The Inuit Art Foundation is delighted to report that Alberta-based Inuvialuk artist Kablusiak has been named among the 25 artist selected for the 2019 Sobey Award longlist, Canada’s most prestigious award for young artists The honour comes on the heels of several career milestones for the artist over the past years, including a profile in the Winter 2017 issue and an interview in the Winter 2018 issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly. Kablusiak is the first Inuvialuk artist nominated for the prize, and is included as part of the Prairies & North catchment.
Born in Yellowknife and raised in Edmonton, Kablusiak uses art and humour as a coping mechanism to subtly address diaspora, and to openly address mental illness; the lighthearted nature of their practice extends gestures of empathy and solidarity.
In 2018, Kablusiak received the inaugural Primary Colours/Couleurs primaries Award after completing the Indigenous Curatorial Practicum at the Banff Centre in Banff, AB. In the summer of 2018, they travelled to Inuvik, NT, as part of the TD North South Artist Exchange. Their work has been included in the recent exhibitions You hold me, as I fumble to emulate your care at Truck Contemporary in Calgary AB, Among All These Tundras at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery in Montreal, QC and is currently on view in akunnirun kuupak at the Alberta Art Gallery in Edmonton, AB. Kablusiak is also a member of the inaugural curatorial team for the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit Art Centre, slated to open in 2020, and, alongside asinnajaq, co-edited the Spring 2019 issue of Canadian Art themed on SPACETIME.
The Sobey Art Award is Canada’s pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian art and was created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation. It is an annual prize given to an artist age 40 or under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. The five shortlisted artists, representing the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies & North and West Coast & Yukon, will be announced June 12, 2019 with the winner revealed on November 15, 2019 at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
The Inuit Art Foundation would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Kablusiak on this important achievement.