Inuit Art Foundation Announces Tarralik Duffy as Winner of 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award
New Expansion of Award in partnership with Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq
Toronto, Ontario – September 8, 2021: The Inuit Art Foundation (IAF) is thrilled to announce that multimedia Inuk artist Tarralik Duffy is the recipient of the 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award. Duffy is the recipient of a cash prize of $10,000.
The biennial award was presented to Duffy in a virtual ceremony on September 8, 2021 hosted by the IAF’s Board President, Dr. Heather Igloliorte. Asenath Kannutaq opened the ceremony, which also featured a performance by Juno award winning musicians Silla and Rise. Duffy received the award from the inaugural winner, performance artist Laakkulul Williamson Bathory.
The award ceremony also featured an exciting announcement by Dr. Stephen Borys, the Director & CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq (WAG-Qaumajuq), who has partnered with the IAF to expand the benefits of the award and support the future of contemporary Inuit art. Beginning with Duffy, WAG-Qaumajuq will be offering winners of the award a solo exhibition, exhibition catalogue and residency, as well as acquiring one of the artist’s works into their permanent collection. Duffy’s solo exhibition is slated to open at Qaumajuq in Fall 2023, when the next Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award winner will be announced.
About the Winner:
Tarralik Duffy is an Inuk artist, writer and designer from Salliq (Coral Harbour), NU and currently based in Saskatoon, SK. From jewelry and apparel to graphic works, Duffy’s creative work shares distinctly Inuit experiences, often infused with a dose of both humour and pop culture. Her work was featured on the cover of the Inuit Art Quarterly’s Winter 2018 issue, Exchange, and her work will be exhibited in an upcoming solo show of new drawings at the Art Gallery of Guelph (2021), group show Atautchikun | wȃhkôtamowin at Remai Modern (Saskatoon 2021), a show of new graphic works at SAW Gallery (Ottawa 2022), and the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award show at WAG-Qaumajuq (2023).
About the Award:
The Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award honours the late Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, ON, RCA (1927-2013) and her tremendous impact on Inuit artists by supporting a mid-career artist with $10,000. Introduced this year, a shortlist of three additional artists, which showcases the incredible, diverse talent of contemporary Inuit artists, has each been awarded $3,000. The 2021 shortlisted artists are Eldred Allen, Kablusiak, and Couzyn van Heuvelen.
Partnership with the Winnipeg Art Gallery:
As part of WAG-Qaumajuq’s commitment to reconciliation and supporting the future of Inuit artistic practice, the Gallery has partnered with the IAF to provide an expanded platform for contemporary Inuit artists by extending the benefits of the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award. Beginning this year, each winner of the award will receive a solo exhibition in Qaumajuq, a companion exhibition catalogue, a residency and a work acquired into the institution’s permanent collection. The announcement of this partnership is the latest in the Inuit art centre’s inaugural year celebrations, Qaumajuq365.
- The Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award was established in 2014 to honour the legacy of the late Kenojuak Ashevak and celebrate a mid-career Inuk artist. The award is disbursed biennially and is entirely funded by donors. The award’s inaugural winner was Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory in 2018.
- This year’s award was originally slated to be released in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19, which resulted in the award’s expansion to include a shortlist of three artists this year. Shortlisted artists receive $3,000 each, while the winner receives $10,000 towards their practice.
- Applications to the award are reviewed by an external all-Inuit jury composed of performance artist and inaugural Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial award winner Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, curator Jocelyn Piirainen and filmmaker and writer Ossie Michelin.
- Qaumajuq, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s newly opened Inuit art centre, is home to the world’s largest public collection of Inuit art.
Learn more about the award here
“Over a decade ago I remember being so moved by Kenojuak’s work I was brought to tears. Her art is so alive, so powerful, I wanted to touch what she touched. To win this award in her name means the world to me and I hope I am able to honour her in the work I do.”
– Tarralik Duffy, Artist
“My appreciation for Tarralik Duffy’s work is intrinsically tied to my own Inuit identity. Duffy exemplifies this generation of Inuit artists in her penchant for “Inukizing” everyday objects such as Pepsi cans, canned meat, and Coleman stoves. All of these modern-day conveniences have been emblematic of our generation’s Inuit culture. Embracing this and revealing the humour in it, endears her to peers firstly, and then the broader Inuit art world. Making Inuit art for other Inuit is one way Tarralik Duffy is championing self-determination through artmaking.”
– Heather Campbell, Strategic Initiatives Director, Inuit Art Foundation
“I am so thrilled that Tarralik Duffy has won the 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award and that she will have so many opportunities to create and connect to audiences at the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq. I look forward to seeing what incredible work she creates. Thank you very much to this year’s applicants and jury, the donors who make this award possible and WAG-Qaumajuq for supporting contemporary Inuit art through this partnership.”
– Alysa Procida, Executive Director, Inuit Art Foundation
“We are so pleased to partner with the Inuit Art Foundation on supporting contemporary Inuit artistic practice through the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award. With the opening of Qaumajuq, the WAG has renewed its longstanding commitment to supporting Inuit artists working across media. and this partnership is an exciting way to contribute to the future development of Inuit art. We are looking forward to showcasing the incredible talent of Inuit artists, and honouring the incomparable legacy of Kenojuak Ashevak, for years to come. Congratulations to Tarralik Duffy and all the short-listed artists!”
– Stephen Borys, WAG-Qaumajuq Director & CEO
From the Jury:
“It’s wonderful to see an incredibly talented, multidisciplinary artist win this year’s award! Tarralik’s work is clever, thought-provoking, and reflects her close ties to the community of Salliq. I look forward to seeing what she creates next!”
– Jocelyn Piirainen, Curator and Writer
“There is a secret recipe for those who not only participate, but also create in ways that make Inuit wonder. I don’t dare dabble with the recipe as it belongs to these artists themselves, but I suspect it has something to do with intergenerational love, the ability to look both from within and outside our culture, the need for both solitude and connection and a deep sense of intelligent humour. This is Tarralik. Long may she awe us.”
– Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Inaugural Winner and 2021 Jury Member
“I am so thrilled that Tarralik Duffy was selected as the winner of the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award! Their work no matter the medium is always smart, funny, and has something to say. I feel that the Inuit world is reflected through her writing and her prints. Her work boldly proclaims, “I am Inuk, I am here!” And I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!”
– Ossie Michelin, Journalist
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Executive Director, Inuit Art Foundation
(647) 498-7717 x 101
Amy Rebecca Harrison
Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq
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. To learn more, visit inuitartfoundation.org.
About the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (the WAG) 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