A look at the AGO’s spotlight on...

A look at the AGO’s spotlight on Indigenous artists for 2023

by author below
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

The Art Gallery of Ontario, or the AGO, is spotlighting a range of talented Indigenous artists in the new year. Beginning in January, the AGO will showcase works by artists such as Ningiukulu Teevee, David Ruben Piqtoukun, asinnajaq, Robert Kautuk, and Raymond Boisjoly.

In mid-January, the gallery will display works by Inuk artist Ningiukulu Teevee, a talented graphic artist and writer from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. Teevee shares her unique perspective on historical and contemporary Inuit culture through visual art and writing. The Inuit Art Foundation comments on her talent for capturing and distilling stories into drawings and prints, stating that she is an artist known for her frequent and playful translation of traditional stories into dynamic compositions. A successful artist, Teevee wrote, illustrated, and published her first children’s book titled Alego in 2009, a story that recalls her experiences growing up and digging for clams with her grandmother. The story vividly illustrates her experience learning about different sea life. Teevee’s works have been showcased in various exhibitions across Ottawa, Washington, Toronto, and Manitoba.

In January, the AGO will also open “We Are Story: The Canada Now Photography Acquisition”. This will feature newly acquired photos by 10 Canadians, including Inuk multidisciplinary artist asinnajaq, and photographers Robert Kautuk and Raymond Boisjoly. A storyteller, asinnajaq uses her art to weave together narratives of land, water, and Inuit histories. She is an advocate for the environment, community engagement, and sharing of Inuit culture through art. Robert Kautuk’s work centers around the themes of Inuit self-determination, documenting, preserving, and celebrating traditional knowledge. Lastly, Raymond Boisjoly is a Vancouver-based artist who questions the way popular media situates Indigenous art and artists within a colonial context. He offers a new perspective on investigating everyday items.

Furthermore, more than 60 works by Inuvialuk sculptor David Ruben Piqtoukun will be featured in an exhibition. Born in Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, Piqtoukun experienced a nomadic lifestyle which he explains instilled a deep and lasting love for the beauty of land and nature. These themes are often reflected in his work. At age five, he was removed from his community to attend residential school. Through this forced change, David experienced an upheaval of his identity which led him to question his purpose. In spite of this, he has pursued life by tapping into his instincts to survive through trial and error. He started collecting traditional stories from his parents and elders, resulting in his work taking a leap into Inuit mythology. He enjoys working with various materials and now uses his artwork as a source of learning and teaching. He has a number of collections across the world; his work has been displayed in Canada, the United States, Russia, China, Greenland, and Germany to highlight a few. He has also had many solo and group exhibitions over the years. You can learn more about David’s works on his website.

With a diverse range of artists and art styles, a trip to the AGO is a must-visit for your 2023 bucket list. Visitors between the ages of 14-25 can register for a free AGO Annual Pass which gives unlimited access to the AGO and its special exhibitions. See you at the art gallery!

Leave a comment!