Thunder Bay

Red Lake artist brings Ojibwe art themes to Purolator holiday boxes

An artist, originally from Red Lake,Ont., will have a lot of eyes and hands on his work this holiday season.

Patrick Hunter one of 13 Canadian artists chosen to design boxes

An example of the artwork by Red Lake artist Patrick Hunter, one of 13 Canadian artists chosen to design boxes for limited edition seasonal boxes from Purolator. (Photo credit: Purolator )

An artist, originally from Red Lake, Ont., will have a lot of eyes and hands on his artwork this holiday season.

Patrick Hunter is one of 13 Canadian artists chosen by Purolator to have their work featured on seasonal themed shipping boxes.

Hunter, who is a two-spirit, Woodland school artist, said he has been inspired by the works of Norval Morriseau.

He said the art on the shipping boxes he designed reflects his Indigenous culture.

"Me, being Ojibwe, I like to gift a lot of mukluks with Ojibwe floral designs on them," he said." And I just thought that would be a cool representation of Ontario. There's a huge Indigenous population that does partake in giving those types of gifts," Hunter said. "You know, how cool would it be to be a little kid and getting that under the tree and seeing your culture represented?"

Purolator said they plan to move 46 million packages over this holiday season and thousands of Patrick Hunter's designs will be under trees across the country and around the world.

Patrick Hunter is a 2spirit, Ojibwe, Woodland artist from Red Lake, ON (Submitted by Purolator)

Hunter has been working professionally, since 2014, when "Patrick Hunter Art & Design" was launched.

He said the intent was create an awareness of Indigenous iconography through artwork that makes people feel good.

Hunter now lives in Toronto, but said much of who he is and what he does is informed by where he grew up.

"I remember standing on a hill and just looking around and seeing nothing but trees, rocks and a lake," he said. "And I think at the time, you know, 17 or 16, I couldn't wait to leave. I knew there was a bigger world out there. But you know, cut to me being 32, and I can't wait to go back. It definitely influenced the work quite a bit as my work is basically just nature painting."

Hunter said he would usually travel home to Red Lake for the holidays, but he said due to COVID-19, he will be staying in Toronto this Christmas.

"I'm going to go and get a tree, but my apartment is super small, so I have to find a little one," Hunter said."But I think it will be a lot of Zoom calls back to Red Lake with some friends and family and stuff. It's a special day, but I'll be okay."