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Kelowna Art Galley about to unveil new exhibit

New art exhibit coming

A new art exhibit is set to decorate the walls of the Kelowna Art Gallery this weekend.

Billed as 'A Story in Three Parts: Ashevak, Pootoogook, Isuma,' it brings together three clear but connected narratives that uncover the past and present of Inuit creative expression.

“Okanagan audiences are in for a treat. This will be the first time we’ve shown work by these groundbreaking artists,” says Nataley Nagy, gallery executive director. “The breathtaking prints, eerie and playful monochromatic drawings, along with the film and video works, will transport patrons thousands of miles away to the Canadian Arctic.”

The exhibition displays the work of Kenojuak Ashevak and Sharni Pootoogook, early generation Kinngait artists who became two of the first to create drawings, prints, and sculptures under the auspices of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative.

Both were pivotal in establishing the global importance of Canada’s Inuit art movement. In 1970, Ashevak’s The Enchanted Owl was reproduced by Canada Post on a six-cent stamp commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the Northwest Territories. This marked the first time a female Inuit artist’s work had ever been displayed on a Canadian stamp.

In 1990, the third part of the story and Canada’s inaugural Inuit-owned independent production company Isuma was formed. Isuma received global attention for their first feature-length drama Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, when it won the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001.

Visitors at the Kelowna Art Gallery will be able to watch Ataguttaluk – A Life to Live For, a 37-minute experimental documentary created by filmmaker Carol Kunnuk. Set in the early 1900s, this film tells the story of a woman who survived famine to become one of the most important residents of Igloolik.

“Beautiful, vibrant, colourful, yet brooding, stark, and sometimes haunting — these are the curious contradictions which are analogous to life in the Canadian Arctic,” says Huffman. “These three stories are a series of moments in which women of the North are the anchors of a constantly evolving Arctic narrative, ensuring prosperity, uplifting us, and inspiring us to overcome.”

A Story in Three Parts: Ashevak, Pootoogook, Isuma runs from December 4 to May 8, 2022.



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