Tim Pitsiulak

Last updated

Timootee "Tim" Pitsiulak (10 March 1967 – 23 December 2016) was an Inuk artist and hunter based in Nunavut, Canada, best known for his large coloured-pencil drawings of Arctic scenery, wildlife, and Inuit culture.


Early life

Timootee Pitsiulak was born in Lake Harbour (now Kimmirut), Northwest Territories, now the Canadian territory of Nunavut. [1] His parents were Napachie and Timila Pitsiulak. [2] He was the nephew of the artist Kenojuak Ashevak. [3]

Pitsiulak grew up speaking Inuktitut and learned English in school. He became interested in drawing when he was about nine. He trained as a carver and then a jeweler at Nunavut Arctic College, before focusing on drawing as a career. [4]

Art career

Pitsiulak was based in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, where he worked as a hunter while making jewelry, sculptures, lithographs, and photographs, and large coloured-pencil drawings, the last of which is best known for. His subjects were Arctic wildlife and scenery, and traditional and modern Inuit culture. His work is in the collections of institutions such as Feheley Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Inuit Gallery in Vancouver, [2] the University of Michigan Museum of Art, [5] the National Gallery of Canada, [6] the Canadian Museum of History, [7] and the Rockbund Art Museum. [8]

In 2013 the Royal Canadian Mint featured a Pitsiulak drawing of two beluga whales and a bowhead whale on the Canada's 25-cent coin. [1] His work combined traditional motifs with contemporary techniques. [4]

Death and legacy

Pitsiulak died at age 49 on 23 December 2016 while in the hospital, where he was receiving treatment for pneumonia. He left behind his wife Mary and seven children. [2]

Related Research Articles

Jessie Oonark Inuit artist

Jessie Oonark, was a prolific and influential Canadian Inuit artist of the Utkuhihalingmiut Utkuhiksalingmiut whose wall hangings, prints and drawings are in major collections including the National Gallery of Canada. She was born in 1906 in the Chantrey Inlet (Tariunnuaq) area, near the estuary of the Back River in the Keewatin District of the Northwest Territories —the traditional lands of the Utkukhalingmiut Utkukhalingmiut, Utkukhalingmiut. Her artwork portrays aspects of the traditional hunter-nomadic life that she lived for over five decades, moving from fishing the camp near the mouth of Back River on Chantrey Inlet in the Honoraru area to their caribou hunting camp in the Garry Lake area, living in winter snow houses (igloos) and caribou skin tents in the summer. Oonark learned early how to prepare skins and sew caribou skin clothing. They subsisted mainly on trout, whitefish, and barren-ground caribou. The knife used by women, the ulu, their traditional skin clothing, the kamik, the amauti were recurring themes in her work. Oonark has had a major museum retrospective with accompanying scholarly monograph. Despite a late start – she was 54 years old when her work was first published – she was a very active and prolific artist over the next 19 years, creating a body of work that won considerable critical acclaim and made her one of Canada's best known Inuit artists.

Kenojuak Ashevak Inuit artist

Kenojuak Ashevak,, is celebrated as a leading figure of modern Inuit art.

Kinngait Hamlet in Nunavut, Canada

Kinngait, formerly known as Cape Dorset until 27 February 2020, is an Inuit hamlet located on Dorset Island near Foxe Peninsula at the southern tip of Baffin Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.

Charlie Panigoniak, born in Chesterfield Inlet, Northwest Territories in what is now Nunavut, Canada, was an Inuk singer-songwriter and guitarist whose albums reflect on northern life.

Annie Pootoogook

Annie Pootoogook was a Canadian Inuk artist known for her pen and coloured pencil drawings. In her art, Pootoogook often portrayed the experiences of those in her community of Kinngait, in northern Canada, and memories and events from her own life.

Andrew Qappik is a Canadian Inuk graphic artist currently residing in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Qappik is known for his printmaking and his contribution to the Nunavut coat of arms. His uncles Solomon and Imoona Karpik were also artists, and encouraged him to start drawing.

Inuit art Art created by Inuit peoples of the Arctic

Inuit art, also known as Eskimo art, refers to artwork produced by the Inuit, that is, the people of the Arctic previously known as Eskimos, a term that is now often considered offensive. Historically, their preferred medium was walrus ivory, but since the establishment of southern markets for Inuit art in 1945, prints and figurative works carved in relatively soft stone such as soapstone, serpentinite, or argillite have also become popular.

Pudlo Pudlat

Pudlo Pudlat (Pudlo), was a Canadian Inuit artist whose preferred medium was a combination of acrylic wash and coloured pencils. His works are in the collections of most Canadian museums. At his death in 1992, Pudlo left a body of work that included more than 4000 drawings and 200 prints.

