• Year End Review

Notes from the Decade - 2019

Dec 31, 2019
by IAQ

Kablusiak was among five artists shortlisted for the prestigious 2019 Sobey Art Award. The shortlisted artists were each awarded $25,000 and were included in the Sobey Art Award exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Elisapie made the 2019 Polaris Music Prize short list for her album The Ballad of the Runaway Girl, a tribute record to her past both as a backup singer for a rock band, and as a young woman leaving home.

For the first time ever, Inuit artists represented Canada in the National pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale with the selection of the collective Isuma. In a bold statement on the art world and Inuit priorities about their land, Zacharias Kunuk of Isuma chose not to travel to Venice to present his work, and instead attended live via webcast from the floe edge of Iglulik, Nunavut.

Riit dropped her debut album Ataataga, an eight-song album of electro-pop music, on October 25th.

FXCKMR (aka MisterLee Cloutier-Ellsworth), the 21-year-old Iqaluit hip hop artist who raps about suicide, depression, and substance abuse, was one of the biggest highlights of the 2019 Nunavut Music Week. He has since made his debut in Toronto and launched his debut record, entitled 1997.

Ooloosie Saila, an emerging artist who has already gained a following among southern audiences, was the subject of a solo exhibition Horizons at Feheley Fine Arts. Saila’s work has been collected by the WAG and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The Migration (c. 1970) by Joe Talirunili broke world auction records for Inuit art, selling at the inaugural First Arts auction for $408,000.

Review-MIgloliorte_SealSkinNeckPillowMark Igloliorte Seal Skin Neck Pillow (2019) Courtesy the artist

Mark Igloliorte’s
Sealskin Neck Pillow was displayed in art galleries world-wide. Sealskin is illegal in most parts of the world, but by transforming it into a neck pillow, Igloliorte was able to ‘smuggle’ it across borders.

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (2019) which debuted at the 2019 Venice Biennale, also screened at the Toronto Biennial of Art. The inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art also featured the work of Inuit artists Nick Sikkuark, Qavavau Manumie, Napachie Pootoogook, and Isuma’s One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk.

Embassy of Imagination held Sinaaqpagiaqtuut/The Long-Cut: procession performance under the Bentway as part of the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art. The first half of the procession was held in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection opened Itee Pootoogook: Hymns to the Silence, a retrospective of over 80 drawings that commemorated the work of this trailblazing Inuk artist.

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