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Kablusiak is an Inuvialuk artist and curator based in Calgary. Born in Yellowknife and raised in Edmonton, they received a diploma in Fine Art from Grant MacEwan University in 2013 and completed their Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Drawing Department at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in 2016 [1]. In 2018, they completed the Indigenous Curatorial Research Practicum at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and were part of the all-Inuit curatorial team for Qaumajuq’s inaugural exhibition, INUA, which opened in March 2021.

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. These interests invite a reconsideration of the perceptions of contemporary indigeneity and counter the stigma surrounding mental health. 

“If I’m going to be sad about colonialism and make art about it,” they explain, “I either want it to be so fucking ridiculous that it sets people off or have it open enough that people can relate to it.” [2]

Kablusiak has been heavily involved in Calgary's art scene—making work for Femme Wave (The Garden, 2016), Sled Island (Group, 2017), Contemporary Calgary (Oki Y'all, 2017)—and shown their work in group and solo exhibitions, as well as participating in residencies, across Canada. They were part of the Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective and a board member at Stride Gallery.  They have been the recipient of awards including the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize (2017) and the inaugural Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires Emerging Artist Award in 2018, a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Award in 2020, and the 2022 Gattuso Prize, presented by the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Kablusiak was also shortlisted for the 2019 Sobey Art Award and the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award in 2021 and 2023. Their work has appeared in multiple issues of Inuit Art Quarterly, including on the cover of the Spring 2022 Break Up issue. They are represented by Norberg Hall Gallery in Calgary, AB. 

In 2023 Kablusiak became the first Inuvialuk artist to win the Sobey Art Award.

This Profile was made possible through support from RBC Emerging Artists.


Artist Work

About Kablusiak


Curatorial, Graphic Arts, Installation, Multi-disciplinary, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Textile, Visual Arts

Artistic Community:

Calgary, AB

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.


Edit History

September 13, 2018 Updated by: Inuit Art Foundation
September 12, 2017 Created by: Kablusiak