As some of you know last Febrary I left my job as manager of the Northern Images Art Gallery.
It was a fabulous job, with a wonderful employer, and amazing artist. The Inuit and Dene
peoples of the arctic and sub-arctic regions are the most talented artist I’ve had the priviledge to work
with. These people were forced to live the “make-do” lifestyle long before it became a popular
fad. They made all their tools, their childrens toys, and later carvings to sell from stones and
whalebones, caribou bones. Their clothing and footwear was made from the sealskins, polar
bear hides, and caribou hides. Well, I could go on and on, but then this would end up sound-
ing like a history lesson and what I really want to do is showcase some of their amazing art.
This was a very popular artist. I sold many of his pieces to the younger generation. They loved
the vibrant colors he was well known for, as well as the imagery.
These are smoked moose hide kamiks (mukluks) for a child. These were decorated with
needlework, but most have beadwork tops. It looks like beaver fur. Without feeling
the fur, I can’t say for sure. Beaver is a very coarse feeling fur.
Aren’t these amazing with their diamond design? These are sealskin. Can you imagine
all the work that went into sewing each one of these diamonds in place? They were
made from a young mother from the Arctic region that walked into the gallery to
personally sell these to me. This was a very common means of acquiring goods for
the gallery. The artist would often wait until she/he had several pieces to offer, then
line it up with a Dr.s appointment or shopping trip to the city. Remember they were
flying down from the very far north!
This is not the best picture of this carving-the lighting was bad. The two most popular stones
used for carving are soapstone and terpentine. They come in many different colors. This one
was done by an Inuit artist. This is just a little sample of the art of these talented peoples.
I will show you more in the future. If you are interested in anything you see, I will be glad
to refer you to the Northern Images gallery were there is a vast selection of Inuit and Dene’ art.
I hope you all have a great Monday. I am off to start the “hard” process of de-cluttering.
Say a prayer for me. Seriously, I am horrible about getting rid of anything! I always seem
to think I just might need whatever it is in the future. Nutty, I know!