The Kivalliq Region is located on the a portion of the mainland west of Hudson Bay as well as both Coats and Southampton Islands. The region is perhaps better known by us old timers at the Keewatin District, a name derived from a Cree dialect in Northern Ontario. Since the creation of Nunavut in 1999 the name Keewatin has been phased out in favour of Kivalliq. The region has a population of just over 10,000 people and is comprised of several communities including Arviat, Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), Igluligaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet), Salliq (Coral Harbour), Naujaat (Repulse Bay), Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), & Tikiraqjuaq (Whale Cove).
The very hard stone found throughout much of the region has necessitated an approach which is far more minimalist than what comes out of either Baffin Island or Nunavik, both of which have stones which are much easier to to carve. Interestingly, the aesthetic which developed as a result of hard stone is mirrored in works produced from softer materials such as caribou antler or walrus ivory.
Some of the most important Inuit artists of the latter part of the 20th Century hailed from the Kivalliq Region. Artists such as John Tiktak, John Pangnark, Luke Iksiktaaryuk, George Tatanniq, Barnabus Arnasuugaaq, Marc Tungilik, Lucy Tasseor, & John Kavik all have works in every major book on Inuit art and their works feature very prominently in most museum displays. It can be easily argued that while artists from other areas of the arctic have enjoyed greater commercial success, artists from the Kivalliq enjoy greater critical respect.
While large examples of works by these artists from key periods in the 1960's and 70's are now selling for very high prices, smaller works are still available at very reasonable prices. This exhibition is a somewhat encyclopedic survey of smaller works by artists from the Kivalliq which can be had a prices which won't break the bank.