Monday, June 30, 2008

Native American Art Newsletter Out Tomorrow

Our free monthly Native American art newsletter for June is online at our website now.  The July issue is actually coming out tomorrow on July 1 to our subscribers so make sure that you are on our distribution list in order to get the most up to date news on articles and artwork from our Native American art gallery.  Just fill in the boxes at the upper right of this blog page.  You will also get two free Native American art books for being a subscriber.

Previous issues of our newsletter are online at the archives.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Saskatchewan Offers More Opportunities For Canadian Aboriginals

There is an economic boom in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan which is in the middle of the country.  This boom will require a future demand for skilled workers.  This is good news for the province's Canadian aboriginal communities where unemployment has always been quite high.

The only thing is that most Canadian aboriginals at present are not employable because of the lack of skills.  So there are now efforts to bring in programs that are focused on training Canadian aboriginal individuals the skills required in order to meet this demand for workers.

This is great since improvements in the economy should benefit all, whether aboriginal or non-aboriginal.  When this happens, everything else will improve as well, including the Canadian aboriginal arts scene.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Inuit Art More Realistic

I was on a service call appointment with a customer this week since our gallery offers personal onsite service for folks living or working in the greater Toronto area.  This customer had narrowed down his choice to two different polar bear carvings.  

So I brought both of them to his home and he ended up buying both of them.  While I was there, he showed me his wife's small collection of two older pieces of Inuit art.  One was a seal and other other was a walrus carving.  They were both authentic pieces and I estimated them to be from the 1970s or 1980s.  Both had the animals posing on bases even though they were carved from single pieces of stone.  This style of carving in bases was more common back then.

The customer wanted at least one polar bear to complement the existing collection at home.  Since polar bears are now the most in demand of all Inuit art carvings, this was a good idea.

Today, the styles of Inuit art have evolved so that pieces look more realistic and do not usually feature a base.  Inuit carvings today are generally have more polished finishes as well.  Nevertheless, it was interesting to see the older pieces that this customer had in his house.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Puvurnituq Inuit Art Print

As an add on to the recent post about the CBC news segment on the sad state of affairs up at Puvurnituq, Nunavik, one of the Inuit art prints that is at our gallery right now is in fact from Puvurnituq.  It was produced just before the Inuit art print shop closed down so this print is really special since there haven't been anymore prints produced from Puvurnituq in years.

So if you are a collector of Inuit art prints, this print is definitely worthy.  Click on the image below for more details for this special artwork.

inuit art prints hunter seal  

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Native Art Retail Gallery Location But ...

Even though it states on our contact information webpage that we do not have a native art retail gallery location in the Toronto area, we still get a few calls asking if we do.  Sorry folks, we welcome your telephone calls but it isn't going to change things :)

We do NOT have a retail location which is why our prices are so good.  No expensive retail overhead means that we can offer better prices to you.  Also, if you are in the GTA, we offer personal on site service.  That is, we are willing to come to your home or office to show you the Native art pieces you might be interested in.  

So if you are in the Toronto area and want to shop for Inuit art or Northwest Native art, sure you can come to a retail gallery to see artwork.  Just not ours since we don't have one.  All pieces that we have in stock are on our website.  

If you insist on going to a retail gallery location, get ready to pay for higher prices, sometimes double.  But if you want the best prices possible, then come shop online for Inuit art and Native art at Free Spirit Gallery. Plus we do offer personal on site (your site that is) service.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wave of Suicides Among Inuit Youth in Arctic North

The CBC news up here in Canada did a segment the other night about the wave of recent suicides among Inuit youth in Arctic north communities.  One community in particular, Puvirnituq, up in Arctic Quebec Nunavik, has been affected significantly with numerous incidents.

One of the associated problems is the lack of opportunities for Inuit youth in such isolated areas.  There is also an extreme shortage of housing as available homes are currently serving as shelter for as many as 20 people.

Inuit who escape their communities and head for cities like Montreal often find themselves in no better shape as they are left out in the streets homeless.

This is very sad indeed.  Inuit who are educated in college have returned back up north to help out their communities but progress with aid from the government is dreadfully slow.

At least those of us in the arts community (galleries and collectors) can do our best to help out by supporting the Inuit artists and carvers from the Arctic north.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Native American Cultural Videos on YouTube

All of our Native American Cultural Videos which are viewable directly at our Free Spirit Gallery website are also on YouTube.  Many people utilize the comments sections at our videos on YouTube but we have chosen to moderate them.  Some people for whatever reason, choose to write comments that are too political, have nothing to do with the videos or are just plain spam.  

Therefore, we exercise our option to not approve such comments and may even block particular YouTube users from attempting to leave future comments on any of our videos.  These Native American Cultural videos are for everyone's enjoyment and not a ground for political views or spam.  

