Up­dates and high­lights from the world of Inuit art and cul­ture

Inuit Art Quarterly - - NEWS -

NFB In­dige­nous Col­lec­tion Goes Digital

On March 22, 2018, the Na­tional Film Board of Canada (NFB) pre­miered its In­dige­nous Cin­ema web­page, which houses more than 200 films by In­dige­nous di­rec­tors. Films by First Na­tions, Métis and Inuit di­rec­tors from across Canada, in English and in French, can be found on the page, which was cre­ated to make it eas­ier for the pub­lic to ac­cess In­dige­nous per­spec­tives of Canada’s past, present and fu­ture.

Bon­nie Am­maaq, an Inuk di­rec­tor from Iglu­lik, NU, is one of 19 Inuit di­rec­tors cur­rently fea­tured on the web­site. Her short film Nowhere Land (2015), which tells the story of her fam­ily’s life on the land and their re­turn to Iglu­lik, won the award for Best Short Doc­u­men­tary at the imag­ineNATIVE Film + Me­dia Arts Fes­ti­val.

Even­tu­ally, the NFB’s en­tire col­lec­tion of nearly 300 films will be avail­able for free on the web­site.

New Start for Ulukhak­tok Graphic Pro­gram

Arc­tic Co-op­er­a­tives Lim­ited and Cana­dian Arc­tic Pro­duc­ers will be spear­head­ing an ef­fort to re­vi­tal­ize graphic art­mak­ing in Ulukhak­tok (Hol­man), Inu­vialuit Set­tle­ment Re­gion, NT, al­most two decades af­ter the com­mu­nity’s last for­mal print re­lease. A to­tal of $250,000 was se­cured from the Canada Coun­cil for the Arts to en­gage es­tab­lished and emerg­ing artists, in­clud­ing Mary Okheena, Peter Palvik and Ma­bel Nigiyok, to ex­per­i­ment with ma­te­ri­als and styles with help from an ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee com­posed of the Inuit Art Foun­da­tion’s Board Mem­bers Heather Iglo­liorte and Pa­tri­cia Fe­he­ley and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Alysa Pro­cida. The grant is also sup­port­ing the dig­i­ti­za­tion of the com­mu­nity’s graphic ar­chive, stretch­ing back to the ear­li­est graphic ex­per­i­ments of Agnes Nanogak Goose, He­len Kal­vak, CM, RCA and Mark Emerak. To learn more about this unique ar­chive, be sure to see a pro­file writ­ten by Arc­tic Co-op’s Col­lec­tions Man­ager Kath­eryn Wabe­gi­jig in the IAQ’s next is­sue.

NGC An­nounces Cu­ra­tors for 58th Venice Bi­en­nale

Fol­low­ing the news that Isuma will rep­re­sent Canada at the 2019 Venice Bi­en­nale, the Na­tional Gallery of Canada (NGC) has con­firmed that, for the first time in the pavil­ion’s his­tory, the project will be cu­rated by a team. The cu­ra­to­rial team in­cludes Asin­na­jaq, a vis­ual ar tist, film­maker and cu­ra­tor; Cather­ine Crow­ston, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor and Chief Cu­ra­tor of the Art Gallery of Al­berta; Josée Drouin-Brise­bois, Se­nior Cu­ra­tor of Con­tem­po­rary Art at the Na­tional Gallery of Canada; Bar­bara Fis­cher, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor and Chief Cu­ra­tor of the Justina M. Bar­nicke Gallery and Di­rec­tor of the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto Art Cen­tre; and Candice Hop­kins, an in­de­pen­dent cu­ra­tor and writer.

The Cana­dian ex­hi­bi­tion at the Bi­en­nale has his­tor­i­cally been or­ga­nized by a sin­gle cu­ra­tor, but col­lab­o­ra­tion seems to be a defin­ing theme for this highly an­tic­i­pated show. “Be­cause [Isuma is] a col­lec­tive, I think it’s more nat­u­ral for them to think of work­ing with a col­lec­tive,” said Asin­na­jaq. “I think ev­ery­one’s re­ally proud of [the team] and ev­ery­one is at­ten­tive to each other.”

