Veronica Puskas, a former resident of Nunavut’s Kivalliq region, recently won an award for Excellence in Work by a first-time exhibitor Quilt in St. Catharines, Ont. at Canada’s national juried show.
Pillars of Strength, is based on a 1950 photograph of her grandmother and mother near the Meliadine River by Rankin Inlet.
The quilt honors her grandmother, Puskas says, though making it also helped her to deal with some heavy emotions.
“I hope to encourage people that are going through difficult times that through doing some artwork or doing something to make something beautiful is very cathartic,” she says. “It helps you deal with the emotions and the hurt while doing it.”
Puskas says the project, which she began years ago and selected from over 80 entries, was truly a labor of love and family tribute.
“Mom used to tell us you can do better than that and that’s all I kept hearing.”
Chair of the event, Marilyn Michelin,says Puskas’ skill is outstanding.
“To do people in a picture is just unbelievable,” she says. “The talent that people have for that.”
Puskas, who now lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, will continue to use the north and particularly Nunavut as her inspiration for future quilting projects.