2013 featured several watershed moments in Inuit art, including landmark exhibitions and an
Inuktitut-language video that broke the internet.
The National Gallery of Canada hosted the largest-ever survey of Indigenous art from May to September of 2013 with Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art. Artists engaged with concepts of self-representation to question colonial narratives, present parallel histories, and put forward personal responses to the impact of social and cultural trauma. Among hundreds of artists across the world, Inuit artists such as Annie Pootoogook and Tim Pitsiulak shone.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery turned 100 in 2013, and celebrated its centennial with a major exhibition of Inuit art. Creation & Transformation: Defining Moments in Inuit Art featured over 115 works that told the story of Inuit art’s evolution over a span of six decades. The exhibit was accompanied by a 256-page hardcover book and curated by Darlene Howard Wight.
The Carleton University Art Gallery exhibited Dorset Seen, which focused on the drawings and graphic artists of Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. The exhibition looked at how twenty Kinngait artists, past and present, have represented their lives and community in art. Rather than focus on Kinngait’s legendary printmaking, curator Sandra Dyck chose 48 drawings and 22 sculptures to depict the famous community.
After posting a video of herself singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in Inuktitut, Kelly Fraser became a viral sensation and started began travelling across Canada to perform.
2013 was the twentieth anniversary of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, and monuments were unveiled across the province. Paul Malliki of Naujaat (Repulse Bay), Looty Pijamini of Ausuittuq (Grise Fiord) and Inuk Charlie of Talurjuaq (Taloyoak) produced a monumental work in honour of the anniversary following the Land Claims negotiations, which is still on display today in downtown Iqaluit.
The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a 50-cent gold coin featuring an image by carver Joannassie Nowkawalk of Inukjuak, Nunavik, QC. The coin features Nowkawalk’s carving Owl Shaman Holding Goose, and was commissioned in honour of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s 100-year anniversary.
Drawings by elder artist Papiara Tukiki were the subject of a solo exhibition at Feheley Fine Arts. Drawings by Papiara Tukiki showed the unique perspective of the artist who turned to drawing late in life.