The cu­ra­to­rial team was hand­picked by Isuma. Ac­cord­ing to Hop­kins, “[Isuma] also felt it was im­por­tant to have men­tor­ship built into the team, so, in ef­fect, we are learn­ing from one an­other as well as from Isuma.” Both Asin­na­jaq and Hop­kins have cu­rated projects with Isuma, while DrouinBris­e­bois and Fis­cher have both pre­vi­ously cu­rated Bi­en­nale ex­hi­bi­tions for the Canada Pavil­ion. Crow­ston was the 2016 Com­mis­sioner for the Canada Pavil­ion at Venice’s In­ter­na­tional Ar­chi­tec­ture Ex­hi­bi­tion. “Inuit art has long im­pacted a huge global au­di­ence,” ex­plains Hop­kins, when asked about Inuit ar t on the world stage. “[This ex­hi­bi­tion] will loop back to that his­tory, but also to peo­ple’s real lives in the North. And that is re­ally some­thing that is a shared goal be­tween Isuma and the cu­ra­to­rial team for the pavil­ion.”

Inuit Artists at the In­dige­nous Mu­sic Awards

The 2018 CBC Mu­sic In­dige­nous Mu­sic Awards were held on May 18, 2018, hon­our­ing some of the best First Na­tions, Métis and Inuit mu­si­cians in Canada to­day.

Sev­eral Inuit artists were nom­i­nated for awards. Iqaluit-based band The Trade-Offs were nom­i­nated for Best Blues Al­bum for Qau­mariaq and Kelly Fraser’s al­bum

Sedna was nom­i­nated for Best Pop Al­bum. Fraser was re­cently fea­tured in the IAQ’s

30th An­niver­sary is­sue Port­fo­lio, “30 Artists to Know.” Shel­ter as we go. . . by Quan­tum Tan­gle, a duo that in­cludes Inuk artist Tif­fany Aya­lik, was nom­i­nated for Best Pop Al­bum. And North­ern Haze, a rock band from Iglu­lik, NU, was nom­i­nated for Best Inuit, In­dige­nous Lan­guage or Fran­co­phone Al­bum, for Sin­nak­tuq. North­ern Haze’s first, self-ti­tled al­bum, re­leased in 1985, was the first In­dige­nous-lan­guage rock al­bum recorded in North Amer­ica.

Early Prints from Pu­vir­ni­tuq Do­nated to Agnes Ether­ing­ton Art Cen­tre

In March 2018, the Agnes Ether­ing­ton Art Cen­tre at Queen’s Uni­ver­sity in Kingston, ON, re­ceived a col­lec­tion of 23 stone­cut and sten­cil prints from Pu­vir­ni­tuq, Nu­navik, QC, as a gift from Mar­garet McGowan. The prints rep­re­sent the early years of print­mak­ing in the com­mu­nity, from 1961 to 1989, and de­pict an­i­mals and hunt­ing scenes and scenes of daily life. McGowan and her hus­band also set up a Re­search Stu­dentship in In­dige­nous Art, with a fo­cus on Inuit art.

Dr. Nor­man Vo­rano, Cu­ra­tor of In­dige­nous Art at the cen­tre, said, “This do­na­tion will help us present a more com­pre­hen­sive and com­par­a­tive his­tory of Arc­tic print­mak­ing, and through the re­search stu­dentship will also help at­tract In­dige­nous stu­dents and sup­port a di­verse ar­ray of grad­u­ate and up­per-year un­der­grad­u­ate re­search.”

UMMA Re­ceives Inuit Art Col­lec­tion and Gen­er­ous En­dow­ment

In March 2018, the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Mu­seum of Art (UMMA) in Ann Ar­bor, re­ceived $2 mil­lion from com­mu­nity mem­bers Philip and Kathy Power for the cre­ation and en­dow­ment of an Inuit art pro­gram at the uni­ver­sity. This con­tri­bu­tion was given in ad­di­tion to a large col­lec­tion of Inuit stone sculp­tures and prints, num­ber­ing more than 200 and val­ued at more than $2.5 mil­lion.

