Continuum: The Inuit Gallery at 40, page 2
At 40 years old, the Inuit Gallery has had a remarkable impact, introducing the work produced by talented artists from these cultures to people around the world. There is a First Nation concept that translates as “the paths that lead home.” This is fitting to the occasion as, over the years the gallery has become a favourite stopping point for casual visitors and ardent collectors, who take their enthusiasm for the work out into the world and who happily return time and again. The gallery is honoured to be part of a continuum that links the past, present and future, artists and collectors, as well as different cultures and generations through the nexus point of art.
For its 40th anniversary, the Inuit Gallery is proud to be presenting a remarkable array of work by both Inuit and Northwest Coast First Nation artists. On the Inuit side, the gallery has gathered a collection of art ranging from work by great first generation carvers such as Osuitok Ipeelee, Kaka and Kiawak Ashoona, Kananginak Pootoogook, John Pangnark and George Tataniq, through to contemporary artists such as Nuna Parr, Toonoo Sharky, Billy Kuksuk, Ningiukulu Teevee, and Ningeosiaq Ashoona. Through this collection the viewer can trace the changes in Inuit art from the earliest traditional subject matter, to younger artists looking at life as it is lived in the Arctic today.
While Inuit art as we know it was encouraged by the response to the demand for work from other cultures, art making has been a significant and esteemed activity amongst Northwest Coast First Nation cultures for centuries. Artwork from the Pacific Northwest is rooted in tradition, cultural knowledge and pride in the artists’ cultures. First Nation people have always been sophisticated about the value of objects and set up a vast, interconnected trade network that spanned North America. It is no surprise then, that First Nation artists have embraced the contemporary market for their artwork, while continuing to honour their own cultures by making work for use in their own communities.
For the 40th anniversary we have gathered together many wonderful works representing both the Northwest Coast artists who were with us at the beginning of our journey, some of the first artists the gallery represented, and those who have joined us along the way. There is a long tradition of younger artists apprenticing with master carvers and we are pleased to present several artists within this context, such as the great Art Thompson, who mentored the very talented Morris (Moy) Sutherland, who in turn is passing along this legacy to carver Joslyn Williams. Other examples include the master carver Bill Henderson and his accomplished nephews Junior Henderson and Greg Henderson; Joe David, an artist who has had a huge impact on contemporary Nuu-Cha-nulth art, and his talented daughter Marika Swan; the remarkable Jane Marston and her outstandingly talented sons Luke Marston and John Marston; Simon Dick, an exceptional Kwakwaka’wakw carver, and his youngest son and protege Quinn James; renowned artist Reg Davidson and talented painter Cori Savard; and the celebrated artist Susan A. Point and her daughter, artist Kelly Cannell.
Over the years the gallery has also added work by artists who do not fit into the strict definition of Inuit or Northwest Coast First Nations, but whose work has resonance with the art works we are known for representing. Among these are John Sabourin with his lyrical chlorite carvings, Brian Walker’s incredible copper works inspired by the Tlingit tradition, as well as Jennifer Walden and Leah Pipe’s paintings of northern wildlife and landscapes.
We are excited to share with you the two prints that we specially commissioned for this exhibition, Ravin' Raven by Ningiukulu Teevee and Qwaw-ey-lauchs (Blue Jays) by Lyle Wilson. We would like to express our gratitude to both artists for their outstanding work on these limited edition prints.
As we take the next steps into the future we are honoured to know that you, our friends and clients will join us on this path. We are grateful for your ongoing support and look forward to bringing you new and exciting art works that are sure to astound and delight. To the amazing artists who have collaborated with us, we are honoured to represent your work and grateful for your ongoing commitment to the gallery and to the collectors who have come to love your work.
Director / Owner
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, Ltd.