If you are interested to access our videos for their cultural content, you can do so either through our website or on YouTube.  We suggest doing so at our website so you could get quick access to our other content such as our numerous information articles and Native American artwork.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Inuit Art Articles For July

Since I am still learning my way around my new Mac computer, more than likely, there will not be any new videos ready for July at the Free Spirit Gallery website.  I haven't learned how to use the Mac's video software yet.

However, there will be some new articles with more images of Inuit art ready for sure.  These will be announced in our free monthly Native Art gallery newsletter, July issue.  In the meantime, to see our numerous current articles, see Inuit Art Information Articles.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Business Gift For US Company Executives

I got a call from somebody at a local Canadian company who has a parent company based in the US.  Some of the US executives are coming up to Canada for a visit and there was the idea of giving these visitors a nice business gift that is uniquely Canadian.  The folks at the Canadian office was thinking about some Inuit art like a polar bear carving or inukshuk sculpture.  What a great idea!

For more information on this type of gift giving using Inuit art, see this article on Corporate Business Gifts.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wait Longer For Next Cody Mathias Custom Project

Looks like we will still have to wait for the next Cody Mathias custom Northwest Indian art project. He called me yesterday to let me know that he broke his second piece for this large raven project that he was suppose to finish up this week. For the sake of artistic integrity, we decided that he will have to restart the project a third time and take precautions so that he won't break another piece.

Apparently, the problem is that he has been carving this larger than usual piece on his lap which made it easier to break. So this time, he's going to carve the piece on a table. Hopefully, he will be successful this time around so that we may get a custom raven carving soon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Native Art On Canadian Money

Someone who was watching the Bill Reid Spirit of Haida Gwaii video commented that this impressive sculpture is on the Canadian $20 bill along with other Native Canadian art. Well, this individual was certainly correct. It is Bill Reid's artwork on our money. In fact, you can see more details of this at Native Art on Canadian Banknote.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Arctic Inukshuk Added To Inuit Art Gallery

A new Arctic Inukshuk has been added to our Inuit art gallery this week. It is a nice solid piece from the Nunavik region of Arctic Canada. Click on the image below for more details about this piece. To see all of our current ones, see Arctic Inukshuk carvings.

arctic inukshuk inuit art gallery carvings

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Inuit Leader States Culture Is Strong During Harper Apology

After Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the official government apology to the Native people of Canada for the 100 years of residential schools that tore native children away from their families, several Canadian Native aboriginal leaders were allowed to address the House of Commons. One was Inuit leader Mary Simon who addressed the Commons in the native Inuit language Inuktutuk first followed by English.

She mentioned that she chose to speak to the Canadian government in Inuktutuk first as a demonstration that the Inuit culture is still strong. This was met with applause from the entire audience.

For more on culture, see Inuit Culture articles.

inuit culture canadian native harper apology residential schools canada government

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Native Aboriginals Help Build For Olympics

Many Canadian Native Aboriginal individuals who are short on skills with uncertain futures in the British Columbia region are getting some help from hardware retailer Rona. Rona has created a centre in Vancouver where numerous Native Aboriginal individuals are getting trained with special skills using construction tools to help build for the 2010 winter Olympics. Rona of course is supplying all the construction tools and materials.

This is a win win situation for all. It is benefiting the Olympics since things are getting built for the event. Native Aboriginals are getting useful training in skills that will make them employable in the future. And Rona is getting some great PR as a result.

The 2010 winter Olympics already has a Canadian Aboriginal flavor with its logo mascot derived from an Inuit inukshuk. For more details, see Inuit Inukshuk Olympics.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prime Minister Harper To Announce Apology To Natives

Canadian Prime Minister Harper will be announcing the official federal government apology to Canadian Natives who were affected by Canada's prior policy with residential schools at 3 pm EST on Wednesday June 11, 2008. There will be coverage of this announcement by CBC. For decades, native children were taken away from families to attend these residential schools. Many of these native children did not survive and return back to their families. Among those who did return, their native culture were taken away by the missionaries who taught at these residential schools.

Only now are Canada's native people starting to reclaim their culture back with a renewed interest in native Canadian art as well as language and customs.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Canadian Government To Make Formal Apology For Native Residential Schools

The Canadian government will make a formal apology for forcing Native aboriginal children in attending residential schools many years ago. Even though these native residential schools were closed down decades ago, the after effects still exist today as many native people lost much of their own culture including language and religion as well as identity. This federal program of residential schools also applied to the Inuit communities up in the far north Arctic as well. For interesting information articles and videos, see Native Aboriginal Culture.

