David Ruben Piqtoukun

8.5 x 14.5 x 7.5 in.

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David Ruben Piqtoukun


"I began stone carving at age 22, with original instruction from my brother Abraham Apalark Anghik Ruben in 1972. At first, I found the carving process very difficult and tedious. My images were crude with little detailing. I used soapstone that would often break into pieces during carving. I found out later, the material was blasted to mine for asbestos fibre. I continued regardless. I copied images from Eskimo books on stone carving for ideas. To be original I stopped looking through books for 5 years. My first carving I made, I sold for the money aspect. In 1975, I realized there was more to the art of carving. I started exploring my native roots and collected stories from my travels home in Canada's Western Arctic. I found better stone material for carving and was fascinated by my own culture.

At age 5, I was sent to boarding schools until 17 years of age. I had lost speaking my language, and Native Eskimo ways. Living in the south, it made my identity more difficult to comprehend. I was "lost between two worlds". Continuing carving into my third decade has taught me much more about my past, my culture and my identity, much more than any books I have read to date. The stone carving process teaches many rituals of my people, hunting practices, healing, animals, spirit helpers, centuries old customs for travel and weather pushing (sky pushing techniques) and healthy eating patterns and most important "respect for elder people, parents, family, animals, inanimate and animate objects", but most of all "the spirit world of the Eskimo People". My Inuit culture is rich again in many ways and I feel rich in spirit for having continued to explore images in stone.

I will continue to explore Native mythology in various stone, metal, bronze castings, paintings, and eventually in writing. I look forward to carving everyday, drawing from stone, beautiful images, and bringing out the magic coloration of the inner stone. I am truly lucky to be "Romancing the Stone."

Born on May 10, 1950 in Paulatuk, NT. Nationality is Inuit


1989 Artists-in-Residence program at the Altos de Chavon Arts Centre, Dominican Republic


2000 Not Just Moose, Sculptors Society of Canada, Toronto, ON
2000 Sculpture 2000, Sculptors Society of Canada, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON
2000 Mix Sculpture 3, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Toronto, ON
2000 Urban Inuit, Inuit Art Centre, Indian and Northern Affairs, Canada, Ottawa, ON
2000 New Members '99, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Toronto, ON
2000 Contemporary Age of Bronze and Stone, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Toronto, ON
1999 New Century - New Vision, Art Space Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1999 David Ruben Sculpture: From the Fragments New Talent Flows, Arctic Artistry Inc, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, NY
1998 The Shaman Never Dies, Gallerie d'Art Vincent, Ottawa, ON
1997 Nunavut/Nunavik: Sculpture in the Time of Change, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1997 itinraire inuit: recontrer un peuple travers son art, UNESCO HQ, Paris, France
1997 Stone & Bone: The Inuit Master Carvers of the Canadian Arctic, The Northwest Company, at the Sun Valley Centre for the Arts &
Humanities, Ketchum, ID
1997 Transitions: Contemporary Canadian Indian and Inuit Art, Indian Affairs and Northern Development with International Trade, Canada,
Paris France
1996 New Visions, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1995 Keeping Our Stories Alive: An Exhibition of the Art and Crafts of Dene and Inuit of Canada, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum,
Santa Fe, NM
1995 The Next Generation, Orca Aart Gallery, Chicago, IL
1995 Immaginario Inuit: Arte e cultura degli esquimesi canadesi, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Conteporanea, Verona, Italy
1994 Sculpture of the Inuit: Major Works by the Masters of Stone, Maslak McLeod Canadian Art, Santa Fe, NM
1994 Kanuitpit? Kunst und Kulturen der Eskimo: Eine Auswahl aus den Museumssammlungen Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde,
Munchen, Munich, Germany
1993 - 94 The Inuit Imagination, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1993 Multiple Realities: Inuit Images of Shamanistic Transformation, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnpeg, MB
1992 - 93 Borealis: Inuit Images of Man and Animals, Freeport Art Museum and Cultural Centre, Freeport, IL
1992 Images of Influence: Contemporary Inuit Art, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
1992 Nouveau Territoires…. 350/500 Ans Apres, at les maisons de la culture Cote-des-Neiges, Notre-Dame-de-Grace & Rosemont-Petite
Patrie, Montreal, QC
1991 Masters of Myth, Art Space Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1991 Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture, Second Exhibition, Vancouver Inuit Art Society, Vancouver, BC
1991 Visions of Power, Earth Spirit Festival at York Quay Gallery and Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto, ON
1990 Arctic Mirror, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, QC
1989 Out of Tradition: Abraham Anghik/David Ruben Piqtoukun, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1989 Masters of the Arctic: An Exhibition of Contemporary Masterworks, UN General Assembly, New York, NY
1989 The Great Northern Arts Festival, Inuvik, NT
1988 The Storytellers: Sculptures by David Rubem Piqtoukun, Photographs by Tom Skundra, The Koffler Gallery, Toronto, ON
1987 Paulatuk: Mythology in Stone and Photographs, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, NT
1986 David Ruben Piqtoukun, Expo 1986, Northwest Territories Pavillion, Vancouver, BC
1986 Die Kunst aus der Arktis, Inuit Galerie, Mannheim, Germany
1986 New Beginnings: A Celebration of Native Expression, First Native Business Summit, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON
1985 - 86 Sanaugasi Takujaksat: A Travelling Celebration of Inuit Sculpture, Canadian Arctic Producers with Indian and Northern Affairs, ON
1984 - 86 Arctic Vision: Art of the Canadian Inuit, Dept. of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Canadian Arctic Producers, Ottawa,
1984 The Oral Tradition, National Museum of Man, Ottawa, ON
1983 The Face of the Inuit, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art, Toronto, ON
1982 Works by Abraham Anghik, David Ruben Piqtoukun, and Stefanie Ham, Gallery Quan, Toronto, ON
1981 The Inuit Sea Goddess, Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1980 Inuit Master Artists of the 1970's, Inuit Art Gallery of Vanouver, Vancouver, BC
1979 - 80 Inuit Art in the 1970's, Dept. of Indian and Northern Development & The Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON
1979 Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterwork Exhibitors of the Canadain Arctic, Inuit Art Gallery of Vancouver, Vancouver, BC
1977 Group Exhibition, Brackendale Art Gallery, Brackendale, BC
1975 International Group Show, Vanouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1974 British Columbia Nephrite Jade Show, Dallas Trade Show, Dallas, TX
1974 David Ruben Piqtoukun, Family Hall, Inuvik, NT
1973 David Ruben Piqtoukun, Arctic Arts Ltd., Edmonton, AB
1973 Between Two Worlds: Sculpture by David Ruben Piqtoukun, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB


