AKPALIAPIK, Manasie (1955)

Born in 1955 in a hunting camp near Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay), artist Manasie Akpaliapik began his sculptural training with his grandparents and one of his aunts. Having been placed in a boarding school in Iqaluit, Nunavut, at the age of twelve, Akpaliapik found himself distanced from traditional culture, causing him multiple frustrations and prompting him to leave at the age of sixteen. It was not until 1980, after he moved to Montreal, that he began learning to use new sculpting tools and materials. He then settled in Toronto for several years. He currently works between Ottawa and Montreal. Furthermore, he made several trips to Ikpiarjuk where he reconnected with his culture, which he wished to perpetuate. Therefore, the forms and materials typical of this traditional culture are of great importance in his artistic development. In 1989, he received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for his project “North Baffin Island Legends”. He then went back to Ikpiarjuk with the purpose of learning drum dancing, kayaking and traditional stories from the elders. During his stay, he also took the opportunity to organize adult sculpture classes as well as some workshops in elementary schools. His works have been featured in various exhibitions relating to Inuit art and Inuit Arts and Craft both in Quebec and internationally. In 1990, he presented a solo exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manasie: The Art of Manasie Akpaliapik, many of which are on display at the National Gallery of Canada. His works can also be found at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau and the Art Gallery of Ontario.