In the interest of public safety, the IAF’s offices are closed until future notice. Staff are continuing to work off-site supporting Inuit artists and their work.

During this unprecedented and challenging time, it is more important than ever to remain connected to each other. The IAF remains committed to making sure that artists have access to opportunities and bringing you inspiring artworks, artist profiles and untold stories.

Thank you for being a part of our community, we wish you health and comfort during this difficult time.

20 Carvers to Know in 2020: Mathew Ashevak

by Jessica MacDonald | Jan 13, 2020

Although only in his mid-thirties, sculptor Mathew Ashevak has over thirty years’ experience carving. How? He began carving at the age of five. Born in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, Ashevak is from a highly artistic family. His father, Adamie Ashevak, is a noted carver, and his grandparents include sculptor Pauta Saila, graphic artist Pitaloosie Saila, and the legendary Kenojuak Ashevak.

Ashevak often focuses on shamans and transformation in his work. Known for his openwork carving technique and attention to detail, his pieces display a fluid sense of movement and purpose. Every curve is polished to perfection, an action suspended in stone by a master carver. 

Here, Ashevak’s drum dancer balances gracefully on two feet while leaning backward, presumably looking sideways at his audience. The solid black marble creates a strong juxtaposition with the ivory drum, which beckons in the figure’s outstretched arms. Although the hair is the only densely textured part of this sculpture, Ashevak has suggested folds in the parka at the figure’s waist through gentle rolls, mimicking the effect that would be created were a parka-clad human to pose this way. Ashevak enacts these subtle details with the same skill his drummer must perform his dance.

20 Carvers to Know in 2020: Mathew Ashevak

by Jessica MacDonald | Jan 13, 2020

Although only in his mid-thirties, sculptor Mathew Ashevak has over thirty years’ experience carving. How? He began carving at the age of five. Born in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, Ashevak is from a highly artistic family. His father, Adamie Ashevak, is a noted carver, and his grandparents include sculptor Pauta Saila, graphic artist Pitaloosie Saila, and the legendary Kenojuak Ashevak.

Ashevak often focuses on shamans and transformation in his work. Known for his openwork carving technique and attention to detail, his pieces display a fluid sense of movement and purpose. Every curve is polished to perfection, an action suspended in stone by a master carver. 

Here, Ashevak’s drum dancer balances gracefully on two feet while leaning backward, presumably looking sideways at his audience. The solid black marble creates a strong juxtaposition with the ivory drum, which beckons in the figure’s outstretched arms. Although the hair is the only densely textured part of this sculpture, Ashevak has suggested folds in the parka at the figure’s waist through gentle rolls, mimicking the effect that would be created were a parka-clad human to pose this way. Ashevak enacts these subtle details with the same skill his drummer must perform his dance.

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Janet Nungnik


Janet Nungnik is a talented artist from Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), NU, who uses embroidery and appliqué to create immense wallhangings that tell the story of her life and people. Nungnik has has two solo exhibitions in the previous year, The Eagle's Shadow at Marion Scott Gallery and a self-titled show at the MicMichael Canadian Art Collection. Nungnik will be featured in the upcoming Spring 2020 Threads issue as part of Krista Ulujuk Zawadski's piece "Threading Memories".


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Igloo Tag

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The Canadian federal government created the Igloo Tag Trademark in 1958 in order to protect Inuit visual art from mass-produced, fraudulent work. The trademark, most often applied to sculpture, is a safeguard for collectors and artists that only applied to works made by Inuit.

The Inuit Art Foundation accepted the rights to the trademark from the government in 2017. For the first time, the trademark is now led by Inuit, for Inuit.

 

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