Amway Environmental Foundation Collection, Ada, MI
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, QC
Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PE
Inuit Cultural Institute, Rankin Inlet, NT
Klamer Family Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON
Musee d'art Inuit Brosseau, Quebec City, QC
Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, NT
Staatliche Museum for Volkerkunde, Munich, Germany
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB


1998 Appointed to the Sculpture Society of Canada
1989 Appointed to UNESCO's Canadian Committees for the World Decade of Cultural Development
1980 Appointed to the Canadian Eskimo Arts Council and served until 1983


1979 Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, SCULPTURE OF THE INUIT: Masterwork Exhibitors of the Canadian Arctic, Vancouver, BC
1979 Routledge, Marie, INUIT ART IN THE 1970'S: 1970-1979. Kingston, ON: The Agnes Etherington Art Centre
1981 Driscoll, Bernadette, THE INUIT COLLECTION OF THE WINNIPEG ART GALLERY, Canadian Antiques & Art Review, vol. 2, no. 17
1981 Seidelman, Harold, DAVID RUBEN PIQTOUKUN. Arts & Culture of the North, vol. 5, no. 4
1982 Piqtoukun, David Ruben, A JOURNEY TO THE IVORY COAST. About Arts and Crafts, vol. 5, no. 3
1983 Piqtoukun, David Ruben, TRIP TO ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST, AFRICA. Inuktitut
1984 Lipton, Barbara, ARCTIC VISION: Art of the Canadian Inuit, Canadian Arctic Producers, Ottawa, ON
1984 Lipton, Barbara, ARCTIC VISION: Art of the Canadian Inuit. Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Producers
1986 Canadian Arctic Producers, SANSUGASI TAKUJAKSAT: A Travelling Celebration of Inuit Sculpture, Winnipeg, MB
1986 PAULATUK ALBUM: PEOPLE OF THE 30'S, Tusaayaksat
1987 Jones, Brian, ARTIST SEES TUNDRA AS A CLEANSING PROCESS, News/North, July-September
1987 McLeod, Nancy, DAVID RUBEN PIQTOUKUN: Sculpting a Magic Past. Up Here, vol. 3, no. 6
1987 Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, PAULATUK: Mythology in Stone & Photographs. David Ruben Piqtoukun and Tom Skudra.
Yellowknife, NT
1987 Sutherland, David, PAULATUK: Mythology in Stone & Photographs. Inuit Art Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 4
1988 Noble, Shelia, DAVID RUBEN PIQTOUKUN-INUIT ARTIST: Releasing the Figure in the Stone, Intercom
1988 Piqtoukun, David Ruben, THE STORYTELLERS: Sculptures by David Ruben Piqtoukun. Toronto: The Koffler Gallery
1989 MASTERS OF THE ARCTIC: An Exhibition of Contemporary Inuit Masterworks, Amway Corporation, Ada, MI
1989 Seagren, Ronnie, DAVID RUBEN PIQTOUKUN. Edges: New Planetary Petterns, vol. 1, no. 4
1989 Wight, Darlene, OUT OF TRADITION: Abraham Anghik/Daivd Ruben Piqtoukun: A Retrospective Exhibition. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery
1990 - 91 Hancock, Lyn, THE ARTISTS OF THE NWT, Above and Beyond, Vol. 3, No. 1
1990 Ennis, Fred, GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!, The Ottawa Sun, Ottawa, ON
1990 Gamble, David, REGIONAL SCULPTURE ROCKS POLITICIANS: Lost Child a Lost Cause, The Ottawa Sun, Ottawa, ON
1990 Gamble, David, ROCKS NOT LIKELY TO ROLL: Alderman's Campaign to Scrap Sculpture Founders, The Ottawa Sun, Ottawa, ON
1990 Johnen, David, SINGING SONGS TO THE SPIRIT: DAVID RUBEN PIQTOUKUN, Canada Journal, vol. 8, no, 5/6
The Earth Spirit Festival
1991 Wight, Darlene, INUIT TRADITION AND BEYOND: New attitudes toward art-making in the 1980's. Inuit Art Quarterly, 6 (2)
