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Kenojuak keeps on drawing

The Story

When Inuk artist Kenojuak Ashevak drew her famous Enchanted Owl in 1960, it sold for about $50. Today, the work is worth closer to $60,000. The artist has won countless awards over the span of her career -- and at the age of 77, she's still creating. In this excerpt from a 2005 CBC-TV news feature, she explains her main motivation for continuing to work as an artist: the ability to hand a bit of cash to her cherished children and grandchildren.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 14, 2005
Guest: Kenojuak Ashevak
Reporter: Peter Mansbridge
Duration: 1:42

Did You know?

• Kenojuak Ashevak (who typically just goes by the name Kenojuak) was born in 1927 in an igloo in Ikirashaq, N.W.T.

• At the age of 22, she married a fellow artist named Johnniebo. In the late 1950s the couple met James Houston, who was working for the Canadian government as part of an effort to promote the development of Inuit art. Houston became a champion of Kenojuak's work. He encouraged her to experiment with different materials and ensured that the rest of the world would be exposed to her artwork.


• The National Film Board produced a documentary about her in 1962 called Eskimo Artist: Kenojuak. Directed by John Feeney, the film received an Academy Award nomination in the documentary short category in 1964.


• While many of Kenojuak's drawings and prints are well known, The Enchanted Owl is generally considered to be her most famous work. First drawn in 1960, the image was put on a Canadian postage stamp in 1970 to mark the centennial of the Northwest Territories.

• Kenojuak Ashevak died Jan. 7, 2013, at home in Cape Dorset.  She was 85.



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