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Oonark, OC, RCA

Photo: Jessie Oonark
Oonark, OC, RCA


drawing, printmaking, textile

Artistic Community:

Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), NU

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.

Back River, NU

Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.




Jessie (Una) Oonark was born near Back River, Nunavut. Oonark lived the first fifty years of her life in camps throughout the region. Oonark first began making drawings in the 1950s after settling in Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), NU with her children. Her works quickly caught the attention of members of both the Qamani'tuaq and Kinngait (Cape Dorset) art communities. A few short years after beginning her artistic career, several of Oonark’s drawings were included in the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collections of 1960 and 1961. Oonark was elected as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1975 and was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984.View Long Biography and Citations


View All Publications and Details
Title Year Author
Social Fabric November 2019 Jessica Davey-Quantick
Jessie Oonark's Artworks: Very much alive December, 2018 William Noah
Heartfelt History June-July 2018 Canada's History


View All Exhibitions and Details
Name Year Gallery
Shifting Geographies September 19 - October 26, 2019 University of Alberta Museums
Jessie Oonark's Artworks: Very much alive Dec 19, 2018 - May 12, 2019 La Guilde
Temporal Re-Imaginings Nov 2015 - Apr 2016 Âjagemô Gallery, Canada Council for the Arts


View All Achievements and Details
Achievement Year Organization
Cover of the Inuit Art Quarterly Fall 2017 Inuit Art Foundation
Cover of the Inuit Art Quarterly Summer 1994 Inuit Art Foundation
Cover of the Inuit Art Quarterly Summer 1988 Inuit Art Foundation

Public Collections

View All Public Collections
Collection Location
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University Kingston, ON, Canada
Amon Carter Museum of American Art Fort Worth, TX, United States
Art Gallery of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada

Edit History

January 29, 2018 Updated by: Rebecca Gray
September 12, 2017 Created by: Inuit Art Foundation