Art in the Spotlight: Shuvinai Ashoona

Shuvinai Ashoona, Curiosity

Shuvinai Ashoona. Curiosity, 2020. Coloured pencil, graphite and ink on paper, Overall: 127.5 × 268 cm. Purchase, with funds from the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund, 2020. © Shuvinai Ashoona, courtesy Dorset Fine Arts 2020/95

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Art in the Spotlight: Shuvinai Ashoona

Thursday, June 24, 1 pm

Join artist Shuvinai Ashoona in conversation with Wanda Nanibush, the AGO’s Curator, Indigenous Art, for a conversation about her work and the exhibition Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond the Visible. Ashoona is the descendant of a deep artistic legacy through her grandmother Pitseolak, a widely revered illustrator. Ashoona’s work is characterized by a confident sense of colour, a sure hand, and a unique vision.

Shuvinai Ashoona received the 2018 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO, which is awarded each year to recognize an individual’s contribution to Canadian art and to support their future work. One such work is Curiosity (2019), a drawing acquired by the AGO at Art Toronto 2020, measuring an astonishing 8.7 feet (2.65 metres) wide. Offering a bird’s eye view of her hometown of Kinngait, seven giant monsters in soft pastels crawl with great curiosity over houses and buildings.

Shuvinai Ashoona (b. 1961) is a graphic artist based in Kinngait, NU. Ashoona first came to prominence in the late 1990s, when her work was included in the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection of 1997. Ashoona’s recent solo exhibition Mapping Worlds has been touring nationally after opening at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto. She has been included in major exhibitions such as the 18th Biennale of Sydney: All Our Relations (2012), and Oh, Canada (2012) at Mass MoCA. Ashoona's first international solo exhibition took place in 2020 at Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts. Her work can be found in many collections including the NGC, the AGO, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canadian Museum of History, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of the American Indian, USA.

Wanda Nanibush is Curator, Indigenous Art at the AGO. Selected AGO exhibitions include Karoo Ashevak (2019), Rebecca Belmore Facing the Monumental (2018), JS McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art (2018), Rita Letendre: Fire & Light (2017), Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 (2016).



For requests for Verbal Description, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and/or live captioning for online and onsite programming, please provide three weeks notice in advance of the event date. The AGO will make every effort to provide accommodation for requests made with less than three weeks notice. Please note that automated captioning is available for all online programs. For onsite visits, the AGO offers these supports for an accessible visit. Please contact us to make a request for these or other accessibility accommodations. Learn more about accessibility at the AGO.


Saturday, January 13, 2024, 2 pm
Wednesday, March 6, 7 pm
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