IQALUIT, Nunavut (April 26, 2019) – The Honorable Nellie T. Kusugak, Commissioner of Nunavut, today announced the recipients of the 2018 Nunavut Commissioner’s Arts Award. Award recipients Susan Avinngaq of Igloolik and Jaco Ishulutaq of Pangnirtung will each receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a certificate from the Commissioner.
“It is such an honor to recognize Mrs. Avinngaq and Mr. Ishulutaq for their outstanding contribution to Nunavut’s visual arts”, said Commissioner Kusugak.
Long time master carver/sculptor, Jaco Ishulutaq, is a well-established carver who is a great ambassador for Inuit Art culture. Mr. Ishulutaq has attended many exhibitions to showcase his work across the country. Having started carving at the age of 16, Jaco has done tremendous work and many young aspiring artists look up to him as a role model. Mr. Ishulutaq takes great pride in the arts; he regularly mentors and encourages many others to carry on the tradition to ensure that Inuit Art remains alive for many years to come.
Inuit storyteller, performer/actress, author/illustrator and costume designer, Susan Avinngaq is a passionate visual artist who continues to share the Inuit tradition. In over 25 years, Mrs. Avinngaq has played various key roles in many productions and has shared her extensive knowledge of Inuit cultural practices, traditions, stories and music. Mrs. Avinngaq puts much of her energy into preserving and protecting the Inuit culture, tradition and heritage and she does so through many forms of art.
The Nunavut Commissioner’s Arts Award was created by the former Commissioner Ann Meekidjuk Hanson to honour the artistic achievement of established Nunavut artists. Nominations are reviewed by a selection committee, whose members have an in-depth knowledge of arts and culture in Nunavut. Nominees are judged on their artistic achievements and the quality and impact of their work