Bob Boyer grew up in Prince Albert and earned a bachelor of education degree from the Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan in 1971. He worked in a number of education, art and community positions, including doing community programming at the MacKenzie Art Gallery until the mid-70s. He then became a fine arts professor at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, where he also acted as the head of the Department of Indian Fine Arts.
Boyer began his visual arts career painting portraits and landscapes, but he is best known for his painted blankets, completed between 1983 and 1995. Using flannel blankets as the painting surface, he combined elements of Northern Plains geometric design with personal symbols and contemporary references to colonialism, environmental destruction and Indigenous culture. He referred to these pieces as "blanket statements." In October 1983, Boyer painted A Smallpox Issue, his first blanket. It was heralded as an important new direction that was political, narrative, abstract and traditional, and is considered one of the Saskatchewan Arts Board Permanent Collection's treasured art works. Boyer passed away in 2004. (Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.)