The 1977 Northwest Coast Indian Artists Guild series was the first major statement on contemporary Northwest Coast graphics.
Released at the Vancouver Art Gallery and documented in a feature catalogue produced by the Canadian Indian Marketing Services in Ottawa, the guild was curated cooperatively by the participating artists.
Many of the prints included in this collection were further documented as definitive images in later publications and catalogues. Screen-printing programs were offered during the early years at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast art in Hazelton and established an interest among the artists and the potential for prints in the emerging market. For the first few years, because of the insignificant values the prints were being sold for, the artists were producing very large editions on inexpensive and often, non-archival, paper to keep the production cost down.
Over time, galleries replaced tourist shops and graphics began to earn a respected position in the fine art market—and the artists began to realize that the only way to make the art collectable was to make smaller editions—and make great imagery.
The Guild Series was produced in small editions on archival paper and played with grander scale images. In the words of Robert Davidson: “It was time to take prints from the back bedroom to the living room.”
A second series of prints was released to equal acclaim in 1978 and a lesser-known series in 1979. By this time the artists were firmly on their feet and forging careers in different directions.
March 14 - April 4, 2015
'Keewatin Women in Stone' celebrates the lives of two very different Nunavut artists from the Keewatin region north-west of the Hudsons Bay. Camille Iquilq (1963-2005) and Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok (1934-2012) are representative of two generations and very different upbringings. Lucy was born on the land and experienced the nomadic and traditional way of life before settling in Arviat, whereas Camille was born and raised within the relative comfort of the community of Baker Lake. The collection is a selection of at least 30 stone sculptures from each artist, with pieces ranging from the early 1990s forward. The exhibition contrasts their individual styles yet highlights the same shared values with relationships and the strong bonds within the family.
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