Flashback: Jessie Oonark

By | Feature

In the study of art, a seam in time can sometimes unexpectedly open, spilling a packet of the past. All the spark and vitality of a moment long passed has somehow been saved and can now be relived afresh. Such was the experience of eighty-two-year-old, New York-based writer and educator Richard Lewis, who was quietly performing that most monotonous of domestic chores—cleaning his basement—when he came across a manila envelope containing a blast from his past. Inside were 27 pristine drawings on coloured card stock, the work of the Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU, artist Jessie Oonark, OC, RCA (1906–1985), drawings made with coloured pens when the artist was in her prime, in the late 1960s. Read More

Interview: Bart Hanna

By | Feature

In 2013, Bart Hanna completed his most ambitious sculpture to date: Migration, a monumental ship with a cast of unique characters carved from a single block of stone weighing over 700 pounds, retrieved more than 300 miles north of Iglulik (Igloolik), NU, outside of Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay). In this interview with IAF Executive Director Alysa Procida, Hanna explains the significance of this singular work. Read More

Lukie Airut: Igloolik’s Carving Wizard

By | Feature

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

Remembering Lukie Airut

By | Tribute

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

Inuit Art Centre Announces All-Inuit, All-Female Guest Curatorial Team

By | News

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.
Read More

The Intertwined History Of Politics And Art in Nunatsiavut

By | Feature

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

Sign up for our newsletter