Kenojuak Ashevak
Inuit Drawings

CD-040-2051-abd-88/89-03
CD-040-2051-abd-88/89-03
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"
CD-040-2093-abd-89/90-16/44
CD-040-2093-abd-89/90-16/44
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"
CD-040-2175-abd-88/89-03
CD-040-2175-abd-88/89-03
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"
Ice Fishing
Ice Fishing, 1988
CD-040-2067-abd-88/89-05/14/39/90/120
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"
Three Red Gulls in Landscapesold
Three Red Gulls in Landscape, 1988
CD-040-2037-abd-88/89-03
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"
Smell of the Catch
Smell of the Catch, 1989
CD-040-2099-abd-89/90-06/16/17/36
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"
Woman Bird Transformationsold
Woman Bird Transformation, 1988
CD-040-2044-abd-88/89-12/40/2/1214
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"
Bird in Enchanted Landscapesold
Bird in Enchanted Landscape, 1997
CD-040-2678-abd-97/98-03/55/142
coloured pentel pen and pencil, 20" × 26"

Slideshow

Kenojuak Ashevak – Artist Biography

Kenojuak Ashevak
Photo credit: Ansgar Walk

Kenojuak Ashevak, CC (female.; b: October 3, 1927) is regarded as one of the most notable pioneers of modern Inuit art. Her grandson Mathewsie Ashevak is an Inuit art sculpture carver.


Kenojuak Ashevak is one of Canada's most acclaimed graphic artists. Her long list of achievements and honours is surpassed only by her stamina and good humour.

Born on south Baffin Island at a camp area known as Ikirisaq, Kenojuak grew up traveling from camp to camp on south Baffin and in Arctic Quebec (Nunavik). As a young woman, she was married to Johnniebo and lived with him in various camps including Keakto, a scenic area seven miles from Cape Dorset. While still living at Keakto in the late 1950's, both Kenojuak and Johnniebo first experimented with carving and drawing. They moved to Cape Dorset in 1966 in order for their children to attend school, and continued to work closely together until Johnniebo's death.

Kenojuak's drawings were immediately captivating, and she has been represented in almost every annual print collection since 1959. Her work has also been included in numerous special projects and commissions. In 1961 she was the subject of a film produced by the National Film Board about her traditional life and art. The film is still shown today, and was instrumental in introducing her to the world beyond Cape Dorset. In 1970 her print, Enchanted Owl (1960) was reproduced on a stamp commemorating the centennial of the Northwest Territories, and again in 1993 Canada Post selected her drawing entitled "The Owl" to be reproduced on their .86 cent stamp.

Special commissions include the World Wildlife Print Portfolio released in 1978. In the same year, the Commonwealth Print Portfolio featured one of her works. Her art and life were the focus of the limited edition book entitled "Graphic Arts of the Inuit: Kenojuak", published in 1981. In 1988, Via Rail Canada commissioned a large mural from Kenojuak for their Club Car series, which featured some of Canada's most highly respected artists. Kenojuak's print Nunavut Qajanatuk (Our Beautiful Land) was commissioned by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to commemorate the signing of the Inuit Land Claim Agreement in Principle, in April 1990. To commemorate the signing of the Final Agreement early in 1994, Kenojuak conceived and hand-coloured a large and exclusive lithograph entitled Nunavut.

April 1st, 1999 marked the official inception of the new Territory of Nunavut in Canada's Arctic. To commemorate this historic event, Dorset Fine Arts released a special edition of 99 prints by Kenojuak – a large diptych entitled Siilavut, Nunavut (Our Environment, Our Land).

Kenojuak has received many special honours over the years. She is now a Companion in the Order of Canada, which she originally received in 1967. In 1992, she was awarded Honourary Degrees from both Queen's University and the University of Toronto. In 1996 she received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards Ceremony in Vancouver. In the spring of 2001, Kenojuak was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame, and traveled with her daughter, Silaqi, to attend the ceremonies in Toronto. She is the first Inuit artist to be so honoured, and joins many other famous and accomplished Canadians.

Kenojuak has traveled all over the world as an ambassador for Inuit art. In 1969, she and Johnniebo traveled to Ottawa to collaborate on a mural which hung in the Canadian Pavilion at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. In 1980, she traveled to Rotterdam, Holland to be present at The Inuit Print exhibition which was opened by the Queen of the Netherlands. In 1991, she traveled to Soeul, South Korea to attend the opening of an exhibition of prints and sculpture, and in 1994, she was invited to open the exhibition Arctic Spirit: 35 Years of Canadian Inuit Art at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington. She also traveled to Ottawa in the fall of 1994 for the opening of Isumavut: The Artistic Expression of Nine Cape Dorset Women. In 2004, she was off to Germany to take part in cultural festivities celebrating the territory of Nunavut, and her contribution to Inuit graphic art. Her major stained glass commission was installed in the fall of 2004 at the John Bell Chapel at Appleby College just west of Toronto.

In the fall of 2007 Kenojuak traveled to Toronto to attend the launch of Cape Dorset Prints: A Retrospective – a major publication celebrating fifty years of printmaking at the Kinngait Studios. Last year, she added to her list of honours the Governor General's Award for excellence in the visual arts. Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts, she traveled to Ottawa in March 2008 with her daughter, Silaqi, to attend the exhibition at the National Gallery and events at the residence of the Governor General.

Kenojuak is now 83 and the senior member of the Cape Dorset stable of graphic artists. Much loved and well respected, Kenojuak is represented by four images in the 2010 print collection, including three particularly expressive and sensuous etchings that employ the sugar lift technique. Her stylistic range, willingness to collaborate and her commitment to her calling have ensured her place as Canada's most celebrated Inuit artist.

Dorset Fine Arts (reproduced with permission)

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.


She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. This retrospective of his artwork is on display from 25 November 2016 to 17 April 2017.

(Photo credit: Kim Griffiths) Click here for more details.