About the Inuit Artists
Originally, the Inuit were a migratory
people in a very harsh environment. Materials were scarce and the need tfor portability
limited artistic expression to small pieces.
The contemporary period of Inuit art began in the 1940's.
Even now, the work not only provides critical income, especially in the more isolated
Arctic villages, but has achieved an international reputation as a major art form as well.
As interest in their art has grown, so has the the
freedom enjoyed by the artists. Their nomadic lifestyle has given way to a more settled
one, encouraging the creation of larger pieces. And, sculpture is only one part of this
magnificent arctic tradition.
The wallhangings and prints, dolls and traditional
clothing are also highly valued.
Subject matter and style are richly varied. There are
about 30 art-producing communities, each with its own favorite subjects and distinctive
styles. Themes reflect the artists' deep connection to the hauntingly beautiful arctic
landscape and wildlife. The personal styles of these individuals are readily identifiable
to the observer who takes the time to look closely.