To Remain Connected
Dec 3, 2021 - May 7, 2022
By bringing together work grounded in Inuit artmaking across generations, as well as through multifaceted and evolving practices, we hope to kindle conversations around the meaningful stories that are deeply rooted in community, placemaking and engage with ongoing legacies of creation. The featured artworks were selected because of the stories they tell and the connections they visualize. Our curatorial model stems from an embrace of the collective and highlights community through thoughtful portraiture as well as collaborative, familial and multigenerational art making. To Remain Connected presents rich layers of stories told through a multitude of interwoven voices rooted in land, memory and Inuit ways of being. While Inuit are linked together through art, language, food, and more, there are many unique Inuit communities, dialects, and lifeways across lands that have been renamed Alaska, Russia, Greenland, Canada and beyond.
– Jenny Irene Miller, Raven Moffett and Shauna Caldwell, Guest Curators
- Jenny Irene Miller
- Mabel Nigiyok
- Elsie Klengenberg
- Helen Klengenberg
- Lypa Pitsiulak
- Annie Pitsiulak
- Thomasie Alikatuktuk
- Solomon Karpik
An in-depth look at the contemporary work of Jenny Irene Miller provides a multi-media, sensory experience that draws us close through intimate images of archival materials, the community she belongs to, and the landscapes of Kiŋigin (Wales, Alaska), where her family’s stories and roots originate. In beautifully self-reflective sound and video pieces, Jenny creates space to actively employ Indigenous refusal through close consideration of the access viewers are given while simultaneously nurturing a sense of greater familial connection to land and kin.
Through the artwork of Mabel Nigiyok and mother/daughter team Elsie and Helen Klengenberg, who worked together as part of an artist cooperative in Ulukhaqtuuq (Inuvik, Canada), we see celebrations of community through music, connections between human and non-human kin and mutual relationships to the land. The familial bonds of Lypa Pitsiulak, Annie Pitsiulak, Thomasie Alikatuktuk and Solomon Karpik further broadens their works’ emphasis on joy and healing in their lives within ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ (Pangnirtung, Nunavut).
In sharing these expansive and interconnected visual stories, this exhibition attempts to shift the pervasive and incomplete narrative that has long been supported by the colonial framework within which arts institutions, such as ours, are so deeply embedded.
From the Turchin Center’s Permanent Collection
Several of the intentionally selected Inuit artworks included in this exhibition are from the substantial collection gifted to the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts by H.G. Jones, an archivist and historian from North Carolina, who lived and worked with these communities between 1971 and 2002, purchasing art and documenting makers in their studios for his personal research.
About the Curators
Jenny Irene Miller (she/they), Inupiaq, is originally from Nome, Alaska. Jenny employs photography, video, and sound in her art practice. She has also been exploring the mediums of sculpture and textiles. Her practice is grounded in storytelling and her identity, from Indigeneity to queerness, as well as familial and community relations. Jenny is informed and inspired by kinship. Jenny is currently a Master of Fine Arts – Photography candidate at the University of New Mexico. She is a SITE Santa Fe Scholar and recent Elizabeth Furber Fellow. Jenny received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photomedia and a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies from the University of Washington.
Raven Moffett (she/they) is an artist and educator working on Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui land in Tucson. Raven’s poetic and lens-based artwork arises from examination of home and origin as a third culture, biracial and diasporic ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ/ white queer artist. She engages embodied performance, welcomes glitch work, and invokes multivocality of land, more-than-human kin, and ghosts in the technology to craft visual narratives which address trauma, healing, survivance, and home-building. Raven received her undergraduate degree at Appalachian State University, holds a graduate certificate in Museum Studies, and is a current Photo, Video, Imaging MFA graduate student at the University of Arizona.
Shauna Caldwell (she/her) is a white, Appalachian artist, educator, and scholar rooted in her hometown of Boone, North Carolina. She uses multimedia and photographic processes to honor land, familial connections, sacred relationships, and transformation. Through her work, she explores collaborative opportunities for the expansion of Appalachian placemaking through the arts and loving community. Caldwell received BFAs in both Studio Art and Art Education, an MA in Appalachian Studies and is currently pursuing an advanced graduate certificate in Non-profit Administration at Appalachian State University.
- Jenny Irene Miller’s website: https://www.jennyirenemiller.com/
- Inuit Art Foundation: https://www.inuitartfoundation.org/
- Inuit Art Quarterly Profiles: https://www.inuitartfoundation.org/profiles
- Native Canadian Arts: https://nativecanadianarts.com/
- Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center & Inuit Art Foundation Artist Talk with Jenny Irene Miller, “Conversations: Queer Inuit Art”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SlEIkTCJ8M
- Shelagh Mackenzie & Sharon Van Raalte documentary film, “Lypa” about Lypa Pitsiulak: https://www.nfb.ca/film/lypa/