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Where to Buy Inuit Art

Arctic Nunavut is the retail outlet of the Nunavut Development Corporation, which represents artists and businesses in seven Nunavut communities. Besides stone carvings, find traditional and northern-themed clothing, jewellery, books, dolls and packing dolls.

In the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Balzac Fine Arts specializes in contemporary and historical Canadian art, but visitors will also find a diverse collection of sculptures from Nunavut and Baffin Island, the Northwest Territories, northern Quebec and Labrador.

In business for more than 25 years, Eskimo Art Gallery stocks more than 1,000 Inuit sculptures. The focus is on art from Baffin Island communities such as Cape Dorset, but all areas of the Arctic are represented. It is also the exclusive dealer for works by award-winning sculptor Ohito Ashoona.

The upscale Yorkville gallery Feheley Fine Arts displays some of the most sought-after Inuit sculptural and graphic works, such as Composition (Shamans) by Baker Lake’s Irene Avaalaaqiaq. Past exhibitions have highlighted innovative works by such artists as Isaci Etidloie and 2006 Sobey Art Award winner Annie Pootoogook.

Northeast of downtown Toronto, Gallery Phillip exhibits Inuit sculptures by the likes of Mattiusi Iyaituk and Ralph Porter, plus prints and drawings by such renowned artists as Pitseolak Ashoona, Pudlo Pudlat and Kenojuak Ashevak. The venue also exhibits works by prominent Woodland Indian, Six Nations and West Coast Aboriginal artists.

The venerable Guild Shop began selling Inuit carvings way back in the 1930s, and today has a large and varied selection of Inuit and First Nations art. It’s also one of a select number of galleries that showcases the annual print collections from the Cape Dorset and Pangnirtung communities.

The commercial space owned and operated by Museum of Inuit Art co-founder David Harris and his wife Nazie, the Museum of Inuit Art Gallery represents the work of artists from more than 25 northern communities. The gallery displays and sells collector-quality sculptures that adhere to the pricing system established by the Inuit co-operative system.

Tip! In the market for an Inuit carving? Regardless of price point, ensure that your purchase is authentic by shopping at reputable galleries and looking for the Canadian government’s “igloo tag” certification.

Please also see the related articles:
Bone Up On Inuit Art
More Aboriginal Art Galleries

—Craig Moy

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