• Feature

7 Stories You May Have Missed

Dec 27, 2020
by Jessica MacDonald

There’s no need to go hunting around for stories you may have missed this year—we’re bringing them to you! From Inuit art world news to celebrations of carving, weaving, hunting and more, enjoy seven stories from 2020 that you may not have seen before.


Pitseolak Qimirpik
Carver (2011) Serpentinite 24.1 x 8.9 x 12.7 cm COURTESY COASTAL PEOPLES FINE ARTS GALLERY
Reproduced with permission Dorset Fine Arts Copyright Pitseolak Qimirpik

The Art of Stone: From Quarry to Co-op

Originally published in our Spring 2017 issue, this Portfolio traces the life stages of stone carvings as told by sculptors and their work. Beginning with a meditation on the quarrying process, followed by a look at the physical act of carving and finishing with an examination of the co-operative process by which many carvers sell their works, this collection of images reveals stone at every instance in which it passes a sculptor’s hands.


Alec Aliknak Banksland
Sudden Awakening (1969) Stonecut 45.6 x 61.2 cm

Polar Bear Week

While every February features a Polar Bear Day, we decided to extend it out to a full week celebrating the bears Inuit artists have so often immortalized in their art. Beginning with a 10 Bear Boogie, we showed off the dazzling variety of dancing bear sculptures artists have created. With Polar Bears in Print, we took a closer look at the polar bear stories artists have chosen to tell, illustrating the ways in which the bears are both like them and not. Finally, 10 Pieces of Ursine Ephemera examined the uses of polar bear bones, claws, fur and imagery by artists working in other mediums.


Kawtysie Kakkee
(left) and another weaver
Courtesy IAF

The Unlikely Tale of One Arctic Weaving Shop

One of only three dedicated studios in the world that creates commissioned tapestries, Uqqurmiut, the weaving studio in Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU, produces enormous works that hang in museums and government buildings across Canada and around the world. In this extension of our Spring 2020 issue Threads, we took a close look at the genesis of the project, how tapestries were originally marketed and what it took to produce them, and who is working the looms today. We also examined 31 woven works created over the course of more than 50 years of innovation in the studio.


Alannah Johnston
outside the famous Alianait tent
Courtesy Alianait

Gains for Inuk Leadership at Major Performing Arts Organizations

This July, Alannah Johnston became the first-ever Inuk Executive Director of Alianait, one of Nunavut’s biggest arts organizations. Dedicated to fostering performing arts in Nunavut, Johnston came into the position at a time when most festivals, including Alianait’s, were cancelled for the sake of physical distancing. Learn about Johnston’s plans for the organization and how she has pivoted for COVID-19 in our exclusive interview. This year was also an important one for Qaggiavuut, who announced a new, all-Inuit senior leadership team consisting of Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Ashley Kilabuk-Savard, Simeonie Kisa-Knickelbein and Pitseolak Pfeifer.


Martha Tickiq
Hunt Across the River (n.d.) Duffel, felt and embroidery floss 66.7 x 71.1 cm

9 Hunting and Fishing Artworks that will Reel You In

Hunting and fishing sit close to the heart of Inuit culture, rich subsistence traditions that have provided the food, clothing and shelter necessary for survival since time immemorial. With this collection of artworks, artist and Contributing Editor Leanne Inuarak-Dall examines the rich bounty of wildlife that nourishes Inuit connections to the land and sea.


Joe Nasogaluak
The Shaman’s Dream (n.d.) Stone 24 x 11 x 9 in

20 Carvers to Know in 2020

We started 2020 with a two-week series on carvers to know. The year may be coming to a close, but carvers like Verna Taylor, Pitseolak Qimirpik, Heather Kayotak and Jason Jacque continue to produce exemplary work. Before 2020 is up, make sure you know about this extraordinary collection of carvers.


Alootook Ipellie
The Death of Nomadic Life, the Creeping Emergence of Civilization (2007) Ink on board 50.7 × 37.9 cm

Inuit Artists Give You Their 5 Works

In every magazine, five members of the IAF staff each pick an artwork to discuss in a brief section we call 5 Works. For our Fall 2020 Relations issue, however, we thought it only fitting to ask Inuit artists to comment on works with which they have had a close relationship. In these extensions of the pieces which appeared in the magazine, carver’s apprentice Kara Montague discusses mentor Billy Gauthier’s sculpture; multidisciplinary artist Taalrumiq/Christina King reveals the secrets left behind in Tuktuyaaktuuk’s sealskin tapestries; sculptor Janet Brewster explores her relationship to the work of Igah Hainnu; graphic artist Jason Sikoak tells us how cartoonist Alootook Ipellie has influenced his work; and horror filmmaker Nyla Innuksuk examines the insects of Saimaiyu Akesuk.

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