Irene Avaalaaqiaq Tiktaalaaq comes from a generation of artists who, after living a traditional life on the land, settled permanently in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), Nunavut. Her detailed drawings and brightly coloured wall-hangings often contain references to this heritage.

Avaalaaqiaq began her artistic career by creating small sculptures and drawings during the 1960s. Eventually she joined the printmaking studio, not just creating her own images but also printing them herself. She is, however, best known for her unique style as a textile artist. Working with appliqué and embroidery, Avaalaaqiaq creates a world filled with spirits and transformations, often based on stories and legends that she heard from her Grandmother when she was younger.

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2016 Rock, Paper, Scissors
Art Gallery of Guelph
Guelph, ON

1996 Arctic Mystery, Harmony and Transformation: Baker Lake Textile Art
Art Gallery of the Canadian Embassy
Washington, DC

1995 – 1996 Qiviuq: A Legend in Art
Carleton University Art Gallery
Ottawa, ON

1994 Northern Lights: Inuit Textile Art from the Canadian Arctic
The Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore, MD

1993 – 1994 Contemporary Inuit Drawings
Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA

1992 Qamamittuaq: Where the River Widens
Macdonald Stewart Art Centre
Guelph, ON

1992 Women Who Draw: 30 Years of Graphic Art from the Canadian Arctic
Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, ON

1987 – 1989 Contemporary Inuit Drawings
Macdonald Stewart Art Centre
Guelph, ON

1983 The Arctic/L’Artique UNESCO
Paris, France

1983 – 1985 Grasp Tight the Old Ways: Selections from the Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art
Art Gallery of Ontario
Toronto, ON

1977 – 1982 The Inuit Print / L’estampe inuit
National Museum of History
Ottawa, ON

Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Art Gallery of Ontario
Canadian Museum of History
Confederation Centre of the Arts
Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, MI
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
Macdonald Stewart Art Centre
McMaster University Art Gallery
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Mendel Art Gallery
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
National Gallery of Canada
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
University of Alberta
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
University of New Brunswick
Winnipeg Art Gallery
1999 Presented with honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Guelph.

1993 Attended the opening of the Northern Lights exhibit in Baltimore, where she spoke about her life and work as well as demonstrating embroidery and applique techniques.

1988 Attended the gala opening of the new National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

1979 A wallhanging by Avaalaaqiaq was presented to the State of Minnesota by the Canadian Ambassador to the USA; installed in the State Legislature in Minneapolis.

1973 Received a Canada Council travel grant to attend the opening of her first solo exhibition at the Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art in Toronto.

Bouchard, Marie. Irene Avaalaaqiaq. In “North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary”. 1995.

Jackson, Marion E., Judith Nasby, and William Noah. Qamanittuaq: Where the River Widens: Drawings by Baker Lake Artists. Guelph: Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, 1995

Nasby, Judith. Irene Avaalaaqiaq: Myth and Reality. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002


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