April 1, 1999, a new beginning, a new name and a new identity ... Nunavut. The
Pangnirtung Print Shop was honoured to play an important and historic role in
the genesis of this new land. In the spring of 1998 our own Andrew Qappik was
chosen as the only Inuit artist who would help forge a new visual identity for
With the birth of a new Territory there was an urgent need for a Coat-of-Arms
and flag to represent Nunavut in all its official capacities. The call went out,
and the response was swift. Andrew accepted the honour from the Nunavut
Implementation Committee and was quickly shuttled down to Ottawa to the offices
of the Chief Herald of Canada, where they spent every day for two weeks working
out the details. A return trip was made to Ottawa in July to put the finishing
touches on the art work, and then everything was sealed “Top Secret“ until the
official unveiling on April 1, 1999.
“It was a challenge to work on this project,” Andrew says. “I was the first
Inuit artist to work with the Office of the Chief Herald, and I learned a lot. I
was given a quick 'history-of-heraldry' lesson on the plane to Ottawa. I met the
artists at the Office of the Chief Herald and toured the Parliament, studying
other Provincial and Territorial heraldry. We talked about how the shapes and
colours all have special meaning that form a unique language. We worked out how
my drawing style would fit into this 'language of heraldry'.”
Those of you who have followed Andrew Qappik's work through the years will
easily recognize his distinct style, especially in the Coat-of-Arms. Andrew's
characteristic use of realism in the animal figures and his subtle method of
shading are unmistakable and beautiful.
We are proud of Andrew's historic contribution to Nunavut. It is a testament to
the nurturing his talent has received at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts
over these past fifteen years, and, as you will see in the following collection,
the talent endures.
The 1999 Pangnirtung Community Print Collection shows the latest work of our
printmakers and represents well the master drawings of the artists of
Pangnirtung. Once again John Houston was available to act as arts advisor and
editioning the first proofs. The results speak for themselves and everyone is
looking forward to 2000 ? the 25th anniversary of the Pangnirtung Print Shop.
Of all the time I've spent in the field of graphic design, I am proudest of the
work I have done with these great artists over the past seven years, and I thank
them for the opportunity and for my glimpse into their extraordinary world.
Graphic Design Advisor