Several of the women who were great influences in my life touched me at a very young age. Cape Dorset artist Kenojuak Ashevak is one of them. In my small northern community we had a wonderful facility called the Leaf Rapids Education Centre which was the place I was first introduced to original artwork, including her original prints of fantastical animals. Kenojuak was born in an igloo on Baffin Island and at the age of six lost her father, who was a shaman, to a brutal assassination at a hunting camp. After this terrible experience, her mother moved their family to her grandmother's who taught her traditional Inuit crafts. She began her creative career by drawing and painting, then went on to create stone carved prints. She was a founder of Cape Dorset's famed printmaking co-op from where Inuit art was introduced to the world. In spite of her success, Kenojuak always remained humble and gracious, always being grateful for receiving this gift of creativity.
AIRdirondack Art Project