A Few Of The Most Important Canadian Native Artists
Many Canadians may not realize this, but native or Inuit art has become a phenomenon. Dozens of unique and skilled artists are showcasing their beautiful cultures in a variety of different mediums. The following native artists are just some of the most important. Their work covers everything from carving, to painting, and even film making:
Annie Pootoogook is a native of Cape Dorset who started drawing relatively late in life. She was 28 before she started her artistic career, but her detailed drawings were almost immediately renowned for their snapshot look into Inuit life. Pootoogook's simple, colorful style emulates the ancient tradition of her people while adding a new, contemporary spin.
Pootoogook was born into an artistic family, including a father who worked as a stonecut printmaker in the Kinngait Studios and a graphic artist mother. Pootoogook rarely ventures into speculative art or "historical" renderings of her culture. Instead, she simply presents it "as it is" today.
Carving is a huge part of most Inuit cultures, including the Kwagiulth. Tony Hunt Jr. is the latest extension of that tradition. Hunt was born into a carving family, including renowned artists such as Mungo Martin, Henry Hunt, and his father, Tony Hunt Sr.
Hunt's work is fairly traditional in spirit, but this is part of its appeal. Instead of venturing into a contemporary milieu, he simply expresses the ancient wisdom handed down to him. Hunt is also an acclaimed dancer who takes part in multiple Inuit ceremonies every year.
Zacharias Kunkus or "Zack" is a renowned native Canadian filmmaker who has helped bring a new side to ethnographic film making. Kunkus was one of the first Inuit's involved in broadcast technology, becoming involved in independent film making, as well as independent television broadcasting.
His work with the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation helped open a whole new world of film making for his people, though he later became a critic of the very corporation he put on the map. Kunuck was also a skilled soapstone carver, with work available in the Canadian Museum of History.
The rich history of Canada's native artists simply can't be denied. They have brought a whole new level of skill and history in Canadian art and deserved to be recognized for their hard work and innovations. Why not check out or even purchase the work of these and other fine Inuit artists today?
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