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ASHEVAK, Kenojuak

Born
Baffin Island, 1927
Died
Cape Dorset, 2013
Biography synopsis
Kenojuak Ashevak’s imprint on the Canadian cultural landscape is indelible. Although best known for her drawing and printmaking, she was also gifted at sewing, sculpture, copperplate engraving and painting. She began her career as an artist after recovering from tuberculosis in Quebec City, where she learned to make dolls and do beadwork in a hospital crafts program. Her work caught the eye of James Houston, who taught printmaking to the Inuit after studying the technique in Japan, and was an instrumental figure in promoting Inuit art. Her first print, Rabbit Eating Seaweed, earned her widespread attention after it was published in the 1959 Cape Dorset print shop catalogue, where she was the only woman to become a member in the shop’s artist cooperative. Her art has traveled all over Canada and the world, in exhibitions, books, catalogues, and films. Three of Ashevak’s prints have circulated on Canadian stamps: Enchanted Owl in 1970; Return of the Sun in 1980; and The Owl in 1993. Her drawings feature animals, such as birds, drawn in vibrant colours with exaggerated features. Over her lifetime, Ashevak has garnered numerous achievements that honour her exuberant creative spirit. In 1967, she was honoured with the Order of Canada Medal of Service; In 1995, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards; in 2008, she was the first Inuit artist to win the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts; and in 2012, she was awarded the Order of Nunavut.
Media used
Drawing
Engraving
Painting
Printmaking
Sculpture
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Artexte Information Centre, QC - Documentation Centre
Hamilton Public Library, ON - Local History and Archives Department
London Public Library, ON
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, ON - Library and Archives
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, ON - Resource Centre
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
University of Calgary Library, AB
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Museum of Modern Art, NY
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
Aboriginal Artists in Canada, Including Pitseolak Ashoona, Henrik Lund, Tagaq, Jessie Oonark, Kenojuak Ashevak, Simon Tookoome, Helen Kalvak, Irene Avaalaaqiaq Tiktaalaaq, Simeonie Keenainak, Peter Pi USA: Hephaestus Books, 2011.
Art Canadien: Catalogue du Musée des Beaux-Arts Du Canada, Volume Deux (G-K) Ottawa: Musée des beaux-arts du Canada / National Gallery of Canada, 1994.
Cape Dorset Sculpture Halifax, NS: Saint Mary’s University, 1971.
Five Hundred Years of Graphic Art Oakville, ON: Centennial Gallery, 1974.
Kenojuak Lithographs. Montreal, QC: Theo Waddington, 1980.
The Sculpture of Kenojuak Ashevak & Joanassie Igiu, 1978-1981 Toronto: The Firm, 1988, 1988.
"A Tribute to Kenojuak Ashevak." Inuit Art Quarterly 19.1 (2004): 5.
"Acquisitions Principales Des Galeries Et Musées Canadiens / Principal Acquisitions of Canadian Museums and Galleries 1982." RACAR: Revue d'Art Canadienne / Canadian Art Review 10.2 (1 Jan. 1983).
"Adopted Son of Inuit Artist Kenojuak Ashevak Dies." CBC Canada News 19 Jan. 2009
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/adopted-son-of-inuit-artist-kenojuak-ashevak-dies-1.844488..
"Art." Beaver 85.5 (2005): 23-24.
"Forty Years of Arctic: The Journal of the Arctic Institute of North America." Arctic 40.4, (1 Dec. 1987).
"Inuit Designs Mark Turning of Millenium." Inuit Art Quarterly 14.3 (1999): 46.
"Inuk Artist Kenojuak Ashevak Dies at 85." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2013
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/inuk-artist-kenojuak-ashevak-dies-at-85-1.1413213.
"Inuk Artist Kenojuak Ashevak Passes On at 85." Indian Life 33.4 (2013).
"Kenojuak (Ashevak) Inuit Artist (1927-?)." firstnations.info ?
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"Kenojuak Ashevak Gets Posthumous Birthday Google Doodle." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) 2014
http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/kenojuak-ashevak-gets-posthumous-birthday-google-doodle-1.2786437.
"Kenojuak Ashevak Prints Feature in New Cape Dorset Collection." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) 2013
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/kenojuak-ashevak-prints-feature-in-new-cape-dorset-collection-1.2125320.
"Kenojuak Ashevak Receives Honorary Degree." Inuit Art Quarterly 6.3 (1991): 43.
"Kenojuak Ashevak." Spirit Wrestler Gallery 2013
http://www.spiritwrestler.com/catalog/index.php?artists_id=86.
"People: Kenojuak Ashevak Presented with 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award." Inuit Art Quarterly 10.2 (1995): 48.
"Raffle Money Donated to West Baffin Print Studios." Inuit Art Quarterly 18.4 (2003): 40.
"The Recipients." Performing Arts & Entertainment in Canada 29.2 (1995): 26.
Art Gallery of Ontario. Kenojuak; Salia; Pitaloosie, Lucy; Zepp, Norman Flights of Fancy Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1990.
Austen, Ian. "Kenojuak Ashevak, Artist from the Canadian Arctic, Dies at 85." Folkstreams 2013
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Ayre, John. "The Art that Came in from the Cold." Beaver 79.1 (1999): 8-15.
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Berlo, Janet. "The Power of the Pencil." Inuit Art Quarterly 5.1 (1990): 16-19, 22, 24, 26.
Birchard, Karen. "Barbie of the North." Chronicle of Higher Education 50.49 (2004).
Blodgett, Jean. Grasp Tight the Old Ways: Selections From the Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1983.
Blodgett, Jean. Karoo Ashevak Winnipeg, MN: The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1977.
