Happy Holidays from the Art Bank

2017 was an exciting year at the Art Bank! Our Punctured Landscape exhibition travelled to the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington; we introduced many new rental clients across Canada, in London, UK, and in New York to contemporary Canadian art; we opened our doors to over 1000 guests for Doors Open Ottawa, and we helped galleries and museums with their Canada 150th exhibitions by loaning important artworks from the collection.

Wishing our clients, artists and supporters happy holidays! Looking forward to working with you in 2018!


Art Bank contributes first Canadian artworks to the Art Museum of the Americas collection

I first visited the Art Museum of the Americas, the gallery of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington DC, during the launch of the Punctured Landscape exhibition. I was struck then, at how the visitors were so deeply engaged with the artworks and the topics they addressed.

Democracy, human rights, sustainability, security, our official and non-official histories. These topics are weighty. But they are timely, relevant and front-and-centre in the media, online and at our dinner tables – in both our countries.

It was deeply rewarding – as the director responsible for the Art Bank, and as a Canadian — to see how those works sparked such important conversations.

That event also sparked a conversation which led to the donation of 150 artworks from the Art Bank collection, to the Art Museum of the Americas. Each donated work is a copy of a work that remains in the Art Bank collection.

Artworks donated to the Art Museum of the Americas
installed at the Organization of the American States

This gift, from one neighbor to another, represents the first Canadian works in the AMA collection. We are delighted to donate works on paper by 99 artists from across the country, including notable artists such as Rita Letendre, Daphne Odjig, Claude Tousignant, Pierre Ayot, General Idea and Michael Morris. It will be shared with visitors to the AMA and potentially in other venues throughout the Americas through the museum’s active touring program.


About the Author: Tara Lapointe

Tara Lapointe is the Director of Outreach and Business Development at the Canada Council for the Arts. In her role, she oversees the Art Bank, the Public Lending Right program, as well as the Canada Council’s suite of Prizes.


Art Bank at Art Toronto: Sharing Canada’s contemporary art collection

Art Toronto, Canada’s largest international fair for modern and contemporary art, returns this fall from October 27-30. Now in its 18th year, Art Toronto will exhibit important artwork from an impressive lineup of Canadian and international galleries alongside a roster of cultural partners, art publications, and feature projects. Let’s just say, it’s the place to be if you are an art lover!

Visit our booth at Art Toronto!  The Art Bank will be at Art Toronto for the first time presenting works from the collection and answering all of your art rental questions.  We’d love to see you!

With a collection of over 17,000 paintings, photographs, sculptures, and works on paper by more than 3,000 Canadian artists, the Art Bank art rental program offers a unique opportunity for corporate collectors, real estate property managers, interior designers and clients looking to transform their workspaces with original artworks.

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Art Bank Booth B19
October 27-30, 2017

Opening Night Preview: October 26

For ticket information, please visit: arttoronto.ca


Mark the Spot: Mediation as Medium

Visit this unique exhibition in the Canada Council’s Âjagemô Space and meet three leading artists as they create new works.

Each artist, selected by curator Wayne Baerwaldt, brings different experiences, approaches and practices, and all are skilled at engaging with the public through their art. Join painter Michael Morris (Vancouver/Victoria), performance artist Thierry Marceau (Montreal) and multi-media Métis artist Katherine Boyer (Winnipeg) as they each make Âjagemô their studio through a series of week-long residencies. Visit the website for more details on the exhibition, residencies and the many public activities. Organized by the Canada Council for the Arts as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations.

On view from September 18 – January 2, 2018
Âjagemô Space
Canada Council for the Arts
150 Elgin Street
Free admission

Michael Morris
The Letter Paintings, and Other Concerns
Residency and public program: September 18-23, 10 am – 5 pm
Artist tour: Friday, September 22 at noon
Exhibition: September 18 – October 22

This critically-acclaimed painter and winner of a 2011 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts will produce watercolour sketches for Ottawa Letter, a large-scale painting to be produced in 2018.

Thierry Marceau
The Great One’s Back
Residency and public program: October 30 – November 4, 10 am – 5 pm
Artist tour: Friday, November 3 at noon
Exhibition: October 30 – November 26

This performance artist will focus on his latest installation, comprised of a video re-creation of scenes from Wayne Gretzky’s wedding. Each day, Marceau will transform himself into a version of the hockey icon for photo opportunities and discussion with visitors.

Katherine Boyer
To Bead is To Visit
Residency and public program: December 7-14, 10 am – 5 pm
Artist tour: Wednesday, December 13 at noon
Exhibition: December 7 – January 2, 2018

This emerging artist will develop a work in the traditional style of Métis beading that will be created as the public joins her to bead, drink tea and explore the exhibition.



