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A new shine on a familiar face

Commemorative sculpture gets a facelift

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Aug 03/01) - It's been years since the commemorative sculpture has looked so good.

Last week artists Allyson Simmie and Mathew Nuqingaq spent about an hour applying a coating of linseed oil to the sculpture in front of the Western Arctic Regional Visitors Centre.

Mathew Nuqingaq of Iqaluit gives the commemorative sculpture in front of the Western Arctic Regional Visitors Centre a coating of oil. - Malcolm Gorrill/NNSL photo

The sculpture was made in 1998 in part to celebrate the creation of Nunavut, as well as the 10th anniversary of the Great Northern Arts Festival.

Simmie was one of five people who created the sculpture. Originally from Nova Scotia, Simmie moved to Iqaluit in 1994 to teach the jewelry program at Arctic College. She explained that she still spends a lot of her time in the North.

While joking with Nuqingaq of Iqaluit, Simmie said the coating of oil will protect the rock and seal it from the elements.

"It's good for people here to see there's ongoing care for it," Simmie said.

The other artists who worked on the sculpture were Eli Nasogaluak and Bill Nasogaluak of Tuktoyaktuk, Paul Malliki of Repulse Bay, and Dolphus Cadieux of Yellowknife.

Simmie said two caribou carvings on the commemorative sculpture have been vandalized. She is making a mould made from a set of sterling silver antlers that were on it so the caribou can be repaired.

Simmie and Nuqingaq were in Inuvik to take part in the Great Northern Arts Festival. This was the fourth one Simmie has been to, and she said the festival is amazing each year.

Nuqingaq said this year's festival lived up to its name, and that the best part was meeting up with old friends, as well as making new ones.