Chair­man’s Mes­sage

Inuit Art Quarterly - - MESSAGE - Sammy Kud­luk

This is­sue presents the story of stone, a cen­tral ma­te­rial used in Inuit art through­out Inuit Nu­nan­gat go­ing back to the 1950s. The medium be­came an im­por­tant tool through which artists were able to por­tray their cul­ture and land. As stone carv­ings be­came rec­og­nized as a way to make an in­come for en­tre­pre­neur­ial Inuit and their fam­i­lies, their pop­u­lar­ity in­creased across Inuit Nu­nan­gat. Quar­ries through­out the Arc­tic be­came im­por­tant sites of eco­nomic sta­bil­ity for Inuit in those early days, when de­vel­op­ment was scarce.

Quickly, stone be­came an im­por­tant part of com­mu­nity eco­nom­ics in the de­vel­op­ing North, with co-ops buy­ing carv­ings from artists, and some­times from whole fam­i­lies of artists, be­fore ship­ping them to south­ern re­tail­ers.

The pop­u­lar­ity for these works in stone, both in South­ern Canada and world­wide, lasted for sev­eral decades be­fore shift­ing in the 1980s. De­spite this change in de­mand, highly-skilled and cre­ative Inuit artists with a mas­tery of stone con­tinue to thrive.

This Quar­terly is in cel­e­bra­tion of those Inuit carvers who were and still are pop­u­lar and who con­tinue to gain renown as im­por­tant artists in Canada and be­yond. I feel our mag­a­zine is steadily ex­pand­ing and is con­tin­u­ing to grow and adapt to the needs of our artists due to our very cre­ative and hard­work­ing staff. I hope you en­joy this first is­sue of 2017.

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