Category Archives: Inuit Art Foundation

Ningiukulu Teevee receives The Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award

Ningiukulu Teevee is the recipient of The 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award  (KAMA) – and I couldn’t be more delighted!   How fun to name two of my favourite artists in one celebratory sentence.  (Here’s a link to an Art Caravan post about Kenojuak Ashevak.)

KAMA is a collaboration between the Inuit Art Foundation and Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq (WAG). Every two years it’s awarded to a mid-career Inuit artist. Ten artists are named to a long list, and receive cash awards, mentorship and promotion.  The long list is later whittled down to five artists who receive further cash prizes, and an exhibition at the WAG.  Maureen Gruben, another one of this year’s finalists, is the subject of this Art Caravan post from 2020.

Caribou in Bloom, Ningiukulu Teevee, 2021, linocut and hand colouring, Dorset Fine Arts image

Caribou in Bloom, Ningiukulu Teevee, 2021, Dorset Fine Arts image

The Art Caravan has also posted about Ning Teevee more than once.  (Who says you can’t have favourite artists and favourite genres?!)  Here’s a link to a recent interview in the Inuit Art Quarterly.  Teevee says, At first, I made art because we needed money. But then I felt that I needed to keep our stories alive—our Inuit myths and legends that were told by our Elders, like Mialia Jaw. Those became the main source of my inspiration for the subjects of my art. But some of my drawings are also about everyday life up here in the North.

If you want to read more about Teevee, IAQ also published an interesting article in which five art professionals respond to her work.

Ningiukulu Teevee

Ningiukulu Teevee

As one of my wise friends commented, “How can you not like an artist who makes you smile?”  Both Ning Teevee – and Kenojuak Ashevak – do that.  In addition, we get to enjoy  glimpses of their culture, personalities and  lives through their intriguing works.

Neutralizer, Ningiukulu Teevee, 2016, Dorset Fine Arts image

Neutralizer, Ningiukulu Teevee, 2016, Dorset Fine Arts image

I count it a BIG bonus that some of their original prints are very reasonably priced, and accessible to many art lovers.  Check out this year’s Dorset Fine Arts print release which includes an etching by Ningiukulu Teevee.

Kenojuak Ashevak, Owl’s Bouquet, 2007

To wear – or not wear- Indigenous designs

To wear – or not to wear – indigenous design is a topic of discussion that keeps popping up in my social circles.  The clothing and jewellery are gorgeous, but is it cultural appropriation when non-indigenous people wear them?

Mary Simon is Canada’s newest Governor General.  At her recent inauguration she wore a dress and jacket designed and decorated by Victoria Okpik and Julie Grenier.   This brief article from the Inuit Art Foundation highlights the artists and their works.  (Have a look because you won’t want to miss the image of the outfit Victoria Okpik designed for the musical artist Elisapie.)

Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, image

Mary Simon is Canada's newest Governor General, image

Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, image

Mary Simon is indigenous – born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik.  It’s more than appropriate that she wears clothing created by indigenous artists.  I wonder, though,  whether it’s fitting for me, a first generation Canadian, to wear indigenous designs?

As I explore the question, it seems clear that we bear a responsibility as consumers / wearers to ensure that the work is authentic, not mass produced. Has the artist been compensated for their creations?  Has the artist been paid?

If you’re interested in reading more about the propriety of wearing indigenous designs, here’s a  HuffPost article by Haley Lewis and a Toronto Star interview with indigenous artist Killa Atencio.  You may also want to check out this Indigenous Arts Collective. Their tagline is We are artists FOR artists.

(Thanks to CARFAC for popularizing the question Has the artist been paid? and the Inuit Art Foundation  for advancing the work of indigenous artists.)


Where are you going post pandemic?

Let’s play a fun game to cheer us up during this covid winter.   Imagine that you, and most of the world,  are now vaccinated.  You are able to travel. (Yes.  Ahhh…..)   Which art museum / gallery will you visit first?  (Take a moment – or ten – to imagine and savour the possibilities.)

Serious contenders for my immediate attention are the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, British Columbia and the Remai Modern in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Both of these Canadian art museums opened in the last five years.  I haven’t visited them – yet.

Audain Art Museum, image

Audain Art Museum, image

Remai Modern, image

Remai Modern, image

Continuing on this train (caravan?!) of thought about ‘new-to-me’  Canadian art galleries, my choice is quickly decided.  Post pandemic, the first art museum I will visit is Qaumajuq,  a brand new, striking addition to the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, Manitoba.



Qaumajuq is an exciting collaboration between the Government of Nunavut  (northern Canada) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  In 2015, the Government of Nunavut entrusted its Fine Arts Collection of Inuit art to the WAG, which  provides care, storage, and exhibition of the art, along with  mentorship and educational programming.

The partnership makes the world’s largest collection (14,000+ artworks) of Inuit art accessible to many more people.  This week a significant sculpture, Tuniigusiia, was installed outside the building.  Goota Ashoona‘s marble sculpture was commissioned by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society.

The marble sculpture,Tuniigusiia, by Goota Ashoona, was commissioned by the Manitoba Teachers' Society, image

Tuniigusiia, Goota Ashoona, image

Inuit artist Goota Ashoona with her sculpture, Tuniigusiia

Goota Ashoona, Jocelyn Piirainen image

The Government of Nunavut has chosen a good home for its Inuit art collection.  The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a leader in the visual arts in Canada.  It opened in 1912; it was the first civic art gallery in Canada.  Before the realization of Qaumajuq, the WAG was renown for its extensive Inuit art collection that began with a sculpture purchase in 1956.  It was also the first public gallery in Canada to exhibit contemporary First Nations art.

I’ve enjoyed imagining this trip to the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  It’s brought back good memories of past visits to the WAG, and all the great art I’ve seen there.  We WILL be visiting art galleries and museums again.  Which one will you visit first?