Adamie Ashevak

Adamie Ashevak is an artist from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. Although he grew up on the land and did not settle in the community until 1965 [1], Ashevak began carving when he was 10 years old, learning from his parents, renowned artists Kenojuak Ashevak and Johnniebo Ashevak [2].  His preferred subjects are polar bears with a multiplicity of expressions, which he depicts in stone.

In Polar Bear (1999), Ashevak's  astute observation of the animal is seen in the fine details of his carving. The bear's wide eyes, pursed mouth and perked ears lend an intelligent and 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 coloured brown as though touched by the sun. The torso of the bear is larger than the waist and the 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 body bear is smooth body and evenly distributed in mass, it also exudes a life of its own, caught in the gaze of its observer.

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]. His 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.

About Adamie Ashevak


Sculptural, Sculpture/Carving, Stone

Artistic Community:

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), 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.

The Igloo Tag Trademark
The Igloo Tag Trademark is an internationally recognized symbol that denotes handmade, original artwork made by Inuit artists in Canada. Established in 1958, the Trademark is now managed by the Inuit Art Foundation. The appearance of the Igloo Tag on an artist profile means they have had the Trademark applied to their artwork.

Edit History

January 2, 2018 Updated By: Lera Kotsyuba
September 12, 2017 Created by: Concordia Student Researcher