Announcing Longlist Recipients of the 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award
Artists receive a cash prize and feature in Spring issue of Inuit Art Quarterly
Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 23, 2023: The Inuit Art Foundation (IAF) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq are thrilled to announce the ten artists longlisted for the 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award (KAMA). The only award of its kind for Inuit artists, KAMA supports Inuit artists to achieve global recognition and access to critical platforms to make and display their work.
This year marks a momentous expansion of KAMA, thanks to the significant investment of RBC Emerging Artists, including the introduction of the longlist. This longlist of ten artists will receive:
- A cash prize of $2,500 each; and
- A feature in a dedicated catalogue to be distributed with the spring 2023 issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly.
Artists on the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award longlist are:
Manasie Akpaliapik, a sculptor from Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay), NU, whose work is recognized for its stylistic explorations of Inuit legends as well as contemporary social issues.
Deantha Edmunds, best known as “Canada’s first Inuk classical singer,” from Corner Brook, NL, whose work pays homage to the unique legacy of Western music in coastal Labrador Inuit communities.
Billy Gauthier, a sculptor and environmental activist from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL, whose work is renowned for its intricate detail and creativity.
Glenn Gear, an Indigiqueer animator, filmmaker, and visual artist from Newfoundland whose work is shaped by researching and reclaiming Inuit and Indigenous ways of knowing.
Maureen Gruben, an Inuvialuk multidisciplinary artist raised in Tuktuuyaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktuk), NT, whose works illustrate links between communities, the Land, and environmental and cultural concerns.
Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloon, a multidisciplinary artist from Ottawa, ON, whose work reimagines Inuit stories through feminist lenses.
Gloria Inugaq Putumiraqtuq, a textile artist from Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU, whose works act as a visual history of Inuit land, traditions, resilience, and cultural stories.
Kablusiak, an Inuvialuk, urban-based multidisciplinary artist, whose work pushes boundaries and celebrates individuality.
Ningiukulu Teevee, a graphic artist and author from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, whose colourful works blend traditional Inuit stories with contemporary themes.
Couzyn van Heuvelen, a sculptor and installation artist from Iqaluit, NU, whose work centres on themes of Inuit culture and identity.
A shortlist of 5 artists, who will each receive $5,000 and be included in a dedicated exhibition at WAG-Qaumajuq, will be announced on May 19.
The winner, who will receive $20,000, a solo exhibition at WAG-Qaumajuq in 2025, a residency, catalogue and acquisition into the Gallery’s permanent collection, will be announced on September 29 at a celebration at WAG-Qaumajuq.
About the Award
The Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award (KAMA) is a biennial prize that supports the practice of an Inuk artist by facilitating opportunities for artistic development and career growth. Established in 2014 by generous members of the Inuit art community, this award honours the life and work of the late Kenojuak Ashevak, and her unparalleled contributions to the cultural life and arts of Inuit Nunangat and beyond.
Thanks to a partnership with WAG-Qaumajuq, announced in 2021, the winner now receives opportunities for research, creation and exhibition at the Gallery. Beginning in 2023, thanks to the generous support of RBC Emerging Artists, the award now includes additional opportunities for ten artists to expand their practice.
“I am thrilled to see such diverse talent recognized in this year’s longlist, featuring artists across so many disciplines, chosen by an all-Inuit jury. This longlist clearly demonstrates the vitality of contemporary Inuit artistic practice and I would like to congratulate each of the artists on this well-deserved recognition. I would also like to thank everyone whose generous support made this award possible. Nakkumek also to RBC for their exceptional investment this year and to WAG-Qaumajuq for their partnership in creating such meaningful opportunities for Inuit artists.”
– Dr. Heather Igloliorte, President, IAF
“I am so pleased that the Inuit Art Foundation was able to expand the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award yet again this year, and we are now able to highlight not just four, but ten Inuit artists! I look forward to following the trajectory of their careers after this well-deserved recognition.”
– Heather Campbell, Strategic Initiatives Director, IAF
“The expansion of the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award is an affirmation of the amazing work being done by contemporary Inuit artists, something we’re excited to continue to highlight at WAG-Qaumajuq through our partnership with IAF and RBC. To the longlisted nominees – congratulations! We can’t wait to see where you go from here.”
– Stephen D. Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq
“RBC is delighted to help grow the profile and reach of Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award recipients with support from RBC Emerging Artists. Through creative expression, each artist takes us on a unique journey into Inuit life and culture through bold, creative, and vibrant forms. We are honoured to join in creating more spaces for Inuit voices and artistry throughout the world.”
– Kim Ulmer, Regional President, RBC
- An all-Inuit jury determined the longlist selection of artists.
- New this year, the longlist receives a cash prize of $2,500 each.
- The catalogue featuring works by these artists will be distributed along with the Spring Issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly on March 15th, 2023.
- The 2023 KAMA shortlist will be announced May 19 and winner September 29.
- An exhibition of the shortlisted artists will open at WAG-Qaumajuq on May 19, 2023.
- To learn more about the award, please visit here. To support KAMA, please visit here.
About the Inuit Art Foundation
Established in 1987, the Inuit Art Foundation provides support to Canada’s Inuit arts communities and is the sole national body mandated to promote Inuit artists and art within Canada and internationally. The IAF is deeply invested in the rich history and tradition of Canada’s Inuit artistic expressions while actively contributing to the growth and development of these unique and diverse contemporary art practices. The IAF undertakes advocacy on behalf of Inuit artists and realizes a number of strategies aimed at enhancing the appreciation and interpretation of Inuit art. The Inuit Art Foundation is supported by the private sector along with contributions from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and other public agencies. A volunteer, Inuit artist majority Board of Directors oversees the IAF.
For more information, please contact Alysa Procida at (647) 498-7717 x 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq
(WAG)-Qaumajuq is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. Opened in March 2021, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG on all levels, celebrating the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. The new WAG-Qaumajuq cultural campus is now one of the largest art museums in Canada.
To learn more visit wag.ca, or contact Hanna Waswa at (204) 789-1295 or email@example.com.
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