Inuit Art Blog
Markoosie Papigatook (1976) is one of my favourite artists for small Dancing bears.
His creatures have poise, humour and the right amount of irony.
Markoosie is from Cape Dorset. His mother and maternal grandparents were successful carvers. He started carving as a teenager and is largely self taught. His bears are easy to recognize. Each bear is a “character” with its whimsical spirit and joie de vivre.
When I have a Markoosie bear in the gallery, I place it so I can look at it and absorb its innocent joy. You can’t have a bad day when a Markoosie bear is in the room.
For one so small, these sculptures are exquisitely carved. The proportions are childlike. The body is short and a bit chubby. The head is large with round features just like a child’s body. But don’t be fooled. These dancing bears are Olympic athletes.
Markoosie overextends the upper spine and head into near impossible positions. Then he directs his charges to dance; to whirl and spin with wild abandon all the while maintaining their balance. I am mesmerized by these little bears because for a brief moment they invite us to shed our inhibitions and savour the joy of life.
Hip, modern, infectious in spirit; Markoosie Papigatook’s Dancing bears are perpetually entertaining.
At the gallery, we have seen our number of themed animal carvings, ranging from bears to loons to narwhals etc.
We rarely get a chance to see Orca whales. This is a Northern animal located mainly in the Pacific ocean off the coast of western Canada. This marine mammal is absolutely amazing.
Master carver Derrald Taylor was the first Inuit artist I saw carve one of these beautiful beasts. When he showed them to me, I knew immediately that I had to showcase them in the gallery.
The problem was, that these Orcas were so popular and in such high demand, we had to wait almost two years before he made a set for us. In 2019, this moment arrived. Taylor assembled a carving that is not just the nicest Orca that we have seen from an artist, it is one of the nicest carvings we have ever seen period.
The sublime black stone resonates with spectacular brilliance. It electrifies the entire room. Moreover, these whales look incredibly real because they are so masterfully detailed. These beautiful creatures have been sculpted to perfection.
We are proud to announce that as of April 1st, 2019, we have two sets of these beautiful carvings to offer to our clients.
Simply stated, Manasie Akpaliapik is Canada’s superstar Inuit carver.
He is positioned as being one of the top three premiere Master carvers of Inuit Art. He shares this distinction with Paul Maliki and Abraham Ruben.
In 2016, The National Gallery of Canada devoted the centre stage of the Inuit Pavillion to Tribute to Animals 1996, one of Manasie’s large whale bone sculptures.
This decision by the Gallery, will help you understand the servitude and significance of Manasie to Canadian art.
Manasie’s owls with inlaid eyes rimmed in black are his signature sculpture. There is no one who can out carve Manasie when it comes to owls! His bears are always enchanting and sought after by collectors of Inuit art. He is a champion of the relationship between animals and humans.
I have had the honour of knowing Manasie and selling his carvings for twelve years. He has an innate ability to be fresh and innovative. I confess, there have been moments when Manasie has presented me with a new carving and I have actually gasped. That is the power of his mastery.
Manasie’s commissions and exhibitions are prestigious (AGO, WAG, National Gallery of Canada) within Canada and internationally. His carvings are Masterpieces, both literally and figuratively.
Figuratively, Manasie’s Masterpieces will soothe your collector’s soul and bring you joy for a lifetime.
Quite literally, Manasie’s Masterpiece sculptures are considered investment pieces. They will handsomely increase in value over the next ten years.
It is my great pleasure (in my position as Curator of Inuit Sculptures and in my role as friend to Manasie) to exhibit Manasie Akpaliapik’s extraordinary and brilliant Inuit carvings.
Christmas... late night arrivals, doors thrown open, open arms, kisses, voices, laughter at everything and nothing at all.
Christmas, set apart by its mystery, mood and magic. The season seems in a way to stand outside time.
All that is dear, that is lasting, renews its hold on us.... and we are home again at
( inspired by Home For Christmas Eliz Bowen 1899-1973)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to our cherished clients who share our passion for the Inuit and their art. It has been our pleasure to present these incredible pieces to you this past year.
Come and join us to see our beautiful Holiday Season collection.
Featured Carver - Paul Bruneau
This month the Gallery is featuring acclaimed artist Paul Bruneau and his exquisite Inukshuks.
Paul was fortunate to meet celebrated Inuit artist Idris Moss-Davis during his childhood and together they formed a lasting friendship. Idris mentored Paul in carving techniques and the pair began carving together. Paul was inspired by Idris Moss-Davis’ talent and credits Idris for teaching him to carve exquisite sculptures.
