Pitseolak Ashoona
Inuit Drawings

Untitled, 1966 (CD-027-7254)
pencil on paper, 18.5" ×24"
Untitled, 1966 (CD-027-6033)
coloured pencil on paper, 20" × 26"
Untitled, 1966 (CD-027-6073)
coloured pencil on paper, 20" × 26"
Untitled, 1967 (CD-027-6098)
coloured pencil on paper, 20" × 26"
Untitled, 1975 (CD-027-7223)
ink on paper, 20" x 16"


Pitseolak Ashoona – Artist Biography

Kenojuak Ashevak
Photo credit: Norman Hallendy, 1968

Pitseolak Ashoona (female.; 1904-1983) was born on Nottingham Island in the Hudson Straights, while her family was en route from Sugluk (now Salluit) on the north coast of Arctic Quebec to the south coast of Baffin Island. She spent her childhood in several camps on the south Baffin coast. As a young woman, she married Ashoona and together they bore 17 children. Only six of these children lived with Pitseolak, while the others had either died in childhood or were adopted and raised by other Inuit families, according to tradition. Pitseolak raised Namoonie, Qaqaq, Kumwartok, Kiugak, Napachie and Ottochie. Her husband, Ashoona, died during a epidemic in the Nettling Lake area he was still in his prime, leaving Pitseolak to raise their young family on her own. Most of her children went on to become well-known Cape Dorset artists.

She settled permanently in Cape Dorset in the early 1960’s. Pitseolak was among the first in Cape Dorset to begin drawing, and the most prolific. She made close to 9,000 drawings during her 20 years in Cape Dorset. Her prints have appeared in every annual print collection since her work was first published in 1960. Her best and most authentic drawings were of “the old Eskimo ways”, a way of life deeply embedded in her memory. Pitseolak was been awarded several honours over the years, and her work has been the subject of several projects. In 1971 the National Film Board produced a film based on her book, “Pitseolak: Pictures out of my life”. In 1974, she was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and she received the Order of Canada in 1977. Pitseolak died in 1983 and is buried behind the Anglican Church in Cape Dorset. She fulfilled her promise to work on her drawings and prints until she was no longer able. Her vast legacy of orginal work now resides on long term loan at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where it is being photographed, documented and exhibited. - West Baffin Island Co-op, 1999.


Note: sold indicates the piece has been sold.

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 open at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario until January 21st, 2018. Afterwards, it will travel to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.

This exhibition was recently on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. (Photo credit: Kim Griffiths)

Rita Letendre

It is with profound sadness that Gallery Gevik announces the passing of our dear friend Rita Letendre, one of Canada’s most renowned, trailblazing artists. She passed away on November 20, 2021 after a long illness. She was 93 years old.