Inuit Art Collection

"Bud" Johnston, Dean of the Business School from 1978 to 1989, was an admirer of Inuit art and it is likely for this reason that the Ivey Business School received 21 Inuit pieces from the late Chum Torno. Now, appropriately, these works are displayed in the C.B. "Bud" Johnston Library and additional information about them and the artists is provided here.

Kenojuak Ashevak (1927- 2013): Kenojuak was born in a camp near Cape Dorset and lived in the settlement with her extended family. She is undoubtedly the most acclaimed Inuit artist of her time. Kenojuak has been involved in the success of the art program at Cape Dorset since its inception in the late 1950s. Her prints were regularly chosen for the annual release, and she made thousands of original drawings during an artistic career that spanned a half-century. "My work has changed quite a bit since I started," she noted. "At first, it was just in pencil; there was no colour." Her imagery revolves around birds, fish and female faces, always emphasizing motifs of nature and placing design above strict concerns for realism. Her steady hand traced a fluid line where positive and negative space interact.

In addition to graphics, Kenojuak worked as a sculptor over the years. "When I'm doing graphic work, sometimes I have to hold the paper and look at it and feel it, and then the work starts to come out," she explained. "It's easier to do the carvings because you can see the shape three dimensionally before it's formed. ... But I prefer to work on drawings; the stone can be hard, and you have to be outside carving."

Kenojuak was the recipient of two honorary doctorates and is the subject of several books and a film. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada, recipient of a Lifetime Aboriginal Achievement Award, and has a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame. In 2004 Kenojuak became the first Inuit artist ever to create imagery for a stained glass window, in a commission for the Chapel of Appleby College in Oakville, coordinated by Feheley Fine Arts.
*Source: Feheley Fine Arts.
** See also: Artists in Canada, Government of Canada.

Kananginak Pootoogook: (1935-2010) Born in Ikirasak camp area, Nunavut, January 1, 1935 Kananginak was born in Ikarasak camp near Cape Dorset, where his father was well known and greatly respected as a camp leader. Until he reached adulthood, he lived by hunting and fishing with his family on South Baffin Island. He settled in Cape Dorset for health reasons at the end of the 50s.

Kananginak was involved from the beginning in the printshop project in Cape Dorset. He was an expert bird hunter from childhood, and this became one of his favourite artistic subjects. Although he had to hunt birds for survival, he learned very early to love them and observe their habits. He is very knowledgeable about the many kinds of beautiful birds that migrate from the South to the Arctic each summer: he observes them from a distance, attentive to their movements, their plumage, and their varied songs. Whether he is depicting an owl, a crow, or a pair of ducks, he renders each in precise detail.
*Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia

Tye Adla: (1936-1990) was a carver and graphic artist.

Pudlat Pootoogook (1919-1985) was the son of the camp leader and early graphic artist Pootoogook (1887-1958), and husband to the artist Sarni Pootoogook (1922-2003).
*Source: Gallery Phillip - Gevik

Pudlo Pudlat: (1916-1992) Pudlo Pudlat lived as a hunter and made his home in small camps along the southwest coast of Baffin Island until the early 1960s. It was upon moving to Kiaktuuq, during a bout of tuberculosis, that Pudlo met James Houston, who encouraged his talent. Pudlo then began a practice that would come to encompass over 4,500 drawings, 180 prints and several sculptures, many of which can be found in the Cape Dorset Graphics Collection. Pudlo, due to his illness, flew south, as well as to other areas in the north, on several occasions. The objects he encountered his travels are prominent in his subject matter.
*Source: Canada House Gallery 
** See also: Uleth.ca

Pitseolak Ashoona: (1904-1983) Canadian Painting Owl Atop Inukshuk Owl Atop Inukshuk By Pitseolak Ashoona (courtesy DINA/CD 24PR68 37). Pitseolak Ashoona, graphic artist. She is known for lively prints and drawings showing "the things we did long ago before there were many white men" and for imaginative renderings of spirits and monsters. She began working in the late 1950s after James Houston started printmaking experiments at Cape Dorset. She created several thousand drawings reflecting her love and intimate knowledge of traditional INUIT life. Talent ran in her family. She was married in 1922 to Ashoona, a capable hunter who died young, and their sons Kumwartok QAQAQ and KIAWAK Ashoona and daughter Napachie Pootoogook also became artists. Highly articulate, she told her story in the illustrated oral biography Pitseolak: Pictures out of My Life (from recorded interviews by D. Eber, 1971), which became an NFB animated documentary. She was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1974.
*Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Peter Pitseolak: (1902-1973) photographer, artist, writer. A camp leader, he recognized early that traditional Inuit life was disappearing and strove to record its passing, writing diaries, notes and manuscripts, drawing Inuit customs and legends, and photographing the life around him. He took his first photograph in the 1930s for a white man who was afraid to approach a polar bear; and in the early 1940s, while living in Cape Dorset working for fur traders, he acquired a camera from a Catholic missionary. With help from his wife Aggeok, he developed his first pictures in a hunting igloo, using as a safelight a 3-battery flashlight covered with red cloth. Nirliniaktuk Nirliniaktuk Lithograph on paper by Peter Pitseolak, Cape Dorset (University of Lethbridge Art Collection).

He photographed over a 20-year period, and after his death more than 1500 negatives, images increasingly valued as an insider's record of the final moments of Inuit camp life, were purchased from his widow for the National Museums of Canada. A fine artist, he is credited too with Cape Dorset's earliest contemporary works on paper: watercolour drawings executed in 1939 for John N.S. Buchan, later 2nd Baron Tweedsmuir, at the time a fur trader with the Hudson's Bay Co. Shortly before his death, Pitseolak put down in Inuit syllabics the story of his early life (published in 1975 as People from Our Side, with oral biography by D. Eber) and an account of near disaster among the ice floes (published in 1977 as Peter Pitseolak's Escape from Death, D. Eber, ed).
*Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia.