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Adamie Ashevak

Adamie Ashevak is an artist from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU though he grew up on the land and did not settle there until 1965 [1]. Ashevak began carving when he was 10 years old learning from his parents but did not carve regularly until he was an adult [2].  Ashevak’s preferred subjects are polar bears with a multiplicity of expressions, which he depicts in stone.

In Polar Bear (1999) Ashevak's observation of the animal is seen in the details of his carving. From the inquisitive gaze, the bear's wide eyes, pursed mouth and perked ears lend an intelligent and also playful expression to the bear. The wide stance—wider than the shoulders of the animal—and bent paws depict the bear as asymmetrical yet possessive of a lively energy, akin to that of a live bear surprised by the sudden appearance of its audience. Ashevak captures this moment in practiced, smooth lines on green serpentine stone, the head of the bear brown as if touched by the sun. The torso of the bear is larger than the waist, and the bear's weight is in its front paws and back legs, all aspects that show the keen eye for detail that is a hallmark of Ashevak's sculpture. While the bear is technically perfect, with its smooth body and evenly distributed mass, it also exudes a life of its own, caught in the gaze of its observer. Ashevak's sculpture embraces its verisimilitude to life and allows the observer to be complicit in its surprise. 
Ashevak's upbringing allowed him the opportunity to observe bears and other wildlife during hunting excursions giving him intimate knowledge of their habits, movements and physique [3].

Ashevak's work has been included in exhibitions since 1987 most notably as part of the 1996 exhibition New Visions at Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver. His work is held in the permanent collection of Galerie Art Inuit Brousseau, Quebec, QC.



2001–2004: Ashevak serves on the Board of Directors of the Inuit Art Foundation.

2002–2004: Ashevak serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Inuit Art Quarterly.


1. IAF Database Files, Interview with Michelle Lewin, 2004 (Adamie Ashevak) 1. 
2. "Adamie Ashevak" Canada House Gallery, Accessed January 1, 2018, http://www.canadahouse.com/artist.asp?aid=296 
3. IAF Database Files, Interview with Michelle Lewin, 2004 (Adamie Ashevak) 1.