Saimaiyu Akesuk Partners with Canada Goose for Pop-up Store in Miami
Saimaiyu Akesuk, from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, has partnered with Canada Goose to create three limited-edition prints that will be sold exclusively at the fashion retailer's pop-up store in Miami this month. Akesuk, who works in drawing and printmaking, has titled the three works Ijirait, Nanuk and Nirliit, which are inspired by her home and surroundings in the Canadian Arctic. The Canada Goose art collection is featured in international retail locations and includes over 500 works—paintings, illustrations, sculptures and more—in over 60 stores. Among these are many works by Inuit artists including Ningiukulu Teevee, Niap and Couzyn van Heuvelen.
Quinn Christopherson, Pattie Gonia and Yo-Yo Ma Release Music Video
Quinn Christopherson, an Indigenous Alaskan singer-songwriter of Iñupiaq and Ahtna descent, alongside drag artist Pattie Gonia and famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma have released a music video for their new song “Won’t Give Up.” Originally meant as a requiem for a melting glacier in Alaska, it evolved into a song that aims to counteract feelings of despair when it comes to tackling global warming. The three artists travelled to Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park to shoot the music video and hope it will become an anthem for the climate change movement, though its broad lyrics make it applicable to a range of social movements.
Beatrice Deer Releases New Children’s Album
On November 20, 2023, Beatrice Deer released her seventh album Little Songs, in partnership with Esuma. Little Songs is a children’s album that features 15 traditional Inuktitut songs, some that Deer grew up with and some that she learned from Elders. “I wanted to do the children’s album because I want to help conserve our traditional songs that our Elders are holding that have passed down from generation to generation,” said Deer. The album launch was hosted in Salluit, Nunavik, QC, at a local elementary school. Born in Quaqtaq, Nunavik, QC and currently based in Montreal, QC, Deer has released six studio albums to date that are known for their deeply personal lyrics and blend of indie rock and modern folk with traditional Inuit stories and throat singing. Little Songs is available through all major music streaming platforms.
Exhibitions Featuring Circumpolar Indigenous Artists Win GOG Awards
Two recent exhibitions that feature the work of circumpolar Indigenous artists have won awards from Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries (GOG). Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity (2022), which featured work by artists Tanya Lukin Linklater, Couzyn van Heuvelen, Outi Pieski, Sonya Kelliher-Combs and Pia Arke (1958–2007) among others, won the Exhibition of the Year Budget Over $50,000. Curated by Dr. Gerald McMaster, Nina Vincent and Noor Alé, this exhibition focused on the ways Indigenous contemporary artists approach issues of climate change, globalized Indigeneity and contact zones in and about the Arctic and the Amazon. The Counter/Self, curated by Mona Filip, won the Exhibition of the Year Budget under $20,000 Thematic and included Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory’s photographic work White Liar and the Known Shore: Frobisher and the Queen (2021), made in collaboration with Jamie Griffiths.
Notable Inuit Artwork Sales at First Arts and Waddington’s Auctions
On December 4, 2023, First Arts held its last major Inuit & First Nations art auction of the year. A big highlight was Joe Talirunili’s (1906–1976) sculpture Migration Boat with Owls and Dog (c. 1966-67) which sold for $408,000—tying the record for the highest amount an Inuit sculpture has sold for at auction. A number of lots saw high prices, including Kenojuak Ashevak’s (1927–2013) drawing Pyramid of Owls (c. 2003-04) which sold for $20,400, nearly doubling its estimate. The Waddington’s Inuit and First Nations Art auction, which ran from November 25–30, similarly saw some high numbers. Henry Evaluardjuk’s (1923–2007) sculpture Striding Caribou (1978) went well over asking, and a rare piece by Karoo Ashevak (1940–1974) sold for $34,350.