Kenojuak Ashevak: Life and Legacy

16 July 2021 TO 5 September 2021


Art Gallery of Sudbury | Galerie d'art de Sudbury

251 rue John Street
Sudbury, Ontario
P3E 1P9

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Kenojuak Ashevak


Louisa Parr (Kenojuak Cultural Centre) and William Huffman (West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative).

With a career spanning more than five decades, master Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak (1927 – 2013) was part of a pioneering generation of Arctic creators from Kinngait (Cape Dorset) in Nunavut. Kenojuak Ashevak built an illustrious international career as one of Canada’s preeminent Inuit artists and cultural icons. Since beginning to experiment with drawing in the 1950s, she produced a vast body of work, mainly utilizing graphite, coloured pencils and felt-tip pens on paper. 

Kenojuak Ashevak approached her work with a strong creative intuition. Her drawings would emerge almost unconsciously – a process she would describe as her hand leading her mind. Her archetypal drawings capture images of birds, fish, bears and mystical figures. The artist’s works have been featured in nearly every Cape Dorset Annual Print Release since 1959. Her images have also been shown throughout Canada, the United States and abroad, and are included in numerous public and private collections. 

This exhibition comprises never-before-exhibited drawings from the archives of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, which have inspired some of Kenojuak’s most emblematic prints in stonecut, lithography and etching. 

Untitled (Six-Part Harmony), 2011, ink and colored pencil. Dorset Fine Arts / West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative.

Kenojuak Ashevak: Life and Legacy is curated by Louisa Parr (Kenojuak Cultural Centre) and William Huffman (West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative). This project was the inaugural exhibition at the Kenojuak Cultural Centre in Kinngait and is the first exhibition produced in the Canadian Arctic, for circulation nationally. 

Exhibition organizers and the Art Gallery of Sudbury | Galerie d’art de Sudbury acknowledge the generous contribution of lead supporter Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage. Additional support from the Government of Nunavut through its Department of Culture and Heritage has made possible this national touring exhibition and associated publication.

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