Paul’s Inukshuks are unmatched in the Inuit world. The are wild alien characters fashioned from opulent deeply coloured marble, stacked together in near impossible angles. These carvings are beautiful, refined and definitely cosmopolitan. Paul’s Inukshuks can only be described as “divine”.
We currently have a small number of his Inukshuks in the Gallery. We are one of the few galleries honoured with his work. The serpentine stone is multicoloured and so unusual that one finds oneself mesmerized by the stone. Paul’s talent for animating each Inukshuk creates a sculpture that will never be paralleled.
To view some of his beautiful inukshuks, click here.
At inuistculptures.com, we always wanted a way to showcase artists who we greatly admire, however are either no longer carving, or extremely hard to get.
We decided to present a unique collection of Inuit Master Carvers whose sculptures are now RARE treasures called "Bittersweet Farewells".
These Master Carvers were distinguished by their exemplary contribution to the Inuit art community. Sadly, these artists are either retired or they have passed on. These Masterpiece creations are some of the few pieces still available in the world and are tremendously difficult to obtain.
These carvings would be the crown jewels in any Inuit art collection. They are the perfect reflection of artistic joy and the true Canadian spirit of the Inuit!
Any one of these special carvings should be considered an investment since they will appreciate tremendously in monetary value over the next few years.
Knowing how to display your Inuit art is just as important as the art itself. So many of our clients acquire incredibly beautiful pieces from our gallery, and I am always curious to know where and how it is displayed in their home.
Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to see examples of beautiful displays from our very own clients.
** If you have one of our exquisite pieces that is beautifully displayed, please show us and we will post it on this blog. Send us a pic at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would Love to see it!
The number one most crucial thing is deciding where to place your piece. Pairing your pieces together in groupings are a common theme in Inuit art. When doing this, it is crucial to pair each carving in such a way where they do not blend in with one another. An example would be to pair a darker piece with a lighter one.
Another important criteria in choosing your space, is making sure your piece will be viewed in an open airy space. A venue with high ceilings is highly desired. In doing so, this enhances the artworks synergy with its natural habitat. Having it in a closed confined space does not allow the carving to breathe.
Lighting is also an incredibly important factor. This is not always possible. If their is an option to do this, than proper lighting onto the carving will greatly enhance its colors, glitter, sparkle and reflection. Serpentine stone is especially known to really flourish under a spot light. The desired lighting are track lights that will beam onto the carving.
The other key factor is light placement. You want the glow of the lighting to hover around the carving. You do not want it to be to close and create an overly harsh reflection of light.
Recessed lighting is a great way to do this. If this is not an option, a work lamp with an arm extension works very well too.
Work lamps can be inexpensive and will really make the brilliant coloration in the serpentine stone "pop". They are especially good for smaller / medium sized carvings. To maximize the presence of a smaller piece, a work lamp with an arm extension placed over the piece will make it a central attraction for any room.
In particular, when smaller in size, we at the gallery really admire apple green carvings. There is no artist that performs better owls in these striking apple green stone than Pitseolak Qimirpik. When put under a light, his vivid colored green and brown owls become incredibly electric!
If you are looking to make a small investment in an exquisite piece of art, Pitseolak Qimirpik owls are some of the best pieces to own in any Inuit art collection.
Here are some additional examples below of how and where to place your Inuit Art.
Displays from our clients:
Dundas, Ontario Canada
George Arlook meets Nuna Parr's rare print
Tim Pee bear feeling right at home.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Manasie Akapliapiks Owl in good company with a Scottish Fold.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Pat Ekpakohak's enchanting Lovebirds in a nook corner
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Pit's Owl about to order Chinese takeout with his whale friends
His carvings tell stories about Inuit culture and a time when people lived in camps, hunted to feed their families and used dog teams to travel. Lukie's work is often multi-dimensional, with fine details at every angle and direction.
His wife, Marie, is a craft artist and respected seamstress. Lukie's youngest brother, Bart Hanna, is also a well-known Igloolik carver.
He will be greatly missed.
His last remaining works can be found here.
Here's a behind the scenes look at what goes into creating a stone carving from start to finish. The video below shows Artist, George Arlook's process.
Video by: Greg Loew, Winnipeg, MB.
For our clients who wish to purchase one of George Arlook's beautiful transformations, please contact us ans we will show you.
Fifteen years ago, I was a young man full of intrigue and adventure. I had a yearning to travel the world and see new things. After completing my Bachelors degree in Commerce, I decided to follow my dream and embark on an adventure very few people get to experience - trekking off to one of Canada's last frontiers - The Canadian North.
