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Baffin Island, Nunavut, 1904
Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories, 1978
Biography synopsis
Inuit graphic artist Ulayu Pingwartok (Ulayu/Ulayo/Ulayoo/Oolayou/Olayoo/Ulaya/Pinwartok/Pingwartuk) was born near Lake Harbour on southwestern Baffin Island in 1904. She started drawing after she moved into the settlement of Cape Dorset in 1959. Like all Inuit of the settlement, Pingwartok was encouraged to create drawings for the annual print collections. She produced seven hundred drawings in her life, and thirty of them were translated into prints for ten annual Cape Dorset collections between 1965 and 1979. Most of her drawings represent domestic scenes and nature. Pingwartok’s early drawings are portraits of birds. Later she focused on traditional camp life, especially women’s activities. Shelters were also a subject matter of her work. Her drawings were exhibited in several group exhibitions in Canada and the United States, including “The Inuit Print”, a landmark touring show. She had a solo show, “Ulayu,” which toured in 1982-1984. Her work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Media used
File & Archive locations
Royal Ontario Museum
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Toronto Reference Library, ON
University of Calgary Library, AB
London Public Library, ON
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Artexte Information Centre, QC - Documentation Centre
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON

Writings about
The Art of the Eskimo. Burnaby, British Columbia: Simon Fraser University Gallery, 1971.
"The Winnipeg Art Gallery Presents: The Land - Inuit Perspectives Exhibition." Daily News (2 May 2008)
"Ulayu." About Arts and Crafts 2.3 (Winter 1978): 11.
Aboriginart Galleries. "Ulayu Pingwartok (Pingwartuk; Ulayu; Ulayoo; Olayou; Oolayou; Ulaya)." 1995
Alaska Methodist University Galleries. Canadian Eskimo Arts Festival. Anchorage, Alaska: 1970.
Department of External Affairs, Canada. Graphic Art by Eskimos of Canada: Second Collection. Ottawa: 1970.
Driscoll-Engelstad, Bernadette. The Inuit Amautik: I Like My Hood to Be Full. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1980.
Eber, Dorothy Harley. "Eskimo Penny Fashions." North 20.1 (Jan.-Feb. 1973): 37-39.
Heller, Jules and Nancy. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 1995.
Houston, Alma. Inuit Art: An Anthology. Watson & Dwyers Publishers, 1988.
Houston, James A. Eskimo Prints. Longmans Canada, 1971.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Hanannguangait Mikhaanut 4.1 (1980).
Jackson, Marion E. & Judith Nasby. Contemporary Inuit Drawings. Guelph, Ontario: MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, 1987.
Kuptana, Rosemarie. "Keeping the Circle Strong in the North: Solvent Abuse, Alcohol, and Drug Strategies for the North." Canadian Woman Studies/ Les cahiers de la femme 14.4 (1994).
MacDonald, John. The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore, and Legend. Royal Ontario Museum/ Nunavut Research Institute, 1998.
McMaster University. The Art Collection of McMaster University: European, Canadian and American Paintings, Prints, Drawings and Sculpture. Hamilton, Ontario: McMaster University Press, 1987.
Mekler, Gilda. "Dorset Prints - Encouraging Signs of Life." Nunatsiaq News (3 Nov. 1977).
Musée McCord. Peter Pitseolak (1902-1973), chroniqueur Inuit de Seekooseelak: Photographies et dessins du Cap Dorset, Terre de Baffin. Montreal: 1980.
National Gallery of Canada; Canadian Eskimo Art Committee. Cape Dorset - A Decade of Eskimo Prints and Recent Sculptures. Ottawa: 1967.
National Museum of Man. The Inuit Print/L'estampe inuit. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, 1982.
Simon Fraser University Gallery. Images of the Inuit: From the Simon Fraser Collection. Burnaby, British Columbia: Simon Fraser University Gallery, 1981.
West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. Cape Dorset Graphics. [Annual] Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories: (1965-1979).
West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. "Notes on the Artists." Dorset 75: Cape Dorset Annual Graphics Collection 1975/ Collection annuelle des graphiques de Cap Dorset. Toronto: M.F. Feheley Publishers, 1975.
West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. "Notes on the Artists." Dorset 76: Cape Dorset Annual Graphics Collection 1976/ Collection annuelle des graphiques de Cap Dorset. Toronto: M.F. Feheley Publishers, 1976.

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