Calling All Curators!

The Art Bank and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario are seeking proposals from individuals to curate an exhibition of works from the Art Bank collection.

The exhibition will be on the theme of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will be hosted in the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite in Toronto, from March 2018 to February 2019.


Budget: $5000 (curatorial fee) and $6000 (exhibition fees)

How to Apply: Send proposal to Rebecca Huxtable, see info below.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, October 13, 2017 (3 pm EST).

For more information, please click on the request for proposals.

Please share this information throughout your networks.

Rebecca Huxtable
Art Consultant
Canada Council Art Bank




Celebrating 30 years of Inuit art: The Inuit Art Quarterly highlights works from the Art Bank collection

For three decades, the Inuit Art Quarterly has been introducing readers around the globe to the brightest and most promising artists the Inuit art world has to offer. As the only magazine devoted exclusively to Inuit and circumpolar Indigenous arts, it has been our great pleasure to share the beauty and vitality of Inuit cultural production both in print and online over the past 30 years. To mark this significant milestone, we have partnered with the Canada Council Art Bank to highlight a selection of works in their collection.

The Art Bank is the single largest collection of contemporary Canadian art, with more than 17,000 works including 600 works by more than 175 Inuit artists. Since its founding in 1972, the Art Bank has regularly acquired the work of Inuit artists and now counts some of the most prolific and celebrated artists, both historic and contemporary, amongst its collection including Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013), Pudlo Pudlat (1916–1992), Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016), Oviloo Tunnillie (1949–2014) and Joe Talirunili (ca. 1893–1976) among many others.

For this collection we have pulled together a small selection of pieces by artists working across the Arctic in numerous media and techniques to offer an introductory look at the breadth and depth of Inuit artistic practice. From our Fall 2017 cover artist, Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU-based Jessie Oonark, OC, RCA (1906–1985), we selected Kiviuk and the Grizzly (1981), a late linocut and stencil print that renders multiple narrative scenes in striking and delicate detail.

Jessie Oonark, Kiviuk and the Grizzly (1981), stencil

Similar narrative sensibilities are visible in graphics by Alootook Ipellie (1951–2007) Ben-Ho Wins the Biggest Race of his Life, Thumbs Down (2007) and Isaaci Etidloie (1972–2014) Untitled # 30 (Cape Dorset) (1976).

Alootook Ipellie, Ben-Ho Wins the Biggest Race of his Life, Thumbs Down (2007), ink on paper

Isaaci Etidloie, Untitled # 30 (Cape Dorset) (1976-77), felt pen and coloured pencil on paper

Sculpture in stone and bone is also well represented in the Art Bank collection, including works by Tukiki Manomie, Jaco Ishulutaq, Goota Ashoona and John Terriak.

Tukiki Manomie, Untitled/Sans titre (2010), soapstone

Jaco Ishulutaq, Mother and Child (1992), soapstone, ivory and antler

Goota Ashoona, Arctic Woman’s Tale (2009), beluga whale breast bone

John Terriak, Bird Island with Faces (2001), serpentine

Finally, our selection is rounded out by a sampling of textile works and photography by such notable figures as Annie Kilabuk (1932–2005), Irene Tiktalaaq Avaalaaqiaq and Jimmy Manning.

Annie Kilabuk, Walrus Hunting by Rowboat (1990-91), wool

Irene Avaalaaqiaq, Giant Fish Giving Birth to Humans (1992), felt on wool

Jimmy Manning, Gathering / Spring Fishing (1999-2000), photographs

We hope that you enjoy exploring this small sample of the hundreds of works under the care and stewardship of the Art Bank: IAQ Featured Collection. To explore these and other artists in our archive or to subscribe to the Inuit Art Quarterly, visit us at: iaq.inuitartfoundation.org

About the authors: Britt Gallpen and John Geoghegan

Britt Gallpen
is a writer and curator based in Toronto, Canada. Since 2015, she has been the Editor of the Inuit Art Quarterly. Britt has written catalogue texts for The Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre and grunt gallery, in addition to contributions to numerous publications including Canadian Art, esse art + opinions and Prefix Photo.

John Geoghegan is the Assistant Editor and Circulation Manager of the Inuit Art Quarterly. He has worked in collection management at several public museums and galleries including the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the city of Hamilton. Most recently, John contributed catalogue entries to the publication A Story of Canadian Art: As Told by the Hart House Art Collection.

