Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award shortlist exhibition arrives at WAG-Qaumajuq
Artwork by KAMA shortlisted artists gathered in stunning new group show: Anaanatta Unikkaangit (Our Mother’s Stories)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 19, 2023: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq and the Inuit Art Foundation (IAF) are thrilled to announce the five shortlisted artists for the 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award (KAMA). This announcement is celebrated with the opening of the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award Shortlist Exhibition Anaanatta Unikkaangit (Our Mother’s Stories), where visitors to WAG-Qaumajuq can see artworks from each of the shortlisted artists.
Anaanatta Unikkaangit (Our Mother’s Stories) honours the stories, the work, and the care of mothers and grandmothers—like Kenojuak Ashevak—that guide contemporary Inuit art. The artwork selected to represent each of the shortlisted artists in this exhibition not only demonstrates their excellence, but it also reveals the heart of their respective practices: anaanatta unikkaangit.
The shortlisted artists are: Billy Gauthier, Maureen Gruben, Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona, Kablusiak, and Ningiukulu Teevee. These five artists will also receive $5,000 in support of their artistic development and career growth. Watch this short video to hear directly from the artists.
Save the date for the 2023 KAMA award winner announcement September 22, 2023, presented at the opening of 2021 KAMA winner Tarralik Duffy’s solo show, Tarralik Duffy: Gasoline Rainbows.
About the KAMA Shortlist Artists:
- Billy Gauthier is a celebrated sculptor and environmental activist who grew up in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL and now lives in North West River, NL. In 2010, he had his first solo show at Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, BC, which sold out within an hour. Nine years later, Gauthier was celebrated with the 2019 solo exhibition, Saunituinnaulungitotluni | Beyond Bone, at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL.
- Maureen Gruben is an Inuvialuk artist raised in Tuktuuyaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktuk), Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, whose work sits at the intersection of installation, performance, textile and sculpture. She holds a BFA from the University of Victoria and has exhibited regularly across Canada and internationally. In 2019, Gruben was longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize and in 2021 for the Sobey Art Award.
- Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona is a multidisciplinary artist from Ottawa, ON, who works across media, including knitting, ceramics and prints. In 2022, Kabloona took part in an artist residency with the Art Gallery of Guelph in Ontario and worked with Google to create three Google Pixel wallpapers to celebrate World Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
- Kablusiak is an Inuvialuk, urban-based artist currently living in Calgary, AB, whose work pushes boundaries and celebrates individuality. They were shortlisted in 2019 and longlisted recently in 2023 for the Sobey Art Award. They were also shortlisted for the 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award and had two solo exhibitions in 2022: Party City (where you belong) at Norberg Hall and mitaaqtuaqtunga (no translation provided) at The Bows.
- Ningiukulu Teevee is a graphic artist and author from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, who is best known for her bright, modern reimagining of traditional stories featuring playful depictions of arctic animals and people. Her work has been in over 40 exhibitions spanning the globe and ten solo shows since 2006 and has been featured in every Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection since 2004.
- Anaanatta Unikkaangit (Our Mother’s Stories) honours the stories, the work, and the care of mothers and grandmothers—like Kenojuak Ashevak—that guides contemporary Inuit art. The artwork selected to represent each of the shortlisted artists in this exhibition not only demonstrates their excellence, but it also reveals the heart of their respective practices: anaanatta unikkaangit.
- The Inuit Art Foundation’s 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.
- KAMA follows a two-year cycle. Ten artists are longlisted, each receiving $2,500, mentorship, and promotion in a catalogue distributed worldwide with Inuit Art Quarterly.
- Five artists are shortlisted, each receiving $5,000 and their work showcased in an exhibition at WAG-Qaumajuq.
- The winner receives $20,000 and a residency the following year at WAG-Qaumajuq. The winner’s art is featured in a solo exhibition with a catalogue, and an artwork by the winning artist is acquired to the WAG-Qaumajuq collection.
- The winner of the 2021 KAMA award, Tarralik Duffy, will be completing a residency at WAG-Qaumajuq this summer, followed by her solo show Tarralik Duffy: Gasoline Rainbows.
“Brilliant, arresting, and in all ways compelling, the KAMA shortlist artists have transformed the Gallery space with their artwork. The mix of mediums, styles, and subject matter lends a startling depth to Anaanatta Unikkaangit, one that is underscored by the aesthetic and technical skill of the artists. We look forward to hosting one of these amazing artists in residence here at WAG-Qaumajuq, and to their eventual solo show!”
— Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq
“These five artists represent what is so exciting about contemporary Inuit art: though their practices are varied, they each have clear connections to their communities and they push forward what is possible for Inuit artists. I’m excited that so many people will be able to experience their work in person at WAG-Qaumajuq and that the award will allow each artist to advance their practice, reach new audiences and create new work.”
— Dr. Heather Igloliorte, President, Inuit Art Foundation
“The profile of these five artists on the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award shortlist and included in Anaanatta Unikkaangit gives us an incredible opportunity to experience Inuit art through their unique perspectives where creativity, culture and innovation intersect. We are delighted that with support from the RBC Foundation through RBC Emerging Artists, the IAF and WAG-Qaumajuq will be amplifying their work, elevating community conversations and inspiring contributions from more diverse voices in this space.”
— Kim Ulmer, Regional President, RBC
The Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award is generously supported by RBC Emerging Artists.
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Inuit Art Foundation
647.498.7717 x 101
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.
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.