Jessie Oonark (Inuit, born in 1906, Chantrey Inlet, Canada; died in 1985, Churchill, Canada) is one of the most iconic Inuit artists of the twentieth century. Her compositions encompass various media, including drawings, prints and wall hangings. Jessie was important to the development of the graphic arts program in Qamani’tuaq / Baker Lake, and in addition to her inclusion in annual Baker Lake Print Collections, three of her prints were released through the Kinngait / Cape Dorset studio in 1960 and 1961.
Location: Textile Museum of Canada
Jessie Oonark grew up north of Baker Lake, surviving extreme hardship, starvation, and the death of four of her thirteen children. Her father and grandfather were shamans, and within this belief, it was forbidden to draw and create likenesses as this might attract the spirit world. From the beginning, predating…