DIAND HQ displays Arviat artworks

Ottawa exhibit on display until December

By JANE GEORGE

The work of two Arviat artists, Lucien Kabvitoki and David Nibgoarsi, is on display at the Indian and Inuit Art Gallery in Hull.

The show opened last month at the gallery, located on the main floor of the federal department of Indian and Northern Affairs’ huge brick building in Hull, and will remain there until the end of December.

The exhibition, called Nakyuq, includes a selection of Nibgoarsi’s scary but whimsical shamans and Kabvitok’s carved antlers.

Kabvitok, 44, has been carving professionally since 1997 and recently decided to dedicate himself to his art production full-time. He works mainly in caribou antler but does the occasional carving as well.

The artist is known for his scenes of traditional life, usually hunters and women made out of antler and arranged on an antler base. He also creates antler totems featuring people, animals and his favourite bird, the eagle.

Kabvitok was appointed to the board of directors of the Inuit Art Foundation in 2004.

Nibgoarsi learned many carving techniques from his older brother Thomas Nibgoarsi, with whom he shares a similar style.

Nibgoarsi is known for his intricately carved antler sculptures based on the cribbage board design. He also creates shaman figures from antler, bone, stone, and fur.

Both artists already have works that can be found elsewhere in the collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

The works on display will be for sale, and some will likely be bought by the department to add to its collection, said curator Heather Campbell.

The department’s Acquisition/Exhibition Program also gives artists professional and curatorial experience through the presentation and promotion of their works.

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