005, Darren participated in the “Changing Hands 2” exhibition, a celebration of North American Indigenous art that opened in New York’s Museum of Art & Design. In 2009 he had a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Regina, where he brought to life a vision depicting the culmination of his diverse learnings through painting, drawing and sculpting.