Doctoral student Tess McCoy presented a paper at the Inuit Studies Conference 2022: Auviqsaqtut in June in Winnipeg, Canada. In her paper “’From the Body, Land, Sea and Air:’ Collaboration Knows No Bounds” Tess investigates the connections between two contemporary Circumpolar Indigenous artists, Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Iñupiaq/Athabaskan/ Irish/German) and Maureen Gruben (Inuvialuk). These two artists, although physically apart, work together and separately to create artworks that represent their relationships to each other, to the enduring relationships between Circumpolar Indigenous peoples, and connections between the land, waters, and the more-than-human. Together and individually, these artists demonstrate cultural sovereignty and collective responsibility in Indigenous Arctic communities.
Tess received the Department of Art History’s Helen J. Beard Conference Travel Grant to help support her travel to Winnipeg to share this research with an audience of scholars, artists, activists, and community members.