Axangayuk (Aqjangajuk) Shaa RCA

b.1937

A grandson of the carver Kiakshuk and the only child of artists Paunichea and Munamee Davidee, Aqjangajuk began carving at the age of seventeen. He participated in the early drawing projects in Cape Dorset but realized his strengths lay in sculpture and did not draw after 1960. Only one graphic by him, Wounded Caribou, was ever released, in the 1961 Cape Dorset annual print collection. His work was in the famous 1971-73 touring exhibition “Sculpture/Inuit. Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic.” Since 1970, he has had over eleven solo exhibitions, as well as appearing in many group shows. He has exhibited across Canada and internationally (across the United States, in Germany, Switzerland, Greenland and France). He was elected to the Royal Canadian academy in 2003.

“He captures the spirit and vigorous movement for a total effect…concentrating on special interaction, expressive qualities and overall form…his carvings are compact, robust, solid…with outward dynamic forms…”

His work is in the permanent collections of:
Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
Art Gallery of York University, Downsview, Ontario
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Ontario
Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec, Montreal, Quebec
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec
Dennos Museum Center, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.A.
Art Gallery of Alberta (formerly Edmonton Art Gallery), Edmonton, Alberta
Inuit Cultural Institute, Rankin Inlet, N.W.T.
James and Mary Jack Collection, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Klamer Family Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
Macmillan-Bloedel Limited, Vancouver, British Colombia
McMaster University Art Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, N.Y., U.S.A.
Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec
Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, Brunswick, Maine, U.S.A.
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
The Arnold Aubert Vernon Inuit Collection at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
and numerous corporate and private collections.

He lives in Cape Dorset, Baffin Island with his wife, Kilabuk Shaa, who is also a carver. Three of their sons, Pudalik, Qiatsuq and Qavavau Shaa are also carvers in Cape Dorset.