On the Trail with the Two-Bit Cowboy – Craig Couillard

It started with a dream …. a flying bear … soaring between to realms. And from that dream comes another stunning masterpiece by Indigenous artist Neepin Auger.

The daughter of Calgary Stampede Hall of Fame artist Dale Auger, Neepin has been honing her craft since an early age. Over the years she’s dabbled in different mediums but has found her niche with acrylic on canvas in native spirituality art.

“My Dad was my biggest influence, my biggest mentor,” she says, sadly losing him in 2008 at the young age of 50.

“I find inspiration from my culture, my heritage,” explains Neepin. “Often I start with colors and the my paintings evolve from there.”

Many of her current customers where customers of her Dad’s as they desire to have works from both father and daughter. The many dots in her paintings is a carry-over from her Dad’s work. They represent spirits in the native universe.

Reconciliation has created new awareness for Indigenous art and artists. It’s a way to share stories that resonate with all cultures.

Neepin is the Vice-Principal at Many Horses High School just outside of Calgary. “Reconciliation has helped young artists feel safe to express themselves … to take more risks.”

Being a night hawk helps her be at her most creative, producing up to 20 new pieces a year. And people are noticing. She was named best new artist at the 2022 Calgary Stampede.

Neepin Auger … definitely a name to remember.

Story and photos by Craig Couillard