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Keno­juak Ashe­vak Breaks Records at Auc­tion

A copy of the 1960 print The En­chanted Owl by Keno­juak Ashe­vak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013) broke auc­tion records on Novem­ber 20, 2018, dur­ing a sale at Wadding­ton’s in Toronto, ON. A “red tail” ver­sion of the print sold for $216,000, the high­est amount paid for a print by a Cana­dian artist at auc­tion and shat­ter­ing the pre­vi­ous record held by Sy­bil An­drews’s

Speed­way (1934), which sold for $129,000 in 2015.

Ashe­vak also held pre­vi­ous auc­tion records for Inuit prints when an­other copy of The En­chanted Owl sold for $58,650 in 2001 and when Rab­bit Eat­ing Sea­weed (1960) sold for $59,000 that same year. Based on a pen­cil draw­ing now in the col­lec­tion of the Na­tional Gallery of Canada in Ot­tawa, ON, an edi­tion of 50 stone­cut prints of the The En­chanted Owl were cre­ated for the sec­ond Kin­ngait Stu­dios print re­lease in 1960. The print, cut by Ee­gyvud­luk Pootoo­gook

(1931–2000) and printed by Iy­ola King­wat­siak (1933–2000), was re­leased in two ver­sions: 25 red and black and 25 green and black. The “red tail” ver­sion is the most cov­eted among col­lec­tors, com­mand­ing higher prices than the “green tail” ver­sion. The sale has also spurred re­newed in­ter­est in es­tab­lish­ing clear pro­to­cols by Cana­dian Artists’ Rep­re­sen­ta­tion/Le Front des artistes cana­di­ens (CARFAC), among many other groups, for artist re­sale rights.

Win­nipeg Art Gallery Launches Indige­nous Bi­en­nial

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of the land­mark 2018 ex­hi­bi­tion INSURGENCE/RESUR­GENCE, which fea­tured works by asin­na­jaq, Heather Camp­bell, Noah Qin­u­a­jua (1913–1960), Couzyn van Heuve­len and more, the Win­nipeg Art Gallery an­nounced the launch of the Win­nipeg Indige­nous Bi­en­nial on Novem­ber 8, 2018. The in­au­gu­ral edi­tion ti­tled To Draw Water will co­in­cide with the open­ing of the Inuit Art Cen­tre in 2020 and will be cu­rated by the WAG’s Cu­ra­tor of Indige­nous Art Jaimie Isaac and Chair in the His­tory of Indige­nous Art in North Amer­ica at the Univer­sity of Win­nipeg Julie Nagam, draw­ing on ar tists liv­ing and work­ing across Canada, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. “Con­tem­po­rary Indige­nous artists are pro­duc­ing some of the most rel­e­vant, in­no­va­tive work, ex­am­in­ing is­sues and ex­plor­ing move­ments that are mo­ti­vat­ing art prac­tice to­day,” Isaac and Nagam said in a joint state­ment. “Our cu­ra­to­rial re­search prac­tices will bring for th these sto­ries with a com­pen­dium of in­ter­na­tional nar­ra­tives.”

The Win­nipeg Indige­nous Bi­en­nial joins other in­ter­na­tional Indige­nous ex­hi­bi­tions such as the Na­tional Gallery of Canada’s Indige­nous Quin­quen­nial, the first of which, Sakahàn, opened in 2013.

City of Ot­tawa Art Col­lec­tion Ac­quires New Work

As part of its 2018 ac­qui­si­tions, the City of Ot­tawa an­nounced in Novem­ber that four pho­to­graphs by Barry Pot­tle, three im­ages by Kather­ine Tak­pan­nie and three draw­ings by An­nie Pootoo­gook (1969–2016) would be added to its col­lec­tion of al­most 2,800 works by over 750 artists. Pot­tle’s still-life pho­to­graphs Sil­ver­spoon 1 (2017) and Sil­ver­spoon II (2017) cap­ture the rich­ness of coun­try food as well as the cer­e­mony in­her­ent in these com­mu­nal prac­tices while Tak­pan­nie’s per­for­ma­tive work Push­ing Through (2016) doc­u­ments the artist’s ex­per­i­men­ta­tions with neon-tinted smoke bombs. Pootoo­gook’s coloured pen­cil

and ink draw­ings Fam­ily Home (2001), Com­po­si­tion (Lis­ten­ing to the Ra­dio with Cof­fee) (2005) and Hav­ing Some Tea (2006) are char­ac­ter­is­tic of the artist’s larger body of work and fre­quent fo­cus on quo­tid­ian mo­ments. The works by Pot­tle, Tak­pan­nie and Pootoo­gook join pre­vi­ous ac­qui­si­tions by Heather Camp­bell, Pi­taloosie Saila, RCA and David Ruben Piq­toukun and were fea­tured in the ex­hi­bi­tion Kalei­do­scope: 2018 Ad­di­tions to the City of Ot­tawa Art Col­lec­tion at the City Hall Art Gallery from De­cem­ber 6, 2018, to Jan­uary 30, 2019.

The 2018 Peer As­sess­ment Com­mit­tee for the ac­qui­si­tion was com­prised of Heather Camp­bell, Ot­tawa-based artist, cu­ra­tor and ar­chiv­ist, orig­i­nally from Rigo­let, Nu­natsi­avut, NL; Neven Lochhead, Direc­tor of Pro­gram­ming at SAW Video Me­dia Art Cen­tre; Natasha Mazurka, Co­or­di­na­tor and Pro­fes­sor at Al­go­nquin Col­lege; artist Carl Ste­wart; and Me­lanie Yugo, Part­ner­ship and Net­works Of­fi­cer at Canada Coun­cil for the Arts.

