After venturing out from their home community of lgloolik to hunt caribou and fetch relatives from an outpost camp, carver Lukie Airut and filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk take a detour through the frozen Fury and Hecla Strait, a narrow channel that runs between Baffin Island and the Melville Peninsula. Airut suddenly revs his Ski-Doo snowmobile engine and bolts ahead, disappearing in the dim December light. Read More
The Inuit Art Foundation is saddened to report the passing of Iglulik-based artist Lukie Airut (1942–2018), an immensely talented sculptor known for his intricate and multi-dimensional sculptures. Airut was born in an outpost camp on Baffin Island’s Alanarjuk Lake and later moved to Iglulik to study carving with artist Pacome Kolaut (1925–1968). Although skilled at working in stone, Airut eventually shifted his focus to whalebone and walrus ivory—media in which he excelled and that allowed him to create highly detailed works in increasing scale. Read More
In an announcement today, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) has confirmed a team of four Inuit guest curators—Dr. Heather Igloliorte, Asinnajaq (Isabella Weetaluktuk), Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter and Krista Ulujuk Zawadski—will work together to open the WAG’s Inuit Art Centre’s inaugural exhibition calendar. Spanning careers that are both established and emerging, each member of the curatorial team has contributed to the appreciation and study of Inuit art and culture.
While encounters with Nunatsiavummiut have been well documented for over four centuries, and a number of excellent studies from the related fields of archeology, anthropology and ethnohistory exist, the art historical literature is scant. Scholarly publications, museum collections, and exhibitions of Inuit art and visual culture have been noticeably light on Nunatsiavut content; most seminal texts on Inuit art ignore Labrador completely or mention it only in passing; and only a handful of journal articles and catalogue essays over the last 60 years since Confederation deal with Nunatsiavummiut art in any depth or breadth. Yet in spite of the lack of an enduring arts industry, a cooperative system, institutional support or scholarly interest, Nunatsiavut continues to produce such exceptional artists as metal smith Michael Massie, stone sculptor John Terriak, and graphic artist Heather Campbell. Read More
In a statement released December 29, 2017, Governor General Julie Payette announced 125 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The Inuit Art Quarterly is thrilled to report that Nunavummiuq graphic artist and printmaker Andrew Qappik is among the list of recipients and will become a Member of the Order of Canada “for his contributions to defining the visual culture of Nunavut as a master printmaker and sculptor.” Read More
At the time of writing this piece, there are no fewer than five solo exhibitions of Inuit artists open across North America. The solo show, be it a new body of work at a commercial gallery or a large-scale retrospective at a major institution, is an important marker in the career of any artist. Given their ubiquity today, it is difficult to imagine a time when solo exhibitions of Inuit artists were rare, or that there was ever a definitive “first”, but indeed there was. Tiktak: Sculptor from Rankin Inlet, N.W.T. opened on March 4, 1970, at Gallery One One One in Winnipeg, MB, and marked the first formal retrospective of an Inuk artist. Read More