Mathew Nuqingaq



Mathew Nuqingaq is an Iqaluit-based artist who works primarily in jewelry design. Nuqingaq’s talent for working with metal and his desire to represent Inuit culture and traditions through his work result in unique, wearable pieces of art. His designs include Inuit tools, arctic animals and  draw on popular figures from Inuit stories.

Nuqingaq has been an active member of the artistic community in a variety of different disciplines. In 1998 he worked with six other Nunavummiut artists to produce the Mace of Nunavut for the Nunavut Legislative Assembly [1]. In 1999 he completed the jewelry and metalwork program at Nunavut Arctic College which began his trajectory into silversmithing [2]. Shortly after graduating from Nunavut Arctic College he was one of a group of four artists from the program commissioned by former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to create a trophy for the Isobel Cup [3]. In addition to making jewellery, Nuqingaq is also a drum dancer. He has performed at many exhibitions and festivals including the touring show Tulugak: Inuit Raven Stories, co-directed by Sylvia Cloutier and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory [4].

Nuqingaq has dedicated himself to supporting the Inuit artistic community and promoting Inuit art. In 2007 Nuqingaq founded Aayuraa Studio in Iqaluit where he works alongside both emerging and established artists. The studio is named after snow goggles, with the subtextual meaning of protecting the artistic vision of Inuit artists [5]. The studio is a space where artists are able to work alongside one another to develop and grow their artistic practice and produce innovative designs for a growing audience. Nuqingaq worked hard to turn a two bedroom house in Iqaluit into the studio space and showroom it has become today [6]. His commitment to creating opportunities for members of his community and fellow artists means that for many he acts as a mentor, a leader and a teacher. In 2017 he led a workshop in his studio in cooperation with the Government of Nunavut to teach participants how to make a metal qulliq [7].  

Nuqingaq is a co-founder of the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association and served as the President of the Inuit Art Foundation [8]. Nuqingaq has taken part in several prominent exhibitions across Canada, including the acclaimed Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which ran from October 2016 to March 2017 in Winnipeg, MB and Floe Edge: Contemporary Art and Collaborations from Nunavut from January to March 2016 presented by AXENÉO7 and the Nunavut Arts & Crafts Association. Nuqingaq was awarded the Member of the Order of Canada on November 18, 2016.

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Accomplishments

2005: Commissioned by former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to help create a trophy for the Isobel Cup.

2004: Commissioned to help build an inuksuk for the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.

1998: Worked with six other artists to produce the Mace of Nunavut.

1998: Co-founded the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association.
 


Citations/Footnotes

1. “The Mace of Nunavut”, Nunavut Maligaliurvia, accessed January 11, 2018, http://www.assembly.nu.ca/about-legislative-assembly/mace-nunavut. 
2.“Mathew Nuqingaq”, Circum-Arctic Art Show, accessed January 11, 2018,    http://www.circumarctic.com/mathew%20nuqingaq.
3. John Thompson, “Clarkson’s legacy to be made in Nunavut”, Nunatsiaq News, last updated September 23, 2005, http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/archives/50923/news/nunavut/50923_10.html.
4. Lisa Gregorie, “Tulugak soars during final Ottawa shows”, Nunatsiaq News, last updated May 06, 2013, http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674tulugak_soars_during_final_ottawa_shows/.
5. “Mathew Nuqingaq”, Circum-Arctic, 2018.
6. Inuit Art Foundation, “Artists in their Studios”, Inuit Art Quarterly 22, no. 4 (Winter 2007): 37.
7. Beth Brown, “Hammering out traditional oil lamps in Nunavut’s capital”, Nunatsiaq News, last updated August 18, 2017, http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674hammering_out_traditional_oil_lamps_in_nunavuts_capital/.
8. “Mathew Nuqingaq”, Feheley Fine Arts, accessed January 11, 2018, https://feheleyfinearts.com/artists/mathew-nuqingaq/.