On January 8th, 2013, I was on a film set in Georgia.

I was going back and forth, then, from Winnipeg to Atlanta – working at an Inuit Art gallery in Winnipeg and in film in Atlanta.

I had taken some time off during the slow period at the gallery to make a film down south. But i remember that day – EXACTLY.

Because January 8th, 2013 was the day Kenojuak Ashevak died.

If you work in an Inuit Art Gallery, even now, Kenojuak looms large. She is (probably) the artist most associated with Inuit Art.

I’m not sure why I’m so reminded of that day. I guess it’s because another amazing artist has died – Pitaloosie Saila.

For me, when an artist dies, I am, often, unusually sad.

Looking at their body of work, is never a comfort to me.

In fact, in Saila’s case, it is heart-breaking.

Maybe it’s the fact that she contributed to the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection my whole entire life! I have never known a collection without her work.

Maybe it’s the fact that her recent pieces have been so amazing. So stylistically interesting with their unusual perspectives.

I have always liked her work – but her recent prints – I am absolutely crazy for.

She was 79 when she died, I think as a lover of Inuit Art, I was hoping to see her work in the next collection and the next…full of endless surprises.

Imagine – in her ’70’s she was still making goose-bump inspiring art!

On July 24, 2021, I was at the gallery.

Saturday morning is my favorite time to be there. I leave the lights off until the last minute. I play the music loud. And I have a good look around.

It is a real privilege to be able to spend your days surrounded by art. And Saturday mornings are a time for me to remember that.

That morning, I heard Pitaloosie Saila had died.

And when I finally looked up and out at our beautiful space, she was looking right back at me.