Kachina Dolls Sale At One of our Partners

Free Spirit Gallery does not carry any Kachina dolls or katsina dolls but we do recommend certain sources of them. One of these sources, Arizona Kachinas, seem to be having a sale on Kachina dolls as I see on their website that many prices have been reduced on various sizes of their Kachinas. See their website at Arizona Kachina Dolls to see what they currently have.

kachina dolls kachinas doll

Saturday, June 07, 2008

New Inuit Walrus Soapstone Sculpture Came In

A new Inuit walrus soapstone sculpture came in yesterday. A nice one waving a flipper to the crowd. So now we have two different walrus sculptures in our gallery. Check them out. You can also see our complete line of Inuit soapstone sculptures.

inuit walrus sculptures walruses

Friday, June 06, 2008

New Dancing Bears and Arctic Birds Added

We added a few more new Inuit carvings yesterday including dancing bears and Arctic birds. They are all listed in the New Arrivals of Inuit Carvings section.

You can also see them under the Polar Bears and Other Inuit Carvings sections respectively.

dancing bears inuit carvings arctic

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Native American Indian Art eCards

Don't forget that we have a nice collection of Native American Indian art eCards as well as Inuit art ones for everyone to use for free. If you haven't used eCards before, you simply select one of the images from our eCards page, then type in your email address as well as that of who you want to send the eCard to. Also input your respective names and finally your message to your recipient. You can preview your eCard if you want. When you are satisfied with the look, just hit send.

native american indian art ecards inuit

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New Book On Haida Northwest Coast Native Art

Vancouver, May 27 2008 – Northwest Coast art authority Carol Sheehan’s new book Breathing Stone: Contemporary Haida Argillite Sculpture profiles 15 exceptional artists re-invigorating an old Northwest Coast art form. The book will be launched at Masters Gallery, Calgary on June 19 with author, artists, and photographers Jack Litrell and John W. Heintz in attendance. With 200 colour photographs taken in artists’ workshops, galleries, collectors’ homes and on-site in Haida Gwaii – the Queen Charlotte Islands – Breathing Stone is passionate, original and beautiful.

Inspirited by Haida master Bill Reid, the last 20 years have seen the emergence of prolific new sculptors on Haida Gwaii. “These Haida artists have been recognized in Canada and worldwide for their artistic passion, innovation, and excellence," said Sheehan."Exceptional in vision and execution, their work is expanding the legacy of fine art that has come from the people of Haida Gwaii for centuries." Throughout Breathing Stone, the excitement and commitment of the Haida artists shines through. For them, argillite sculpture is a source of intense pride, a means of showing the world the richness of their culture. See for sample pages of the book.

The artists of Breathing Stone are:

Sean Brennan; Michael Brown; Donnie Edenshaw; Shaun Edgars; Chris Russ; Gary Minaker Russ; Marcel Russ; Lionel Samuels; Jay Simeon; Robert Vogstad; Darrell White; Gryn White; Martin Williams; Cooper Wilson; and Freddie Wilson.

There is much more information such as articles, videos and artwork examples of Northwest Native art at the Free Spirit Gallery site.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

May Issue of Native American Art Gallery Newsletter

My computer fried last month after a power outage here and even though I was not able to update the Native American art gallery website for a week, all my files were fortunately salvaged. This is a major relief since all the photos and video footage of Inuit art were already downloaded into my computer. With the successful recovery of the data, here are two new articles featuring some of the Inuit art from this great collection;

Inuit Sculptures of Arctic Animals

Inuit Drawings

Towards the end of last month, several new pieces of Inuit sculptures were brought into the gallery including Inuit hunters, Arctic fish, inukshuk and muskox. We haven't had any Inuit hunters or muskox here for quite some time. A listing of these new pieces is at;

New Arrivals of Inuit Art

Subscribers of this free monthly newsletter were informed of price reductions on many of our Inuit art pieces and several collectors ended up with really nice pieces at great prices. This is yet another benefit of being a subscriber since you will be informed of such specials before anybody else on the web. If you haven't already, sign up at the top right of this blog page and you will also receive two free native art ebooks.

The final two videos clips from the Canadian Aboriginal Festival are now online. The first one shows another shot at the finals from the women's dance competition. The second is the third video on what seems to be a favourite, the ladies' jingle dress dancing. See these videos at;

Women's Finals Native Aboriginal Dance

More Ladies' Jingle Dress Native Dancing

More Inuit art will be out next month and hopefully, another customer project by Northwest native master carver Cody Mathias will be ready for viewing.


Free Spirit Gallery
Exquisite Inuit Eskimo & Northwest Native Art

Monday, June 02, 2008

New Arctic Seal Inuit Carving Added

We added a new little Arctic seal Inuit carving to our online gallery this morning. It's a nice little piece by Charlie Nalukturuk of Inukjuak. See all of our Arctic Seals. This is also yet another beautiful piece of Inuit art that is priced under $100.

arctic seals inuit carvings gallery