Alvin Constant Wandering Spirit (1946-2006) "Faith & Purpose" Original Painting Story and Sale.
I found this painting damaged needing glass and matting at the Kilshaws Auction in Victoria. For some odd reason I was drawn to it and needed to rescue it and have it repaired. It was later I researched his name and history.
This is Alvin Constant Story:
Alvin Constant was a professional trained artist from the University of Saskatchewan. He made his living from his art, fulfilling a childhood dream. But for some reason - a reason even his family isn't clear on - he opted to live on the streets, among friends and fellow ramblers.
Constant sold his paintings on the causeway of the Victoria Inner Harbour to tourists who strolled by and admired his work. He told his friends he lived on the streets because he wanted to, because that's where his friends were. He did the same in Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon thus the name "Wondering Spirit"
"He found a real compassion for street People" says Shirley Sanderson, his sister. "He was amongst the poverty and the homeless of those people, and often after making money from his paintings he would hand out money to them. "One day he took a whole bunch of street people to that move, Dances With Wolves, treating them all. But my brother fell victim to the helplessness. It just snuck up on him"
Alvin never stayed in one place for long, returning to the reserve and his family before leaving again on another trip. "He just had to go places, there was no stopping him" say Shelly Mike, his niece. Constants family last saw him Oct. 28, two weeks before his frozen body was found slumped against a cold concrete wall in downtown Calgary, just two blocks from an over flowing but warm shelter.
Once I heard the story I realized their was only one thing needed to be done and that was to continue his legacy. I decided to place the painting in an auction will all proceeds going back to the homeless. An auction was run June 2019 and was sold for $1,000 going to Anawim House. Days before the auction the emotions grew strong for all involved. I truly felt Alvin Constant's presence and he was happy to see his piece front and center with the money going back to his friends.
God Bless you Wondering Spirit.