Blodgett, Jean. Kenojuak. Toronto: Firefly Books, 1985.
Blodgett, Jean. Kenojuak: A Retrospective Exhibition Kleinburg, ON: McMichael Collection of Canadian Art, 1986.
Blodgett, Jean. Kenojuak: Graphic Masterworks of the Inuit. (Limited Edition). Toronto: Mintmark Press, 1981.
Blodgett, Jean and Susan Gustavison. Strange Scenes: Early Cape Dorset Drawings. Kleinburg, Ontario: McMichael Canadian Collection, 1993.
Bouchard, Serge, Frederic Back, et al.. Confessions Animales: Bestiaire II. Montreal, QC: Éditions du passage, 2008.
Boutilier, Alicia, and Tobi Bruce. The Artist Herself: Self-Portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists/ L'Artiste Elle-même: Autoportraits De Femmes Artistes Au Canada Kingston; Hamilton: Agnes Etherington Art Centre; Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2015.
Brand, Peg Zeglin. "The Role of Luck in Originality and Creativity." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73.1 (2015): 31-55.
Broder, Patricia Janis. Arctic Imagery: Contemporary Inuit Drawings from a Private New Jersey Collection Montclair, NJ: Montclair Art Museum, 1992.
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Chiarmonte, Paula L. "Women Artists: A Resource and Research Guide." Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 1.5 (October 1 1982).
Cook, Cynthia. "'Drawing is Totally the Reverse of the Process of Carving': Kenojuak Talks about Art-Making." Inuit Art Quarterly 4.2 (1989): 23-29.
Daly, Tom, Dorothy Eber, John Feeney, Zina Heczko, Wolf Koen. In Celebration of Nunavut Inuit Arts, Volume 1 Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 1999.
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Driscoll-Engelstad, Bernadette. Uumajut - Animal Imagery in Inuit Art. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1985.
Duval, Paul. A Heritage of Canadian Art: The McMichael Collection. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1979.
Eiserman, Jennifer. "They can Still Act Chinese and be Canadian at the Same Time: Reflections on Multiculturalism and the Alberta Art Curriculum." Canadian Review of Art Education: Research & Issues 36.1 (2009): 67-82.
Enright, Robert. "A Sweeping Retrospective." Canadian Geographic 121.2 (2001): 84-85.
Evans, Blythe. "Kenojuak Ashevak: A Celebrity Guest on an Arctic Adventure." First Nations Free Press 10.11 (2003): 11,15.
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Feeney, John, edited by May, Derek; Heczcko, Bozenna. Art of the Inuit National Film Board of Canada, 16, 1974.
Feeney, John, Francois Seguillon, et al.. Eskimo Artist Kenojuak. New York: Contemporary Films, 1963.
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Gascon, France and Pascale Champagne. The School of Women: 50 Canadian Artists at the Museum. Joliette, Québec: Musée d'art de Joliette, 2003.
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Grams, Nellie. "Looking Up to Inuit Women Artists." Herizons 9.1 (1995).
Grande, John K. "Kenjuak: Prints (Exhibition)." Vie Des Arts 47.188 (2002).
Grande, John K., Joceylne Bélanger Aird, and Paul Bellard. Échanges Art/Art Exchanges, 1989-1995 Val David QC: Atelier de l'Ile, 1995.
Grussani, Linda. Flights of Fantasy: Kenojuak and Birds: Carleton University Art Gallery." Inuit Art Quarterly 16.2(2001): 36-38.
Gustavison, Susan. Arctic Expressions: Inuit Art and the Canadian Eskimo Arts Council, 1961-1989. Kleinburg, Ontario: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1994.
Hammadi, Nadia and Terry O'Grady. The Governor General's Awards in the Visual and Media Arts Ottawa: Conseil des arts du Canada, 2008.
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Hessel, Ingo; Dyck, Sandra. Sanattiaqsimajut: Inuit Art from the Carleton University Art Gallery Collection Ottawa: Carleton University Art Gallery, 2009.
Holmes, Willard, William Switzer, and Patrick Painter. Vancouver Collects Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1992.
Houpt, Simon. "Northern Lights, Southern Exposure: Exhibits at Two Prominent American Museums are Showcasing: Both Old Masters and Contemporary Stars of Native Canadian Art." Globe & Mail (Toronto) 4 Jan. 2005.
Houston, James. "Northern Light: KENOJUAK ASHEVAK." Time Canada 162.22 (1 Dec. 2003).
Hunchuck, S. Holyck et al. Patiently I Sing: Selections from the Tyler/Brooks Collection of Inuit Art. Ottawa: Carleton University Art Gallery, 1994.
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Jackson, Marion E. & Judith Nasby. Contemporary Inuit Drawings. Guelph, Ontario: MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, 1987.
Jimenez, Marina. "'Art is My Job And My Love': She's a Celebrity: Guest on Board an Arctic Cruise, but Nothing The Inuit Artist does Broadcasts Her Profession. When the Ship Pulls into Cape Dorset, however, it's as if Globe & Mail (Toronto) 20 Oct. 2003.
Johnson, Mark M. "Inuit Art." Arts & Activities 115.1 (1994): 5-8.
Katz, Jane B. This Song Remembers: Self-Portraits of Native Americans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1980.
Kelly, Patty A. "Narrative and Identity." Canadian Literature 195 (2007): 171-173.
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Lumsden, Ian G. Inuit Print Collection/Collection d'Estampes Inuit Fredericton: Beaverbrook Art Gallery, 1981.
MacDonald, Colin S.. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009
http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/bd-dl/aac-aic-eng.jsp?emu=en.aich:/Proxapp/ws/aich/user/wwwe/SearchForm
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