"So with our eyes we listen to the silent language of sculpture. Listen carefully. To do otherwise-to be indifferent-is the greatest betrayal of one person by another, of one culture by another."
(George Elliott, Chairman, Canadian Eskimo Arts Council. Sculpture/Inuit. University of Toronto Press, 1971:10)

Kellipalik Qimirpik

1948 - 2017

In the Inuit world there are naturally ordered partnerships of Inuit, animals, and the spirit world. These partnerships allow closeness to the animal world and animal spirits and often involve the idea of the transference of knowledge between the ancestors and the living through animal or bird forms. Laced throughout this mindset is humor and joy, therein lies the secret of the dancing bears, or musk ox, or walruses. Kellypalik Qimirpik infuses his sculptures with a strong sense of animation, which is a trademark of his art. Qimirpik’s skill and knowledge of the fundamentals of sculpture and of the stone is apparent. We get a sense of Qimirpik’s commitment to his art. All of which, is served up with a healthy dose of humor. His work gives us an indication of not only the reverence for the natural world, but also for craft and technique.

Although he started carving when he was 14, Qimirpik did not consider it seriously until he was in his 20s. He has continuously sculpted dancing animals besides being particularly fond of compositions and transformations. Qimirpik received the commission for the World Youth Day Celebration (Toronto, 2002) legacy project. Kellypalik Qimirpik has steadily gained in reputation since 1976. He has exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Hull, PQ), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON), the Winnipeg Art Gallery (which houses the world’s largest collection of Inuit art), and numerous corporate and private collections.

He lives in Cape Dorset, Baffin Island. Qimirpik was born in Iqirasaq in Canada’s eastern Arctic.


Amway Environmental Foundation Collection, Ada, Michigan, USA
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec
Inuit Cultural Institute, Rankin Inlet, Northwest Territories
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Solo Exhibitions

July 1989 Kelly Qimirpik
Eskimo Art Gallery
Toronto, Ontario

November 1994 Kellypalik Qimirpik
Inuit Gallerie
Mannheim, Germany

June-August 1995 Images of Transformation: Kellypalik Qimirpik
Gallery Phillip
Don Mills, Ontario

May 1997 Kelly Qimirpik
The Arctic Experience Gallery
Hamilton, Ontario
(illustrated brochure)

Selected Group Exhibitions

April 1976 Baffin Island Sculpture Exhibition
Baffin Regional School
Iqaluit, Northwest Territories

1982 Cape Dorset Artists
The Turtle
Niagara Falls, New York, USA

February-March 1984 Canadian Inuit Art
Sponsored by Canadian Arctic Producers
at City Hall
Nuuk/Godthab, Greenland

February 1985-April 1986 Die Kunst aus der Arktis
Department of Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada, Ottawa
presented by Commerzbank
Frankfurt, Germany
(illustrated catalogue)

March 1989 White Lords of the Arctic: Bears in Stone
and Bone
Arctic Artistry
Victoria, British Columbia
(illustrated catalogue)

June 1989 Masters of the Arctic: An Exhibition of
Contemporary Inuit Masterworks
Presented by the Amway Corporation
at the United Nations General Assembly
New York, New York, USA
(illustrated catalogue)

June-July 1990 Small Sculptures from across the Canadian
Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, Ontario

February 1991 Animals of the Arctic
Arctic Inuit Art
Richmond, Virginia, USA

February 1992 The Inuit Print and Sculpture 1960-1980
Westdale Gallery
Hamilton, Ontario

October-November 1992 Arctic Ice: Sculptures in Marble by the
Artists of Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories
Marion Scott Gallery
Vancouver, British Columbia
(illustrated catalogue)

March-April 1993 The Theme of Transformation in Inuit Sculpture
The Isaacs/Inuit Gallery
Toronto, Ontario

October-November 1993 Sculpture and Graphics from Cape Dorset
Art Space Gallery
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

April-May 1994 Mythic Image
Ancestral Spirits Gallery
Port Townsend, Washington, USA

August-October 1994 Inuit Art from the Canadian Arctic
Bayly Art Museum
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

November-December 1994 Small Sculptures by Great Artists III
Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, Ontario

April 1995 Inuit Mythology
Arctic Experience
Hamilton, Ontario

April-June 1995 The Birds of Cape Dorset:
A collection of sculpture by
32 Cape Dorset Carvers
Albers Gallery
San Francisco, California, USA
(illustrated brochure)

September 1995 Sedna: Spirit of the Sea
Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, Ontario

November-December 1995 Miniaturen
Inuit Galerie
Mannheim, Germany

November-December 1996 Emerging Spirit
Banff Centre
Organized by Northern Art Impressions
Banff, Alberta
(illustrated catalogue)

March-April 1997 Ashevak Tunnillie & Kellypalik Qimirpik
Albers Gallery
San Francisco, California, USA

April 1997 Faces, Masks, Heads
The Guild Shop
Toronto, Ontario

June 1997 Singing  & Dancing & Playing
Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, Ontario