Shedding light on the subject

Artist Profile: Gerald Kuehl - Portraits of the North

For the past few years, local artist Gerald Kuehl has been dropping by the studio every six months or so to digitally document his incredible portraits for archive and reproduction. The portraits Gerald produces are jaw-dropping, realistic pencil drawings of members of Canada’s northern Aboriginal community and are part of an ongoing personal project named Portraits of the North.

The project began in 1997 and has since garnered international recognition, won awards and has taken Gerald on a journey of a lifetime. Travelling to northern communities regularly, he has accumulated a large body of work, not only in the portraits themselves, but the stories of those who are posing for them. He says, “I was fascinated by the stories of the individuals I met who had endured so much in their struggle to survive in the harsh northern environment. Those stories were often etched on the faces of these proud people through the lines and scars and even affected the expressions they wore.”

I recently heard Gerald’s presentation on the project at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, and found it incredibly inspiring in both sight and sound. If you’re a book publisher, jump on this. The body of work and documentation attached to each piece is soon to be one of Canada’s national treasures.

Get inspired for yourself at


©Gerald Kuehl 2011 

Comment on article