Kinngait artist wins 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award
Ningiukulu Teevee receives $20,000 prize, solo exhibition
Graphic artist Ningiukulu Teevee has won the 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award worth $20,000.
The Inuit Art Foundation announced the winner Friday evening at the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq.
The prize celebrates excellence in Inuit art and supports the practice of an Inuk artist every two years by facilitating opportunities for artistic development and career growth.
Teevee, who is from Kinngait, is known for her “bright, modern” reimagining of traditional stories featuring playful depictions of Arctic animals and people, said Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq spokesperson Katryna Barske in a news release announcing the winner.
Inuit Art Foundation president Heather Igloliorte called Teevee “an artist-storyteller of the highest calibre” in the news release.
She said Teevee’s “evocative prints and drawings have the power to transport viewers to familiar spaces and scenes in the North, whether she is picturing a pot of soup bubbling on the stove, or Inuit playing traditional games in the local gym.”
In addition to the $20,000 prize, Teevee will receive a residency at the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq, a solo exhibition and an exhibition catalogue.
Teevee’s solo exhibition is scheduled for fall 2025, when the next Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award winner will be announced.
The art gallery will also acquire one of Teevee’s works of art to add to its permanent collection.
Friday also marked the launch of Gasoline Rainbows, the solo exhibition from 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award winner Tarralik Duffy.
An external, all-Inuit jury determines the award longlist, shortlist and winner. This year’s jury was composed of Tarralik Duffy, KAMA 2021 winner, Jocelyn Piirainen, associate curator of Indigenous ways and decolonization at the National Gallery of Canada, and Logan Ruben, visual artist.
“Not many artists make me wish I had come up with an idea. I’m very happy with the inspirations that come to me, but Ningiukulu makes me stop in total covetous wonder, her work is unlike anyone else’s and I often marvel at her brilliance and humour,” Duffy said of Teevee’s work.
“She’s the best. Simple as that.”
Founded in 2014, the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award was named after the celebrated Kinngait artist, known for her prolific contributions to Inuit drawing, printmaking and sculpting among other art forms.
The other artists shortlisted for this year’s prize who each received $5,000 were Billy Gauthier, Maureen Gruben, Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona and Kablusiak.
Their work is currently on display at Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq in the group exhibition Anaanatta Unikkaangit (Our Mother’s Stories).