One World One Hope Copy5Bca0385989F72 28307092

Joe Average


I am a 59 year old, self-taught artist, who has expressed myself through art since childhood.

First Nations art played a big role in inspiring my creativity. I have always loved the simplicity of the images, the graciousness of the lines and curves, and the emotional impact of the bright simple primary colours. I then discovered the “Pop Art” of Warhol, Lichtenstein and Peter Max. I was inspired that these fun and colourful images could be presented seriously on canvas.

At twenty-seven years old I was diagnosed HIV+. At the age of thirty I decided to dedicate the remainder of my life to art. Leaving work and refusing the assistance of Unemployment Insurance or Welfare, I challenged myself to live completely through my art.

With paper, charcoal, pastels, paint and a will to survive, I continued developing my survival skills and artistic abilities. I did not want to be on a deathbed wondering if I could have succeeded as an artist, or, wake up at 40 questioning the same. This threat and my awareness of mortality inspired and changed me. Art heals.

In the 70’s and 80’s I spent a lot of time with my camera mainly documenting people. In 2010 I started photographing again mainly doing self-portraits to document my struggles with lipoatrophy. I have lent my name and art to many social and humanitarian causes and I am a fierce advocate of arts education for children





Artist, painter; b. Victoria, B.C. 1957; s. Kenneth William Alvin and Sylvia Irene Tebbutt; e. Metchosin Elementary. School., Metchosin, B.C.; Sir James Douglas Elem. School., Victoria, B.C.; Oak Bay Sr. High, Victoria, B.C.



1980: New Era Social Club,Victoria, B.C. / The Joe Average Forgery Show

1984: E=MC2,Gallery / Vancouver, B.C. / It's Not Unusual

1984: E=MC2 Gallery,Vancouver, B.C. / These are a Few of my Favorite Things

1985: Comox Valley Arts Alliance, Courtney, B.C. / New Work

1986: Average Residence, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1987: Salon 545 Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1987: Mark Anthony Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1988: La Raffinage, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1988: Average Residence, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1989: Richard Henry Residence, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1989: Average Residence, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1990: Average Residence, Vancouver, B.C. / Joe Average Portrait Show

1991: Empty Store, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1991: Average Studio, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1992: A Walk Is Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1992: Stoodeo, Vancouver, B.C. / New Paintings

1992: Dianne Farris Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / An Average Night Out

1993: A Walk Is Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1993: Joan Dean Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1994: A Walk Is Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1994: Stoodeo, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1995: A Walk Is Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Drawings

1995: Dianne Farris Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / Another Average Night Out

1996: A Walk Is Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1996: A Walk Is Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

1996: Prior Editions Studio, Vancouver, B.C. / Hand Pulled Limited Edition Prints

1997: A Walk Is Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. / Ray of Hope Cocktail Show

1998: Joan Dean Gallery, Vancouver, B.C / Avoriginals

1998: Empty Sore, Vancouver, B.C. / Avoriginals

1999: Hart House, Vancouver, B.C. / New Work

2000: Winchester Gallery, Victoria, B.C. / New Work


1983: Open Space Gallery, Victoria, B.C. / Fan Tan Alley Artists

1984: Open Space Gallery, Victoria, B.C. / The 1984 Show w/ Kent Tate


The following is an overview of the organizations who have commissioned my work, and charities to whom I have donated my work for fund-raising



AIDS Nova Scotia, AIDS Vancouver, AIDS Vancouver Island, AIDS Walk 500, British Columbia Rehab Foundation, Canadian AIDS Society, Autism Society

of British Columbia, Avalon Society, B.C. Special Olympics, B.C. SummerGames, Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University, Canadian PID Society,

Children's Hospital Capital Campaign, Children's Neurological Center, Dr. Peter Center, Friends For Life Society, Kumbaya Festival of Toronto

(AIDS Hospices), Jewish Family Service Agency, Loving Spoonful, Make A Wish Foundation, McLaren Housing Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Society of B.C., Oak Tree Clinic at B.C. Children's Hospital, Pacific AIDS Resource Center, Pacific Housing for

the Advancement of Minority Education, POSITIVE Women's Center, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, Share Our Strength Canada Society, St.

Paul's Hospital Palliative Care Unit, Think AIDS Society, Timmy's ,Christmas Telethon, The Tony McNaughton Memorial Fund (Hero), Vancouver

Crisis Center, Vancouver Food Bank, Vancouver Persons With AIDS Coalition, Victoria Cool Aid Society, Victoria Persons With AIDS Society, Walk for AIDS, YMCA of Vancouver, Youth Co..


British Columbia Institute of Technology, Children's Room/Vancouver Public Market, Coquitlam River Elementary School, Lights for Life, Pacific Space Centre (Planetarium) Capital Campaign, Carson Graham Elementary School, Robson Street Banners, Simon Fraser Elementary School, Vancouver Foundation 50th Anniversary, Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver Museum 100th Anniversary, Vancouver Talmud Torah Elementary School, XI International Conference on AIDS.


Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Arts Club

|Theatre, Bravo Vancouver, Burnaby Arts Centre "Give Art a Home" Capital Campaign, Dance Centre of Vancouver, Jumpstart, Theater Terrific, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Men's Chorus, Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Opera.


1991: Canada / Canadian AIDS Awareness Society Poster Image

1991:Canada / Received by their Royal Highness's the Prince and Princess of Wales and their Excellencies the Governor General and Mrs. Hnatyshyn at Rideau Hall.

1992: Burnaby, B.C. / Honorary Citizen

1993: Vancouver, B.C. / Jessie Award

1993: Vancouver, B.C. / Think AIDS Society's Outstanding Commitment to the Community and the Fight Against AIDS.

1994: Vancouver, B.C. / Vancouver Civic Merit Award

1996: Vancouver, B.C. / XI International Conference on AIDS Image

1996: Canada / XI International Conference on AIDS Postage Stamp

1997: Canada / Arts for Young Audiences Award

1997: Vancouver, B.C. / Friend in Deed Award

1997: Vancouver, B.C. / Georgia Straight's Reader's Choice Award/Best Visual Artist

1997: Canada / National Canadian AIDS Society Poster Image

1998: Canada / Caring Canadian Award

2000: Canada / A Canadian Heritage Garden Commemorative Bench inclusion at Rideau Hall bestowed by Gerda and Ramon Hnatyshyn.


Department of Canadian Heritage /2000 Canada Day Poster Challenge (2000)

AIDS Memorial Committee /AIDS Memorial Design Competition (1996)

Vancouver Community College / Homophobia Awareness Poster Competition (2000)