Kaleigh Rose Tagak of Iqaluit has won the BMO 1st Art! prize for Nunavut for this sculpture, called “Night Guide.” (Photo courtesy of BMO 1st Art!)

Iqaluit art student wins BMO art prize

Kaleigh Rose Tagak, 19, recognized for her sculpture called “Night Guide”

By Emma Tranter

An Iqaluit student is Nunavut’s regional winner of the BMO 1st Art! competition.

Kaleigh Rose Tagak, 19, was recognized for her sculpture called “Night Guide.”

The competition presents emerging artists from 12 regions of the country with cash awards of $7,500, while there is an award of $15,000 for one national winner.

Every year since 2003, instructors from over 100 post-secondary institutions in Canada have been invited to choose three students to submit pieces to the competition.

This year, the 13 winning pieces were selected from 291 applicants, a news release said.

“I feel shocked. I never expected something I made would win. But I’m excited,” Tagak said.

“My family was really excited about it. When my parents found out they were telling all my family members.”

Entering her second year in the jewelry and metalwork program at Nunavut Arctic College, Tagak said she made the piece for a class project.

“We had to make a spoon, and then we had to make a stand for it,” she said.

Tagak took her spoon one step further and used caribou antler, sterling silver, serpentine stone, epoxy, chalk and charcoal to create a free-standing sculpture.

The project also had to tell a story. Tagak said she got the idea for Night Guide from an image she just could not get out of her head.

“There was an image of northern lights dancing across the stage. The antlers kind of look like the northern lights stretching across.”

The entire piece took about two or three weeks to make, she said.

After winning the competition, Tagak said she will continue making art, but is not sure what her next creation will be.

“I’m not really sure about what I’ll do. I like working with metal. I also have a lot of story ideas I want to work on,” she said.

Tagak’s piece will be displayed along with the other winning projects from Nov. 21 to Dec. 26 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto.

The official opening of the exhibition will take place on Nov. 20.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by Congratulations on

    Well done! Your work is beautiful.

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