March 25, 2008

Aboriginal artists win awards

Inuit artist, Quebec filmmaker win Governor General's Awards for visual artsA Cape Dorset artist whose sculptures and images are icons in Canada and one of Quebec's leading documentary filmmakers are among this year's winners of the Governor General's Awards in visual and media arts.

Kenojuak Ashevak, who created images such as Enchanted Owl, and Serge Guigère, the filmmaker behind Driven by Dreams (À force des rêves), were announced as winners of the $25,000 award in Montreal on Tuesday.

Other winners of the honour for achievement in the arts are Montreal sculptor Michel Goulet, Dene painter Alex Janvier and multidisciplinarian artists Tanya Mars of Toronto and Eric Metcalfe of Victoria.
More on Ashevak:Many of Ashevak's drawings, prints and sculptures are familiar to Canadians, because they've been on a series of stamps or permeated popular culture on cards and prints. Among her most famous works are The Owl and The World Around Me.

Ashevak's simple, powerful images have made her one Cape Dorset's most acclaimed artists.

She was born in 1927 on Baffin Island and lived the traditional nomadic life on the land before settling Cape Dorset. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, a companion of the Order of Canada and has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
More on Janvier:Janvier, part of the Cold Lake First Nation from northern Alberta, is a painter whose work is reflects Dene cultural and spiritual traditions, especially in his use of colour. His recent work is abstract, characterized by flowing curvilinear lines.

He was placed in a residential school at age eight and recalled that crayons and paper were his way of communicating.

"I didn't understand English too well so I used to communicate through pictures," he told CBC News.

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