Joe Average: Not an average Joe!
Joe Average is an entirely self taught artist. He was born in Victoria BC in 1957.
Joe always liked to draw. He has drawn since he was a child. Unlike many, Joe has made a career out of his art.
In 1984, Average was diagnosed with HIV. Joe decided to commit his life to making a living making art. His work is influenced by aboriginal art, pop art, Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Peer Max. Joe Average uses pastels, charcoal, paint and pencil. And colour: lots of colour.
Joe Average is a philanthropist as well: he has been a judge for Vancouver's AIDS Memorial and anti-homophobia poster campaign. Average frequently donates work to local and national causes, such as Vancouver's annual Art for Life auction. As a child he watched telethons and he dreamed to be able to donate one day. When he realized that he could donate art and it would make money for a charity, it solidified his desire to be a philanthropist as well as an working artist. Joe has also taught art at many Canadian schools and universities.
Joe Average’s art work has been used for community projects as A Loving Spoonful which operates in the downtown Vancouver neighborhood in which he lives. He has produced many art shows out of his studio, as well as various locations: friend’s apartments, public studios and anyone, anywhere that will show his work. Joe also has a retail store online
Joe Average is known for his colorful, cartoonish work. He uses flowers, animals and insects, and people as subjects. He also makes potato prints! Joe has received many awards and honors, civic merit awards, including the Caring Canadian Award and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Silver Medal for Outstanding Community Achievement.
Joe Average describes his artwork as “playful, fun, colorful and happy”.
In 1996 Average painted the "One World, One Hope" image for the 11th International AIDS conference in Vancouver BC. That image was chosen as the first memorial AIDS awareness postage stamp.
The Mayor of Vancouver issued a civic proclamation that proclaimed November 3 as "Joe Average Day" in the city of Vancouver BC.
A film biography of his life is currently airing on the Knowledge network called, Call Me Average.