Artist’s Legal Name: Kelly Akpaleeapik
Also known as: ᒪᒪᑎᐊᖅ
Artist lives in: Pond Inlet, NU
Community artist is from: Pond Inlet, NU
Categories of art practiced: Carving and Drawing.
Preferred materials & subjects: Soapstone; Caribou Antlers; Ivory; Marble; Drawing in Color and Pencil; And just learning how to work with granite.
Artist’s background: Kelly grew up in Pond Inlet community making things. His biological father and his adopted grandpa are carvers and so he developed a curiosity about making things. He made a lot of different things, model houses, sleds, toy skidoos, and boats. As he got older he learned to make anything useful for hunting like gaffs, harpoons, spears, because he did more hunting than anything else. He eventually began to carve pieces that told traditional stories. Today he continues to be involved in making a wide variety of useful traditional Inuit items, but he is mostly interested in materializing the old Inuit stories into carvings. At time of interview of August 2021, he was working on a piece on a visual presentation of the legend of the Owl and the Raven.
Artist’s Involvement with Traditional Inuit culture: Hunting; Teaching young Inuit how to hunt; Qulliq Making
Notes/ Comments: Carving and artworks are just story telling from what the artist know and also let the public be aware of the traditional Inuit stories. That is the only way to materialize some of the stories behind Inuit mythology and legends, that’s how I sees carvings, is to put the stories into figures and drawings.