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Joe Nasogaluak

Joe Nasogaluak was born in Tuktoyaktuk, NT, in 1958. He is one of the most celebrated
Inuvialuit artists of the North for his success as an artist. His main medium is sculpture and
painting realistic portraits of Inuvialuit histories and stories. He comes from an artistic family as his brothers Bill and Eli Nasogaluak are famous carvers.

Nasogaluak started carving at the age of 16 and began working with antler, but quickly
progressed to stone. Nasogaluak comes from a family of carvers, storytellers and hunters and by having these influences he utilizes these stories, legends and ways of the Inuvialuit people to carve stone. In every piece Nasogaluak encapsulates a story of a struggle or humour through each curve and detail of his broad body of work.

Nasogaluak explains about his works, “I like to carve feelings and emotions of people in particular. I made a carving a few years ago of an old man who is going home in a storm with his wife behind him in the headwind. You knew they were in headwind not only with their body position, but also certain details and most importantly, their expressions" [1]. Nasogaluak has showcased his work at the Great Northern Arts Festival since the very beginning in Inuvik, NT. Every year Nasogaluak creates snow sculptures for the sunrise festival in Tuktoyaktuk, NT and to celebrate the return of the sun. 

Nasogaluak has a permanent piece at the Vancouver International Airport titled Catch the Spirit.
The whalebone sculpture piece had toured different countries before it became it became a
permanent piece at the Vancouver International Airport. In November 2017, Nasogaluak was commissioned by the Governor General to make a sculpture in celebration of the opening of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway. Nasogaluak and along with his brother Darrel, co-founded the Siglit Drummers and Dancers, carrying all the songs and dances to the youth and whoever want to learn. Since 2009, the Siglit Drummers and Dancers have performed across Canada. 


Citations/Footnotes

1. Northwest Territories Arts Council. "Joe Nasogaluak."