Joe Average

Born in Victoria in 1957, Joe began signing his artwork as Joe Average when he was 19 years old. His pop-art has captured the attention of international art critics, royalty, celebrities, and the public. His work is a visionary kaleidoscope of colour, creativity and compassion.

Living with HIV for the past 20 years, the self taught Joe Average has earned international recognition as an advocate for AIDS, an artist, and a noted philanthropist. His art was featured on a 1996 Canadian Stamp which was also the conference image for the 1996 XI International Conference on AIDS.

In 1998 Joe was recognized by the Governor General of Canada with the Caring Canadian Award. The City of Vancouver bestowed him with a Civic Merit Award in 1994. He was the recipient of a 1993 Jessie Award, and has been officially presented to Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana at Rideau Hall. Other honours include, The Canadian Institute of the Arts for Young Audiences Award, Xtra West Magazine’s Heroes of 1996 Award, and in 1997 the Friends for Life Society honored him with the Friend In Deed Award. Joe most recently won the Davie Street Banner Competition.

In recent years, Joe’s life has begun to reveal the illness that plagues him. To find out more about his extraordinary life use the following links:


listen to CBC radio’s documentary

watch 8:00 video

Floral Fatigue
Goodnight Moon
Bee Line