Venturing off to the far North is not an easy task for any individual. One must go there with a purpose. Mine was to become a professional pilot. To this day, I am not exactly sure what came first, having the aspirations to fly professionally, or my craving to explore the North. Either or - both desires have allowed me to experience the thrill of a lifetime! I was elated and romanticized by the lifestyle of a bush pilot. The choice became a synonymous and ubiquitous one at that as my path was crystal clear.
Complimentary to my business and piloting skill sets, I exhibited a spirit for entrepreneurialism. Moreover, I was very creative and had a strong passion for the arts. In my soul – I am an artist. I compose music, I love to create, and am keenly aware of beautiful things all around me. Vice versa - as a child, I loved Monopoly, and was always fascinated with business. Combining these two elements ignited one of the greatest concepts to ever hit the Inuit art industry - "inuitsculptures.com"
- A place where passionate minded people can appreciate, acquire and admire beautiful pieces of Inuit art throughout the entire world without any geographical limitations.
By introducing Inuit art to an an online arena, inuitsculptures.com has been at the very forefront of bringing this rare and exquisite art medium to the 21st century. Before us, there has never been a venue like this before. This simple concept has done amazingly well and since its creation in 2006. Going forward, we continue to experience tremendous growth year over year. We have evolved from a small Ebay store to what is now arguably the largest Inuit art gallery in the world.
With the online gallery now in full stride, we are able to provide Inuit art on a consistent basis for the entire world to enjoy.
How it All Started
After completing my pilot license, I was able to find work with this Northern outfit based out of Kuujjuaq, QC called Air Inuit. From there, I branched out to another company, Air Labrador, and found myself on the Twin Otter. Moving to the North and experiencing it the way I did was so much more than I could have imagined. The adventure of going in and out of these small communities, landing on short strips through senseless winds, impenetrable fog, and howling blizzards gave me the pilotage skills that will last forever.
The experience of becoming a bush pilot, allowed me to live in the Canadian North for 5-6 years. Experiencing a new culture like the Inuit was an eye-opening experience.
What was so fascinating about them was how they did not worry about unequivocal things (like pot holes, taxes, politics etc...). They let time pass, and enjoyed the simple things.
Because of my time up there, I now have a deep connection with the Inuit.
I do not pity them, sympathies for them or take them lightly in terms of patronizing them. I treat them as equals, as my business associates, as my friends. And in the end, we are able to hammer out deals where everyone is a winner.
From my times in the North, I have learnt a great deal about this intriguingly ambiguous society. I have learnt that the Inuit are incredible hunters. Proficient fisherman. They are brave individuals filled with a spirit inside that resembles humility and humbleness. They are a respectful society and govern themselves on simple laws based on common sense. They are a highly resourceful society and know how to fix things well (if something breaks up north, like a pipe, only you can fix it. There is no plumber to call on). They are ingenuousness, and a have strong sense for community.
One day as I was loading the Twin Otter, and I came across some boxes that said "Inuit art - Museum of Toronto". Right there and then, a lightbulb went off in my head and a concept was born - to provide Inuit art online. I called my wife (Natalia) that evening and told her of this simple idea. She Loved it!
So with the little savings that I had, I decided to buy a few carvings from the locals in Sanikiluak. Among them was the famous Jimmy Iqaluq who I met for the first time. I randomly knocked on his door, and a humble wise and somewhat shy man came to the door. He did not know any english. We were able to communicate in sign language. It was here that I discovered for the first time, his world famous loons. My eyes popped out of my head. I could not believe how refined and exquisite they were.
I acquired one and to this day I continue to have it. It was Jimmy's precious loons that gave the needed niche for our gallery. They were greatly admired by collectors and were an instant hit in our gallery. The many sales of his loons gave our gallery the boost it needed to grow and expand. Today, our logo is his loon. This will never change.
Coupled with my wife's (Natalia) uncanny computer skills, and my artistic ability, we were able to create an amazing website for the world to enjoy. We wanted something that would be fast, simple to use, easy to search with and find things and most of all, something that would be focused on buying Inuit art with no nonsense. Many of our clients say how much they appreciate the online gallery. We have hundreds of clients who visit our New Arrivals section on a daily basis just to see what new pieces we received.
Today, we serve over five thousand clients in over 32 countries around the world. my wife (Natalia) and I have turned what was once a modest collection of Inuit art, into a mainstream, global enterprise. We now have three beautiful children and hopefully one day, they will continue our legacy.