Additional research assistance was provided by Monica Philpott, Editorial Assistant for the Inuit Art Quarterly.

The Inuit Art Quarterly is published by the Inuit Art Foundation. Established in 1987, the Inuit Art Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides support to Canada’s Inuit arts communities and is the sole national body mandated to promote Inuit artists and art within Canada and internationally.


Artist Spotlight: Jimmy Manning (b. 1951)

Place: Born in Kimmirut; raised and lives in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut

About the artist: Jimmy Manning is a self-taught Inuk photographer and an integral member of the Cape Dorset arts community. In the early 1970s he worked as a carving buyer with Kinngait Co-operative (formerly West Baffin Eskimo Co-op). He began to work with local artists and managed the printmaking studio soon after. Today he continues to act as an art-dealer, interpreter and translator for Inuit artists, while dedicating time and energy to his own photography practice. He manages the Kinngait Co-op store and is President of the Inuit Art Foundation.

Jimmy Manning, Gathering / Spring Fishing (1999-2000), photographs

About the artwork: Inspired by his grandfather, photographer Peter Pitseolak, Manning’s practice focuses on Arctic life, community and landscape. With both a narrative and documentary quality, his photos act as cultural records, like in this diptych of people gathering with snowmobiles and fishing gear. Through his lens, he captures the essence of contemporary Northern life.

Rent this artwork by Jimmy Manning for $240 per year.

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Artist Spotlight: Timootie Pitsiulak (1967-2016)

Place: Born in Kimmirut, Nunavut; based in Cape Dorset for most of his life

About the artist: Timootie (Tim) Pitsiulak was one of Canada’s most sought-after contemporary Inuit artists. Best known for his drawings, he was also a jewellery-maker, sculptor, lithographer and photographer. Pitsiulak pushed the boundaries of traditional subject matter. An avid hunter, he was influenced by the land, wildlife, and Inuit mythology, along with every day-life in the North and technology’s impact on the land and its people. His worked inspired and reshaped the narrative of contemporary Northern life.

Timootie Pitsiulak, Loadmaster (2007), coloured pencil, ink on paper

About the artwork: Loadmaster is a drawing of Cape Dorset’s newest garbage truck, which was a long-awaited replacement for a very old one. The arrival of the new truck was much anticipated and celebrated by the community. This particular work marked a new direction for Pitsiulak, who had only just begun expanding his drawings to large-scale surfaces.

Rent artwork by Timootie Pitsiulak from $360 – $480 per year.

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Artist Spotlight: Annie Pootoogook (1969 – 2016)

Place: Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut and Ottawa

About the artist: Annie Pootoogook was an internationally recognized, contemporary Inuit artist, whose rich depictions of everyday life in the North challenged expectations of Inuit art and culture. Her drawings and prints focused on mundane objects and interior spaces, as well as touched on complex issues of alcoholism, suicide, and domestic violence. Thoughtful, satirical, and bold, these presentations of Northern life brought new cultural understanding and shifted contemporary Inuit art into the mainstream. Pootoogook won the Sobey Art Award in 2006 and leaves a legacy of transforming the canon of contemporary Inuit art.

Annie Pootoogook, Brief Case (2005), lithograph

About the artwork: A case study of briefs, or a joke on those who carry briefcases? Known for her wit and use of the mundane, this lithograph of men’s underwear bridges cultural divides through common objects. In calming pastel colours, these briefs playfully destabilize expectations of Inuit people and their clothing, as well as masculinity.

Rent artwork by Annie Pootoogook from $120 – $360 per year.

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Artist Spotlight: Doug Smarch (b. 1967)

Place: Born in Whitehorse; raised in Teslin, Yukon, where he now resides

About the artist: Doug Smarch is a conceptual artist who works in sculpture and animation. Raised in a traditional lifestyle of the Tlingit Nation, he began carving wood and bone at a young age. Encouraged to adapt to live in “both worlds”, he studied Fine Art in California during the early 2000s. His art practice champions cultural adaptation, combining the traditions of Tlingit culture, craft, and storytelling, with contemporary technologies and fine art mediums.

Doug SmarchHomage to Chamber Maid (2002), fibre work made of pheasant feathers, cotton, abalone buttons

About the artwork: Made of cotton, abalone (shell), and dismantled feather dusters, this robe brings into question the commodification of traditional objects and practices. Simultaneously, this piece pays tribute to Native women who support their families through hard work and sacrifice, particularly Smarch’s mother. With a poor residential school education, she worked hard jobs, devoted her life to raising her five children, and later returned to school to become a social worker.

Rent this artwork by Doug Smarch for $960 per year.

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