Jay Bell Redbird was born August 31, 1966 in Ottawa, Ontario. He is the son, of proud parents Elaine Bell (late) and Duke Redbird. He is a member of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve and currently lives in Toronto. He is a parent to seven children whom he dedicates his paintings to.
I paint from my heart and soul, viewing Aboriginal people through their life ways as they once lived, and as they strive to continue to live as loving, caring and peaceful people. The teachings and stories I learn flow to the canvas expressing ideas and images through my detailed woodlands style of art. A style that I connect with as part of my history passed down from generation to generation. I paint legends and dreams, which bring to life the animal spirits and all of Creation. My lines do not lead a life of prejudice they follow the red road, mino bimaadiziwin as I do, following the teachings of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society.
I am a self-taught artist. Growing up, I was around and influenced by world-renowned artists, Jackson Beardy, Norval Morrisseau, Cecil Youngfox, my uncle Leland Bell, and my father, painter and writer Duke Redbird. As a teenager, Norval Morrisseau talked to me about colors and their meanings relating how they express Aboriginal language, history and culture. My Uncle Leland Bell showed me techniques and shared traditional teachings and stories explaining the animals and their meanings. My father, Duke Redbird encouraged me to put my art out there to share how beautiful the Aboriginal culture is. Following those formative years, I continued to paint, learning more and finding my own voice and stories to share through my paintings, which are vibrant in colors, stories and meanings.