John Well-Off-Man, a member of the Chippewa-Cree tribe, was born in Havre, Montana and raised in Havre and on the Rocky Boy Reservation. He received his diploma in photography from Ohio Visual Art Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1978. He studied printmaking at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico and received his Associate of Fine Arts degree in 1990. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana in 2005 and received his Master of Arts in Fine Arts, Integrated Arts and Education from UM's Creative Pulse Program, in 2007. John Well-Off-Man worked as a Photographer/Film Developer for Instructional Media Services at University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. During this time he also produced exhibits for the Missoula Historical Society and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library of the University of Montana. He produced the visual exhibit "Their Eyes Tell Everything," a photo-history of the Montana Chippewa-Cree with a grant from the Montana Committee for the Humanities. This exhibit is now in the permanent collection of the Montana Museum of Art & Culture.
He was project director of the youth photo project "Photography, An Image of Each Other." The Montana Committee for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanties, and A Territory Resource have funded this cross cultural awareness program. Other art projects include printmaking workshops offered through the programming services of art organizations, museums, schools, and libraries. Workshop collaborations include: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Rogers Historical Museum, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Bentonville Public Library and as a printmaking instructor at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
John Well-Off-Man's artworks are exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in the permanent collection of the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana and the Westphalian State Museum of Natural History in Münster, Germany. In 2009, he received a $15,000 one month Ford Foundation artist residency award at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana. John moved his art studio to Santa Fe, New Mexico when his wife became the new chief curator at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Art. He also teaches drawing classes and 2-D Design fundamentals as an adjunct faculty for the Institute of American Indian Arts. One of his duties is teaching art at Santa Fe Indian High School's dual credit program (high school students enrolled in these classes receive college credit.)
Indian art is not stagnant; it is in flux like Indian culture has always been in flux - an important aspect that ensured the survival of Native cultures.
November 18, 2012-January 7, 2013: John Well-Off-Man - Native American Abstractions, Museum of the Plains Indian, Browning, MT
February 21-June 23, 2013: RECENT ACQUISITION EXHIBITION, Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, MT