We haven't been down to the museum in town for a couple of months, I think. There's always lots of nice things there, but it can be expensive walking in there. There's a tendency to walk in with a full wallet and then walk out with it considerably lighter. Bringing your check book is a tremendously bad idea. Trust me.
There are several places in town where you can buy really nice carvings, but the museum consistently offers nice little pieces at quite reasonable prices. Let's put it this way, anytime someone comes in town and expresses and urge to buy a carving, they're steered straight to the museum.
We didn't go there looking for a carving yesterday...we were there for the Pangnirtung Print Collection. Cape Dorset gets all the attention when it comes to prints in Nunavut, but Pangnirtung has a history with prints (and tapestries) and sometimes you can find a nice print at a price that's not as high as what the Dorset ones have reached in recent years.
(I'm not saying the Dorset prints aren't worth the price, by the way. I'm all for artists getting what they can for their work. But I've noticed the spike in prices over the last seven years as their national popularity has spiked.)
We didn't find one we liked, alas. However, as this is why the museum is dangerous, we were poking around and seeing what else was there and fell in love with a carving. Several hundred dollars later, this guy is now in our carvings display.
The artist is Quraq Nugushuituq from Cape Dorset. It's also carved out of quartz, which is a little different. We have a couple of polar bear carvings, but this is the first one that's actually the same colour as the bear.
And because we're showing off a bit, a couple of other acquisitions I've just forgotten to put up on the blog. First, there's the one of a woman in an amunti we bought back in November.
The stone is serpintine and the face is made from caribou antler. The artist is Mosesie Ipeelee from here in town.
And finally, a couple of ookpiks (owls). The one on the left is more of a traditional one. The one on the right, well, someone got the idea of doing a set of ookpiks and dubbing them Angry Ookpiks, and dyed them the same colour as the Angry Birds. They were $30 each, so while it was tempting to go and buy the set, Cathy just settled on the blue one. I suspect, judging by how fast they disappeared (they were advertised on one of the Iqaluit Buy/Swap sites on Facebook) the artist is going to do quite well for herself over the next couple of months.
That's the thing about Iqaluit. It's dead easy for us to resist hitting the bars or eating out. But the sheer volume of art that's routinely dangled in front of you...that's the hard thing to pass up...
1. Peace - Weezer
2. Mother - Emmanuel Jai
3. Champagne for my friends - Fall Out Boy
4. Yankee bayonet - The Decemberists*
5. Smoke detector - Rilo Kiley