Alysha Strongman, graduate student is Classics at Queen’s, was awarded the inaugural Research Studentship in Indigenous Art.
Noah Quinuayark, Hawk(e)/ Hawk and Prey, 1961, stonecut on paper. Gift of Margaret McGowan Arts’78, 2017 (60-003.01) Photo: Bernard Clark
Alysha Strongman, a graduate student in Classics at Queen’s, was awarded the inaugural Research Studentship in Indigenous Art. Her research involved curating the exhibition Puvirnituq Graphic Arts in the 1960s under the supervision of Dr Norman Vorano.
When starting the process, Strongman quickly discovered that there was a lack of information about the history of printmaking in Puvirnituq, Nunavik, Quebec. She spent time in Ottawa at Library and Archives Canada to help fill in the gaps. Researching the early years of the print shop, Strongman was surprised to find that female artists not only carved and printed their own art but also editioned the prints of the male artists of the cooperative, and that their work was largely unacknowledged until later.
“This experience has greatly impacted my future career path as it has helped me to confirm that working within a museum environment is what I would like to continue to do,” says Alysha Strongman. “I now firmly know that curating art is something I hope to pursue in my future.” Strongman has recently been accepted to the Master’s in Art History program at Queen’s and she intends to work on prints from Puvirnituq.
This new program is funded by a generous gift from Margaret McGowan (Artsci’78). It supports a current graduate or upper-year undergraduate student at Queen’s University in completing research at Agnes in Inuit and North American Indigenous Art. The Studentship offers an in-depth experiential learning opportunity in Indigenous material culture within a professional museum environment.