A group of indigenous artists from across the Arctic travelled to Reykjavik, Iceland, in October to participate in the first annual Circum-Arctic Art Show. Held during the Arctic Circle Assembly, nearly 30 visual and performing artists from across the circumpolar regions shared their cultures and art. The aim was to find cultural commonalities and exchange viewpoints on the changing environment and the challenges they face.
Artists from russia, Sweden, greenland and Canada spent five days together demonstrating their work and forging new relationships. Canadian artists included Billy Gauthier and Mary Ann Penashue from Newfoundland, Mathew Nuqingaq and Johnny Issaluk from Nunavut, Mark Preston and Shirlee frost from the Yukon, and Lucy Nigiyok and John Sabourin from the NWT.
Lynn Feasey of Points North Creative was responsible for the Canadian contingent. “This show has tremendous potential for growth. With our northern arts festivals, both artists and visitors experience works from across our northern territories and regions, and that is so valuable in terms of connection and collaboration. While we are reaching out to other areas of Canada, crossing borders into the rest of the circumpolar Arctic is integral to the larger conversation of the importance of arts and culture across these regions.”
Having a presence at the Arctic Circle Assembly allowed a wider audience to sample the performances and artworks offered at the show. Alex Kuznetsov, the show’s founder and organizer was thrilled at the response. “I will work hard to support this event and bring it all over the world.”