Kananginak Pootoogook Inuk artist

Kananginak Pootoogook was an Inuk sculptor and printmaker who lived in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, in Canada. He died as a result of complications related to surgery for lung cancer.

Ningiukulu (Ningeokuluk) Teevee is a Canadian Inuit writer and visual artist.

Over the course of centuries, many Indigenous Canadians have played a critical role in shaping the history of Canada. From art and music, to law and government, to sports and war; Indigenous customs and culture have had a strong influences on defining Canadian culture. The Indspire Awards are the annual awards presented by Indspire, formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. The awards were first established in 1993 in conjunction with the United Nations declaring the 1990s "International Decade of the World's Indigenous peoples". June 21 is Canada's National Aboriginal Day, in recognition of the cultural contributions made by Canada's indigenous population. The day was first celebrated in 1996 following Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc's proclamation.

Shuvinai Ashoona Canadian Inuk artist

Shuvinai Ashoona is an Inuk artist who works primarily in drawing. She is known for her detailed pen and pencil drawings depicting northern landscapes and contemporary Inuit life.

Pitaloosie Saila was a Canadian Inuk graphic artist who predominantly made drawings and lithograph prints. Saila's work often explores themes such as family, shamanism, birds, and her personal life experiences as an Inuk woman. Her work has been displayed in over 150 exhibitions nationally and internationally, such as in the acclaimed Isumavut exhibition called "The Artistic Expression of Nine Cape Dorset Women". In 2004, Pitaloosie Saila and her well-known husband and sculptor Pauta Saila were both inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Lucy Qinnuayuak (1915–1982) was an Inuit graphic artist and printmaker.

Elisapee Ishulutaq was a self-taught Inuit artist, specialising in drawing and printmaking. Ishulutaq participated in the rise of print and tapestry making in Pangnirtung and was a co-founder of the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts, which is both an economic and cultural mainstay in Pangnirtung. Ishulutaq was also a community elder in the town of Pangnirtung. Ishulutaq's work has been shown in numerous institutions, including the Marion Scott Gallery in Vancouver, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada.

Karoo Ashevak

Karoo Ashevak was an Inuk sculptor who lived a nomadic hunting life in the Kitikmeot Region of the central Arctic before moving into Spence Bay, Northwest Territories in 1960. His career as an artist started in 1968 by participating in a government-funded carving program. Working with the primary medium of fossilized whale bone, Ashevak created approximately 250 sculptures in his lifetime, and explored themes of shamanism and Inuit spirituality through playful depictions of human figures, angakuit (shamans), spirits, and Arctic wildlife.

Ohotaq (Oqutaq) Mikkigak was a Cape Dorset based Inuk artist from southern Baffin Island. Mikkigak was involved with Cape Dorset printmaking in the program's early years, providing drawn designs for printing. Many of his works were printed and featured in the studio's annual collections, including Eskimo Fox Trapper and three pieces used in the Cape Dorset Studio's 40th anniversary collection. Mikkigak's work has also been included in of over twenty group exhibitions and was the subject of multiple solo exhibitions, including a show held by Feheley Fine Arts called Ohotaq Mikkigak: Imagined Landscapes.

Kiugak Ashoona was a Canadian Inuk artist renowned for his sculptural work and his expansive artistic portfolio. He experienced the longest career of any Cape Dorset artist, and is a member of the Order of Canada and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. In 1999, he was awarded the Canada Council Molson Prize for his outstanding lifetime contribution to the cultural and intellectual life of Canada.

The Kinngait Co-operative, also known as the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative is an Inuit co-operative in Kinngait, Nunavut best known for its activities in buying, producing and selling Inuit artworks. The co-operative is part of Arctic Co-operatives Limited, a group of locally owned businesses that provide fundamental services in the Canadian north. The co-operative sets prices for the sale of its member's works, pays the artists in advance and shares its profits with its members.


  1. 1 2 CBC News staff 2016; The Canadian Press staff 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 CBC News staff 2016.
  3. CBC Radio staff 2018.
  4. 1 2 Martin 2016.
  5. "Exchange|Search: Tim Pitsiulak". exchange.umma.umich.edu. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  6. "Tim Pitsiulak". www.gallery.ca. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  7. "Search the Collections | Canadian Museum of History" . Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  8. "Tim Pitsiulak | Profile | Rockbund Art Museum". www.rockbundartmuseum.org. Retrieved 21 December 2020.

Works cited

Further reading