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La Guilde presents the exhibition Ashoona: Enduring Art Stories

La Guilde presents the exhibition Ashoona: Enduring Art Stories

(L) Ohito Ashoona, Dancing Bear, 2018; Ning Ashoona, Bear, 2021; Napachie Ashoona, Mother & Child, 2021; Ning Ashoona, Pitseolak Ashoona Resting, 2021.
(R) Pitseolak Ashoona, Migration Towards Our Summer Camp, 1983. Collection permanente de La Guilde;

Montreal, QC – La Guilde is proud to present the exhibition Ashoona: Enduring Art Stories from February 24 to July 3, 2022. Come and discover the work of twenty-three artists from four generations of the Ashoona family, originally from Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut):

  • Annie Pootoogook
  • Mayoreak Ashoona
  • Qaqaq Ashoona
  • Goota Ashoona
  • Napachie Ashoona
  • Qavavau Ashoona
  • Joe Jaw Ashoona
  • Napatchie Pootoogook
  • Sapa Ashoona
  • Kellipalik Ashoona
  • Ning Ashoona
  • Shuvinai Ashoona
  • Kiugak Ashoona
  • Ohito Ashoona
  • Siassie   Kenneally
  • Kudluajuk Ashoona
  • Ottochie Ashoona
  • Sii Ashoona
  • Kumwartok Ashoona
  • Ottokie Ashoona
  • Sorroseeleetu Ashoona
  • Kuzy Curley
  • Pitseolak Ashoona

Everyone in the Ashoona family draws from their collective experiences as well as personal ones. Goota Ashoona: “Today I speak to that life–those experiences and memories, and so much since then. I speak of my family and about lives and contributions as Inuit artists–artists of great talent, acclaim, and achievement. Our family uses art to tell Inuit stories, today work surrounds me that celebrates my family and it is their Inuit art that tells our stories.” The experiences of living on the land include family life, hunting, fishing, boating, carving, sewing, childhood adventures, and occasionally tough times.

This Ashoona family exhibition is dedicated to the unique cultural and artistic heritage of one of the most prolific and recognized family’s of Inuit art. Pitseolak Ashoona emerged as one of the premier graphic artists from Kinngait (Cape Dorset, NU) but also as the catalyst for the family, influencing and motivating a vast body of work. Since La Guilde has played an instrumental role in the modern Inuit art movement and the family’s artistic careers as a commercial space for Inuit art, this exhibition celebrates the multigenerational family of Inuit art making. Many of the references or themes in the exhibition reflect trends in Inuit art history like animals, daily life, hunting, representations of women, and transformations. The truly wide variety of mediums and materials–like soapstone, whalebone, paper, and metal–demonstrates dynamic contemporary artists developing their own unique practice. This is a unique occasion to appreciate the rich work of the Ashoona family, who have been distinguished by the Order of Canada, Canadian Council for the Arts Molson Prize, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

About the curator, Goota Ashoona

Goota Ashoona stands out for her refined sculpture of whalebone, but this exhibition marks her first time as a curator, mediating the legacy of her family and celebrating their vast achievements. Her sculptures reveal the strong influence of her father’s style, Kiawak Ashoona, and delicate but detailed treatment of figurative subjects, most of which are women and children. An artist dedicated to her community, she was recently commissioned for an important sculpture for the new Qaumajuq pavilion at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (MB). As part of the design process, she enlisted the help of Kailey Sheppard, an Inuk artist from Nunatsiavut (Labrador) who provided detailed drawings of the project and the plan. Goota Ashoona’s work is part of many public collections, including the Winnipeg Art Gallery (MB), the Haida Heritage Centre (BC), and the Canada Council Art Bank.

About La Guilde

Founded in 1906, La Guilde is a non-profit organization that aims to preserve, promote, and increase awareness for Inuit art, First Nations art, and Fine Crafts from Canada. In addition to its permanent exhibition—which presents objects from its collection—La Guilde has a dynamic programming of temporary exhibitions and cultural activities, educational programs, and archives of remarkable historical wealth. La Guilde is also an art gallery with works by established and emerging artists, available for sale.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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