“Kathy and I de­cided to gift [this col­lec­tion] to UMMA so as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble could ex­pe­ri­ence it, and un­der­stand how Inuit un­der­stand and cope with their harsh Arc­tic en­vi­ron­ment,” said Power.

Re­vi­tal­ized AGO Cen­tre Fea­tures In­dige­nous Art

On June 1, 2018, the Art Gallery of On­tario (AGO) re-opened the J.S. McLean Cen­tre for In­dige­nous and Cana­dian Art (pre­vi­ously the J.S. McLean Cen­tre for Cana­dian Art) af­ter months of ren­o­va­tion. The cen­tre now fea­tures his­toric and con­tem­po­rary works by In­dige­nous and Cana­dian artists side by side. “The McLean Cen­tre re­vi­tal­iza­tion will en­able the AGO to show­case con­tem­po­rary In­dige­nous art in con­ver­sa­tion with Cana­dian art and to high­light crit­i­cal dis­cus­sions about iden­tity, the en­vi­ron­ment, his­tory and sovereignt­y,” said Wanda Nanibush,

Cu­ra­tor, In­dige­nous Art in the Depart­ment of In­dige­nous and Cana­dian Art.

The cen­tre’s Inuit col­lec­tion will show works by renowned and emerg­ing artists alike, such as Shuvinai Ashoona, RCA, Jessie Oonark, OC, RCA and An­nie Pootoo­gook. Inuit art and sculp­ture will also oc­cupy its own, ded­i­cated space in the cen­tre, and works will fea­ture texts writ­ten in Inuk­tut, English and French.

First In­dige­nous Fash­ion Week

Be­tween May 31 and June 3, 2018, the first In­dige­nous Fash­ion Week Toronto (IFWTO) took place, pre­sent­ing pro­gres­sive In­dige­nous artists in a se­ries of show­cases, lec­tures, ex­hi­bi­tions, pan­els and work­shops, along with a mar­ket­place where artists could sell their work.

“Our com­mu­nity is burst­ing at the seams with new works in fash­ion, craft and tex­tiles, and we are proud to be rec­og­niz­ing their artistry,” said Sage Paul, Artis­tic Di­rec­tor of IFWTO. “This year’s pro­gram of artists and de­sign­ers rep­re­sents the di­ver­sity of de­sign, ex­pres­sion and tra­di­tion from na­tions across North Amer­ica and Green­land.”

Vic­to­ria Kakuk­tin­niq of Vic­to­ria’s Arc­tic Fash­ion, Bar­bara Akoak of Inuk Bar­bie, Erica Lugt and Hi­naani De­sign were among the Inuit de­sign­ers rep­re­sented in the show­case.

Tanya Lukin Lin­klater Wins First Wanda Koop Re­search Fund

On March 20, 2018, Cana­dian Art an­nounced artist Tanya Lukin Lin­klater as the win­ner of the mag­a­zine’s in­au­gu­ral Wanda Koop Re­search Fund, val­ued at $15,000. The award rec­og­nizes a mid-ca­reer vis­ual artist and is in­tended for re­search ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to the artist’s prac­tice. Lukin Lin­klater was cho­sen for her “com­plex, en­gag­ing, mul­ti­di­men­sional and in­spir­ing” work, ac­cord­ing to Julie Nagam, Chair in the His­tory of In­dige­nous Art in North Amer­ica at the Win­nipeg Art Gallery and the Uni­ver­sity of Win­nipeg, and one of the judges.

Lukin Lin­klater is a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary artist, work­ing in per­for­mance, video, in­stal­la­tion and photograph­y. She was fea­tured in the IAQ’s Sum­mer 2016 is­sue, Per for­mance, and con­trib­uted a Com­ment in the Sum­mer 2017 is­sue. Her work has been fea­tured in ex­hi­bi­tions in North Amer­ica and abroad.

BELOW The re­cently con­structed Keno­juak Cul­tural Cen­tre in Kin­ngait, NU, 2018 PHOTO KUDLIK CON­STRUC­TION OP­PO­SITE Juanisialu Irqumia (1912–1977 Pu­vir­ni­tuq) Owl with Its Prey 1960 Stone­cut 39.8 x 62.1 cm PHOTO BERNARD CLARK

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