About & Contact

Portia “Po” Chapman

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Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Email: portia@loveartbypo.ca
Instagram: @loveartbypo

Artist Bio

Queen’s University
BFAH 2019
Visual Art (Major)/ Indigenous Studies (Minor)
Concurrent BEd 2020
Visual Art / First Nations, Métis & Inuit Studies
Artist in Community Education Specialist
Medal in Visual Art 

Portia “Po” Chapman is an award winning, published, Kingston based contemporary, Canadian, Indigenous, Interdisciplinary Artist (Illustrator, Drum Maker, Painter, Installation) and Arts Teacher reclaiming and celebrating her Heritage.  

Po is best known for her “Truth” digital image that she created for the Queen’s University Indigenous Initiatives Website.  It suddenly went viral when it was later featured on Queen’s University’s landing page during the week of Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Her latest notable artworks are:

“My Creation” – 48”x48” acrylic mural on canvas mounted above the fireplace in Queen’s University’s Reflection Room, Kingston, Ontario – March 2022

“Together with Grandmother Moon” – series of seven digital icon illustrations for the Queen’s University Faculty of Education Website – May 2022

“Warbler Watching” – 36”x64” acrylic mural on board mounted in the Base 31 Aviator’s Garden, Picton, Ontario – July 2022

Her current exhibit work in progress is a 15-piece collection of handmade, hand painted, hand drums.  Expected completion is late fall 2022.

Portia received her first arts award at her grade 8 graduation.  She later won the ALCDSB “Faith in Action” logo contest in grade 10, and in grade 12, she won Best in Show at the BDIA annual student art completion.  Four years later in 2019, Portia won the Queen’s University Medal in Visual Art for being the top BFAH graduate (Visual Art – Studio Art Major, Indigenous Studies Minor).  

During Po’s Concurrent Education BEd teacher training at Queen’s University between 2016 and 2020, Portia completed 7 teaching practicum placements, all in Visual Art – grades 7 to 12.  The majority were teaching grade 9 Indigenous Arts.  After graduating with a teaching certification in both Visual Art, and First Nations, Metis & Inuit Studies, Portia earned additional qualifications to teach grades JK-6.  Having been certified to teach all the school grades, during 2020-2022, Portia, as a Long Term Occasional Teacher, taught an arts focussed JK class, Itinerant Arts (Visual Art and Music) in grades JK-8, and grades 9 and 10 Visual Art.  Having also graduated with a specialized concentration in Artist in Community Education, Portia has since led multiple Adult Education / Community Visual Art seminars.  

Portia’s artistic style reflects her joyous younger years growing up at her family cottage / art studio in the woods along the shores of Moira Lake, Tweed, Ontario.  While communing with nature, playing in the stream, diving in the lake and taking many walks where she spoke to residents of the forest, Portia developed her artistic voice and a wondrous connection to her Indigenaity.  Po’s first art projects were made from tree bark, leaves, flowers and wild grapevines.  It was the beauty of Creation that inspired the beauty most commonly noticed in her works of art.

As an artist, Po is a hopeful romanticist.  Her artworks inspire viewers to smile and, if only for a moment, bask in an air of hope.  Portia seeks to share a message of better times to come, community, and the encouragement to never, ever stop dreaming.  Her characteristic style incorporates intense blocks of colour, framed in deeply toned, meticulous, organic line work.  It is both simplistic and innocent while addressing complex adult themes.  This marvellous combination results in adult viewers holding hands with their inner child, as children welcomingly assess the stories they see being told.  

Portia “Po” Chapman is a dynamic, bright, breath of fresh air.  Just as she sparkles, so too does her artwork.  

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