Art is a Voice


1925 – 2018

Born: Kanirterjuak camp, Nunavut

Elisapee Ishulutaq’s artistic career spanned the development of the visual arts in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. She began carving and drawing in 1970, when the arts and crafts programs were starting up in the new settlement.

For over 40 years, she contributed drawings to the tapestry studio and print workshop where over 94 of her original images were made into prints and released as part of the Pangnirtung annual collection.

She was the last living artist who participated in the first print collections. Up until the end of her life, she was actively involved in the new directions being explored in graphic media at the community’s Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts.

Elisapee Ishulutaq. Yesterday and Today, 2014. Oil stick, graphite on Stonehenge paper. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Acquired with funds from the Department of Culture & Heritage, Government of Nunavut, and the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor, funds administered by The Winnipeg Foundation, 2015-4
Elisapee Ishulutaq. Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Iwan Baan
Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Iwan Baan
Elisapee Ishulutaq working on Yesterday and Today, 2014. Photo: Darlene Coward Wight

One of the first artists to embrace the use of oil sticks, Ishulutaq was commissioned by the WAG in 2014 to create Yesterday and Today, a vibrant mural that reveals the scope and innovation of her work.

Order of Canada

Ishulutaq is a Member of the Order of Canada, named for her progressive artwork and for her contributions to the cultural and economic health of her community as role model and mentor.

At age 92, she is still an energetic individual and a vital artistic force in her community.

Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Darlene Coward Wight
Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Iwan Baan
Elisapee Ishulutaq. Photo: Iwan Baan
Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Darlene Coward Wight