At the National Arts Centre: Breaking Ground / Diesing / Kalvak / Kigusiuq / Letendre

September 12 - November 8, 2019

First Nations, Inuit and Métis women have always been at the forefront of preserving and advancing Indigenous artistic expression.

From their homes, communities and studios, and in galleries, museums and cultural centres, they create and shape the cultural memory and heritage of Turtle Island.

In conjunction with the Indigenous Theatre’s inaugural season at the National Arts Centre and its premiere Indigenous Arts festival, Mòshkamo Indigenous Arts Festival, CUAG is honoured to present the work of four groundbreaking Indigenous women artists: Helen Kalvak (1901-1984), Freda Diesing (1925-2002), Janet Kigusiuq (1926-2005) and Rita Letendre (b. 1928).

Focused solo exhibitions installed throughout the NAC will shine a spotlight on the extraordinary talent, inventiveness and dynamism of these artists, who have made remarkable contributions to the cultural landscape of this nation.

The exhibitions feature drawings and prints selected from CUAG’s collection. Danielle Printup is curating the exhibitions featuring Freda Diesing and Rita Letendre, while Krista Ulujuk Zawadski is curating the exhibitions featuring Janet Kigusiuq and Helen Kalvak.

Curated by

Danielle Printup and Krista Ulujuk Zawadski

Artists in the exhibition

Freda Diesing, Rita Letendre, Janet Kigusiuq and Helen Kalvak


Presented in collaboration with the NAC’s Mòshkamo Indigenous Arts Festival