by BK Munn
After an arduous search, curators at Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa have amassed a collection of works for an exhibit of original art by the Inuk cartoonist Alootook Ipellie. Ipellie died tragically young in 2007, but not before creating a large body of work as a cartoonist, reporter, poet, and translator, mostly working as the editor of Inuit Monthly. In later years a resident of Ottawa, he created comic strips, political cartoons, drawings, and comics stories. A collection of his drawings, Arctic Dreams and Nightmares was published in 1993 and some of his comics also appeared in the Billy Mavreas-edited anthology, Monster Island III (Conundrum, 2010).
The exhibit is billed as a retrospective and will tour to Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY (winter 2019); Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum, Iqaluit (spring 2019); Art Gallery of Hamilton (fall 2019); and Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg (spring 2020).
Concurrently, an exhibit of Ippellie’s comic strip work is being held at the Manx Student Pub and Gallery
From the Gallery site:
Alootook Ipellie (1951-2007) was born at Nuvuqquq on Baffin Island and grew up in Iqaluit before moving to Ottawa as a young man. He started working as a translator, illustrator and reporter for Inuit Monthly (renamed Inuit Today) in the early 1970s, and later was its editor. Through his widely read poems, articles and essays, Ipellie gave voice to important cultural, political and social issues affecting Inuit Nunangat, with humour and immense patience. Ipellie was a prodigious artist, creating hundreds of political cartoons, serial comic strips including “Ice Box” and “Nuna and Vut,” and larger drawings, of which those published in his book Arctic Dreams and Nightmares (1993) are well known. This first retrospective of Alootook Ipellie’s extraordinary work draws from the many aspects of his career, demonstrating the importance and continued relevance of his voice and vision.
Alootook Ipellie: Walking Both Sides of an Invisible Border
Curated by Sandra Dyck, Heather Igloliorte, Christine Lalonde
17 September – 09 December 2018
Carleton University Art Gallery
“Alootook Ipellie: Nuna and Vut”
Curated by Danielle Printup
30 September through 4 November 2018
The Manx Pub, 370 Elgin Street, Ottawa