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.
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.
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.
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.