Posts Tagged ‘jessie oonark’

Artist of the moment……Miriam Qiyuk

Miriam Maralik Qiyuk was born in the year 1933. She was born and raised  in the traditional Inuit camp lifestyle of the era. In her twenties she decided to relocate to Baker Lake. Miriam Qiyuk has worked in various mediums including wall hangings, appliques, printmaking, and painting.

Her husband is also an artist named Silas Qiyuk. He was also born in 1933. This is probably my favorite work showing a grouping of seals. Seals are usually shown solo, or with a mother and some pups. This work by Silas Qiyuk  is great for how many seals are shown in total:


Qiyuk is one of the most versatile Inuit artists, we can call her Mrs. Picasso! Qiyuk is a printmaker, maker of wall hangings, and sculptor. She is an amazing storyteller and enjoys working in very large formats.

Her father was the famous Inuit artist named Jessie Oonark.

Price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $10,000.

What a great family of multigenerational artists!


Artist of the moment…..Victoria Mamnguqsualuk

Victoria Mamnguqsualuk is an Inuit artist born in the Gerry Lake area of Canada in the year 1930.  The artist is renown for her work which tells the life of the Inuit peoples. A prolific graphic artist Mamnguqsualuk works in coloured pencil and also works applique on fabric making some extraordinary blanket designs. In many of works she draws groups of people with each having a unique expression and perspective.

Her mother was the well known artist Jessie Oonark. An experienced graphic artist that also enjoyed working with multiple human figures in one image. Below an example of Oonark’s style.


Due to the harsh living conditions and disease in the smaller camps her family relocated to the Baker Lake, Nunavut Territory, Canada.

price range information: Most works priced between $500 to $4,000.

Victoria Mamnguqsualuk of the Baker Lake Art co-op alongside her mother, Jessie Oonark.

The artist enjoys portraying myths and experiences that shaman might bring.

Artist of the moment….Jessie Oonark

Jessie Oonark was an Inuit artist known not only for her printmaking skills, but also for her woven tapestry skills. Jessie Oonark was born in the Baker Lake, Nunavet Territory, in Canada.

Oonark didn’t become involved with art until she was in her fifties. Before that she enjoyed the role of the traditional Inuit woman. Making clothes from sealskin and caribou. In 1959 a biologist working in the area gave her some supplies and a creative genius was born.

When she first began her printmaking career the only printing press the Inuits had was in Cape Dorset. Jessie Oonark was the only artist outside of Cape Dorset to work with the Cape Dorset printing press. The one and only artist!

She was a janitor at a church before a sponsor bought her a small studio and she was able to produce art full time and issue many print series.

Price range information: The artist worked with prints and drawings ranging between $1,500 and $5,000. Embroidery works range $10,000 to $35,000.

In this clip we see an installation of one her very large tapestry works.

From our beloved friends at Waddington’s Auction house of Canada we see one of Jessie Oonark’s fabric works up for auction. It well exceeded the estimated price. Her works in fabric are sought after by collectors.

Jessie Oonark had 8 children that went on to become artists. They will follow in up coming posts!