Toronto Bi­en­nial of Art and Manif d’art to High­light Inuit Artists

The Toronto Bi­en­nial of Art and Manif d’art, two large-scale na­tional bi­en­nial con­tem­po­rary art events in Toronto, ON, and Que­bec City, QC, re­spec­tively, have re­leased the pre­lim­i­nary list of artists to be fea­tured, in­clud­ing those from the North.

Dur­ing an in-depth pre­sen­ta­tion at Art Toronto on Oc­to­ber 28, 2018, the Toronto Bi­en­nial an­nounced the par­tic­i­pants of the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion in­clud­ing Zacharias Kunuk, OC and Isuma as well as Em­bassy of Imag­i­na­tion. Se­nior cu­ra­tor Candice Hop­kins, also on the cu­ra­to­rial team for the Cana­dian Pav­il­ion at the 58th Venice Bi­en­nale, will be bring­ing Isuma’s project from Venice to Toronto and com­mis­sion­ing Em­bassy of Imag­i­na­tion and PA Sys­tem— cover artists for the Inuit Art Quar­terly’s Win­ter 2017 Fu­tures is­sue—to cre­ate a new work to be in­stalled along the city’s water­front.

At a press con­fer­ence in Lon­don, UK, on Novem­ber 21, 2018, direc­tor of Ikon Gallery in Birm­ing­ham and cu­ra­tor for Manif d’art Jonathan Watkins re­leased the names of 12 of the over 20 artists se­lected for the event, in­clud­ing Kin­ngait (Cape Dorset)-based graphic artist Shuvinai Ashoona, RCA. On De­cem­ber 4, 2018, fol­low­ing the ini­tial re­lease, Manif d’art an­nounced the ad­di­tion of Ikpi­ar­juk (Arc­tic Bay)-born sculp­tor Manasiah Ak­pali­apik and Sámi artist Britta Marakatt-Labba. Their work will join ad­di­tional pieces by Meryl McMaster, Cornelia Parker and Tomás Sara­ceno, among oth­ers, in the main ex­hi­bi­tion at the Musée na­tional des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) for the ninth edi­tion ti­tled Small Be­tween the Stars, Large Against the Sky. The Toronto Bi­en­nial will open Septem­ber 21, 2019, and run un­til De­cem­ber 2019 across var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Toronto, while Manif d’art will open at the MNBAQ and ad­di­tional lo­ca­tions on Fe­bru­ary 19, 2019, in Que­bec City.

Silla and Rise Re­ceive St­ingray Ris­ing Star Award

Dur­ing Mun­dial Mon­treal, North Amer­ica’s World Mu­sic Sum­mit, from Novem­ber 13–16, 2018, in Mon­treal, QC, the Juno Award– nom­i­nated trio Silla and Rise re­ceived the St­ingray Ris­ing Star Award and a $2,000 prize. Com­prised of Cyn­thia Pit­si­u­lak, Char­lotte Qa­maniq and Erik Vani (aka Rise Ashen), Silla and Rise are known for their com­bi­na­tion of throat-singing with hip-hop and elec­tronic in­spired beats. “Indige­nous peo­ple world­wide are ris­ing up and us­ing our voice, mu­sic, cul­ture and art to con­nect, cel­e­brate and rec­on­cile in a mod­ern way,” says Silla and Rise. “We think it is just the be­gin­ning, and we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to what the fu­ture holds for Indige­nous mu­sic.” The award will as­sist the trio in pro­mot­ing their mu­sic within Canada as well as in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Oci­ci­wan Con­tem­po­rary Art Col­lec­tive An­nounces New Con­tem­po­rary Art Cen­tre

Sum­mer 2019 will see the ad­di­tion of a new con­tem­po­rary art space in down­town Ed­mon­ton, AB. On Novem­ber 16, 2018, Oci­ci­wan Con­tem­po­rary Art Col­lec­tive an­nounced the open­ing of a non-profit, col­lec­tive-run art cen­tre ded­i­cated solely to the pre­sen­ta­tion of con­tem­po­rary Indige­nous art: the Oci­ci­wan Con­tem­po­rary Art Cen­tre. Retrofitti­ng an ex­ist­ing 6,945-square-foot, two-storey build­ing with the sup­port of the City of Ed­mon­ton and Rock­liff Pierzcha­jlo Kro­man Ar­chi­tects Ltd., the new cen­tre will fea­ture a main floor gallery, meet­ing rooms, of­fices, a re­source li­brary and a com­mu­nity space.

Oci­ci­wan’s past projects in­clude Cur­rent Ter­rain, pre­sented as part of imag­ineNATIVE 2018, which fea­tured Inu­vialuit artist Al­berta Rose W., and A Par­al­lel Ex­ca­va­tion, fea­tur­ing Duane Lin­klater and Alut­tiq artist Tanya Lukin Lin­klater. The new fa­cil­ity will host a min­i­mum of four ex­hi­bi­tions an­nu­ally.

Keno­juak Ashe­vak (1927–2013 Kin­ngait)The En­chanted Owl 1960Stone­cut55.8 × 65.7 cm COUR­TESY WADDING­TON’S

Barry Pot­tle(b. 1961 Ot­tawa)—Sil­ver­spoon II2017Dig­i­tal pho­to­graph COUR­TESY CITY OF OT­TAWA

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