… deals with what is not obvious, in what is hidden in one’s emotions, it deals with life itself …
An icon for Acadian artists, this Moncton based abstractionist began his career as an architect, designing almost fifty buildings in New Brunswick.In 1964, while travelling in Europe, Savoie had a life-changing epiphany and from that time, dedicated his creative energies to painting and writing. Generally working in series, he explores line, form, texture and often text in an non objective style He is not concerned with transferring an image but sees painting as a means by which and through which he can attain a higher wisdom. His work is an affirmation of the intensity of private thought. The Strathbutler jury was impressed with the artist’s ability to expose his feelings. Juror, Aaron Milrad had high praise for the experimental aspect of Mr. Savoie’s work, proclaiming “He’s on the forefront of moving the arts forward.”
Savoie has been instrumental in the creation of three Moncton galleries A published poet and novelist, Savoie is an artist who has inspired generations. In 1999, the University of Moncton bestowed an honorary doctorate in visual arts on Savoie. In November 1999, he was named the first recipient of the newly created Lieutenant Governor’s Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts. On December 30, 2009, Savoie was named a Member of the Order of Canada for “his contributions as a painter, sculptor, architect and author and for his support of visual art in New Brunswick.”
In the artist’s words
I work as a visual artist in painting. This means that I use my energies and knowledge to transfer on a surface a proposal that will show my position in art and in the world. I don’t believe that I transfer but an image. I believe that art is a process and through that process the artist, by giving his attention to a small part of the world, has the possibility to attain a higher wisdom. What he sees in front of him is who he is. He cannot change the painting without changing his perceptions or outlook on the whole. When I started painting, I didn’t understand this, I thought that art was about making and selling a picture. While these functions are necessary and part of that activity, they are not the main ones. I am a studio artist, that means that I spend all of my time in a studio, all day, eight hours a day. This has been my activity for the past twenty eight years. I say this for the sole reason that I want to make it clear that making art is a very difficult profession because it deals with what is not obvious, in what is hidden in one’s emotions, it deals with life itself and everyone knows that life is unpredictable, that it reveals its secrets bit by bit, that nothing is clear, ever.
It is necessary in the art process that the intent be clear and that the social output be acceptable. The responsibility of the artist in society must be taken into account. It is not true that the artist can say anything. His freedom is closely linked to his responsibility as a human being, ignoring this is accepting one’s adolescence.
Strathbutler winner, Roméo Savoie was presented with the Lieutenant – Governor’s Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts. In recognition of his life-time contribution to excellence in the visual arts, Mr. Savoie was honored at a gala reception hosted by Lieutenant Governor Graydon Nicholas at Government House in Fredericton.
The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation congratulates Roméo Savoie who was named a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions as a painter, sculptor, architect and author, and for his support of visual artists in New Brunswick.