Curtis Taylor

Curtis Taylor
Courtesy Inuvialuit Carvers


Curtis Taylor is a sculptor from Tuktuyaaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktuk), Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, who was born in Inuvik, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT. Taylor was surrounded by art and encouraged to carve at a young age by family members.

Taylor was taught to sculpt by his father, William Taylor, and uncles Derrald, Ryan and Ronnie, all prolific carvers in their own right. Carving is a family tradition for most of the Taylors, male and female, one that began with patriarch Bobby Chicksi Taylor in the 1960s. In family tradition, William mentored Curtis as his father mentored him, and Curtis is now mentoring his own young son Bobby. Taylor made his first sculpture at age thirteen after watching his family carve for years—he created a small kayak hunter out of caribou antler, which was quickly sold. 

Much of Taylor’s work is inspired by his hometown of Tuktuyaaqtuuq and the surrounding animals and landscape. [1] His pieces are known for the movement they portray, and the sense of anticipation. Taylor credits his family’s carving legacy for this quality in his work, saying it helped him develop his own interpretation of traditional techniques. [2] Although he began with antler, Taylor later added stone to his repertoire and continues to work with both materials to this day. He says his medium choice is closely connected to the subject matter he will carve—whales and kayaks are often from antler, while bears, drum dancers and trees are from stone. “I think about each design for hours and hours—just looking at the antler, and thinking about what image it would lend itself to,” he says. “It’s the same with stone. I don’t know what design I’ll be carving before I look at the stone. The stone tells me what to carve.” [3]

For Taylor, carving is a passion that extends through the artistic process itself and all the way to the end customer. “It’s exciting to see the customers look at my work for the first time, and react to it, and find their own passions for it,” he says. [4] In addition to selling through the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Taylor also sells pieces through a jewellery store in Inuvik called Originals and annually at the Great Northern Arts Festival. Despite the sense of movement and anticipation already present in his pieces, his next goal is to learn to bring further narrative to his work. “I’m still learning to tell stories with my carvings,” Taylor says, [5] emphasizing how much his Elders still have to teach him.


This Profile was made possible through support from RBC Emerging Artists.

Artist Work

About Curtis Taylor



Artistic Community:

Tuktuuyaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktuk), NT

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.


Bobby's Legacy, 2016