1992 Swinton, George, SCULPTURE OF THE INUIT: Rev. and updated edition of Sculpture of the Eskimo. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart
1992 Vision Planetaire, NOUVEAUX TERRITOTOIRES: 350/500 ANS APRES: Une Exposition d'art aborigene contemporain du Canada.
1993 Seidelman, Harold and James Turner, THE INUIT IMAGINATION: Arctic Myth and Sculpture, Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre
1993 Swinton, Nelda, ARCTIC WILDLIFE: The Art of The Inuit. Montreal: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
1993 Wight, Darlene, MULTIPLE REALITIES: Inuit Images of Shamanic Transformation, Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery
1994 Piqtoukun, David Ruben, DAVID RUBEN PIQTOUKUN: AN INTERVIEW BY JOHN AYRE. Inuit Art Quarterly: 9 (3)
1995 Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, KEEPING OUR STORIES ALIVE: An Exihibiton of Arts and Crafts from the Dene and Inuit of
Canada, Santa Fe, NM
1995 Inuit Art Foundation, SIX SCULPTORS, Inuit Art Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 3
1995 Verona. Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea IMMAGINARIO INUIT: ARTE E CULTURA DEGLI ESQUIMESICANADESI. Commune di
1998 Hessel, Ingo, INUIT ART, Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto
1999 McMichael Canadian Art Collection, NORTHERN ROCK, art featured on cover, Kleinburg, ON
2000 Slate Magazine, GALLERY GUIDE, art featured on cover titled "Bearman/Woman Transformation"


2000 25 tonne sculpture, "Inuksuk Gateway 2000", 550 Queen's Quay West, Toronto, ON
1990 Sculpture entitled "The Lost Child" at the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Headquarters, Ottawa, ON
1989 Sculpture for Telefilm Canada Headquarters
1988 Painting gifted to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
1987 Folio of prints entitled "Symbols of Survival"
1986 Carved an Inuksuk to commemorate the First Native business Summit at the Toronto Convention Centre on behalf the Government of the NWT


1988 Third Experimental Stone Workshop, Iqaluit Jewellery Centre, Iqaluit, NU
2000 Studio/Theatre presentation, National Gallery, Ottawa, ON


2000 Attended "International Sculpture Symposium", People's Republic of China, solo Canadian representative
1998 Attended the First North American Native Monumental Symposium, Portland, OR
1998 Awarded Canada Council Grant, established Artist Sabbatical Grant
1998 Attended the re-opening of Canada House, London, UK; introduced to HRM Quenn Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip
1996 Attended the opening of "Between Two Worlds: Sculpture by David Ruben Piqtoukun", Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1993 Spoke at the opening of "The Inuit Imagination" exhibition, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1989 Attended the opening for "Masters of the Arctic" exhibition, New York, NY
1989 Participated at the "Partnership Workshops", Institute of Cultural Affairs, Oaxtepec, Morelos, Mexico
1988 Participated at the Third Biennial Native American Fine Arts Invitational, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ
1984 Received a Canada Council Exploration grant the stage the exhibit "Paulatuk - Mythology in Stone and Photographs"
1982 Travelled to Abidjan, Ivory Coast at the invitation of the Dept. of External Affairs to participate in Canada Week
1980 Attended the Third Eskimo Arts Conference in Ottawa as a guest speaker
1975 Received cultural grant to attend and participate in the International Stone Sculpture Symposium in Vancouver, BC