Inuit Art

In the 1950’s, James Houston came to the community of Cape Dorset.  He was very impressed by the images the Inuit drew and set up a print workshop. He taught Inuit to create beautiful prints that are now sold around the world.

The most famous artist I know is Kenoujuaq Ashevak, whose image of an arctic owl is probably the most famous arctic image.  She was once a nomadic artist, who travelled and lived all across the Arctic. Eventually she settled in Cape Dorset in Nunavut, but she continued to make art that was inspired by all of the Canadian Arctic. Animals and nature inspired Kenoujuaq- she made prints, sculpture, beadwork, and also stained glass, depicting images of life in the Arctic. She was one of the first women in Cape Dorset to become and artist.

Kenojuaq is a famous in the Arctic and around the world.  Although she only speaks Inuktitut, she has worked in Germany, Japan, America, South Korea, and many other foreign countries. Her artistic style continues to inspire many artists today.

Inuit prints are now known around the world and they also provide an important source of income for the Inuit. The images range from traditional images of animals to images depicting community or southern urban life.

Another major art from is soapstone carving. The color of the soapstone ranges from pale green to grey or black and you can tell where a sculpture comes from by its color. Both elders and young people carve soapstone sculptures.

Young Inuit holding soapstone carving

Inuit with soapstone carving
Image © hans-ludwig blohm c.m. mpa

 Young Inuit making small tapestries

Young Inuit making small tapestries
Image © hans-ludwig blohm c.m. mpa