Shorty Killikgtee


Shorty Killikgtee (1949 - 1993) was a sculptor from the region of Kimmirut (Kimmirut), NU, who moved to Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, later in life. Beginning to carve in the 1960s, Killikgtee’s work tended to focus on subjects surrounding his home in the Arctic. Caribou and birds were a few of the artist’s perennial favourites, lending their distinct forms to Killikgtee’s modern style of carving. His brother, Nuyaliaq Qimirpik (1937 – 2007), was also an accomplished sculptor whose work likely influenced Killigktee’s own practice [1].

Whale (1977), carved from characteristic green Kimmirut stone, showcases the artist’s ability to imbue stylized and simple forms with vibrant life. Lying on its side, the plump beluga swims through a current, using its flexible tail and cupped fins to propel it along. Further emphasizing each curve and rounded feature of the whale, Killikgtee polished his stone to an incredible degree of smoothness, manipulating his material to resemble wet and supple animal skin.

More examples of Killikgtee’s work are on display today in public collections across Canada, including the National Gallery in Ottawa, ON, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Manitoba. Four of his sculptures were also featured in the Masters of the Arctic exhibition (1989 – 1991), which toured throughout North America. Killikgtee’s legacy is carried on by his son, Simeonie Killiktee, and his nephew, Toonoo Sharky, who shares his uncle’s passion for carving birds.

Artist Work

About Shorty Killikgtee



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.


Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.

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.