• Year End Review

Notes from the Decade - 2018

Dec 30, 2019
by IAQ

At the opening of her solo exhibition, Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds it was announced that Shuvinai Ashoona was the first Inuk recipient of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize. The $50,000 prize, awarded to mid-career artists, will be complimented by an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Artist Couzyn van Heuvelen was longlisted for 2018 Sobey Art Award in the category Prairies & the North.

Tanya Tagaq’s debut novel Split Tooth was released and subsequently longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for Amazon First Novel Award.

Indigenous Fashion Week was founded in 2018, and the first edition featured runway presentations of clothing by Victoria Kakuktinniq, Hinaani Designs and Nuuk Couture. The marketplace featured Erica Lugt, Inuk 360, Maria Panínguak’ Kjærulff and Martha Kyak

The major museum exhibition Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak curated by Koomuatuk CurleyTaqralik PartridgeJocelyn PiirainenLaakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Georgiana Uhlyarik and Anna Hudson opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario in June. 

The exhibition raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015) showcased the work of many contemporary Indigenous artists. Onsite Gallery’s exhibition included works by 13 Inuit artists including Jimmy Iqaluq, Piona Keyuakjuk, Myra Kukiiyaut, Qavavau Manumie, Ohotaq Mikkigak, Barry Pottle, Pitaloosie Saila and more.

The Kenojuak Cultural Centre opened in Kinngait (Cape Dorset). Following a multi-year fundraising campaign, the print studio and exhibition space opened its doors.

Philip and Kathy Power donated a significant collection of Inuit art to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The donation also included a $2 million endowment to build a program that aims to position the museum as a national leader in the curation, exhibition and understanding of Inuit art.


Kinngait’s Embassy of Imagination collaborated with Janice Qimirpik, Moe Kelly, and PA System on Future Snowmachines in Kinngait (Colossus), which was installed under the Bentway in Toronto. In the piece, the artists imagined and sculpted snowmobiles from homemade playdough. The playdough representations were then scanned, scaled and constructed into larger than life-size sculptures.

The inauguaral Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award was presented to Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Presented by the Inuit Art Foundation, the $10,000 award helped Williamson Bathory to participate in a residency. 

In 2018 Dr. Heather Igloliorte was awarded a $2,499,774 grant from the Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The grant will fund Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/ Pijariuqsarniq Project, which seeks to train and create opportunities for Inuit to work in the field of arts and culture.

The Enchanted Owl (1960) by Kenojuak Ashevak sold for $216,000 at an auction held by Waddington’s in November 2018. The sale broke records for the highest amount paid for a print at public auction in Canada.

Norma Dunning published the short story collection Annie Muktuk and Other Stories. The collection was nominated for numerous awards, including the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Prize, and received the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which honours the best debut short fiction collection in Canada.

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