Baker Lake Inuit Art

Baker Lake Inuit Art

Baker Lake is well known for its arts and craft community. The:

  • Inuit Heritage Centre
  • Jessie Oonark Centre
  • independent art galleries

are assets to the community’s arts and craft industry. Baker Lake area artists produce appliqu├ęd fabric wall hangings, prints and carvings.

The jewellers of Baker Lake (Saviirgayak Society Jewelry studio) are making a new contribution to the Inuit art. The fine jewellery and artwork created by the Saviirgayak artists draws for inspiration and design on the legends and tools of the traditional culture of the Inuit. Jewellery and artwork is created from precious metals, natural and local materials.

Owl Spirit by Baker Lake artist Paul Toolooktoo

Big Woman by Jessie Oonark

The Boy and his Grandmother Trick the Mean People by Victoria Mamnguqsualuk

Fish and Quallupilluq by Myra Kukiiyaut

Faces by Baker Lake artist Simon Tookoome

The Baker Lake Prints

In 1969 Jack and Sheila Butler taught printmaking to the Inuit of Baker Lake. They found locally produced drawings that could be printed and by 1970 the first collection was released. Prints were released in annual collections of very limited editions of fifty or less. Each print was signed and inscribed with the name of the artist, printmaker, title, edition number, and year.

Baker Lake imagery is generally bold and colorful with an emphasis on shamanistic and supernatural subject matter. It became very popular with collectors. A fire closed the original printshop which has recently been rebuilt. New collections of Baker Lake prints started in the late 1990’s.

Jessie Oonark Centre

More than 100 of Jessie Oonark’s drawings were translated into prints in the Baker Lake print collections between 1970 and 1985. Oonark also produced numerous large scale wool and felt wall hangings, including major commissions for public sites in Canada.

Works by Jessie Oonark have been widely exhibited and are included in many important public and private collections, Oonark’s legacy continues in Baker Lake through the Jessie Oonark Arts and Crafts Centre.