Northern Images is the retail art marketing arm of Arctic Co-operatives Limited, a co-operative service organization owned and controlled by the 33 community-based, multi-purpose Co-operatives in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Saskatchewan.
Arctic Co-operatives Limited is dedicated to providing services and business development opportunities to communities throughout the Canada’s north. Northern Images supports and promotes northern artists and their products by marketing Inuit and Dene art and crafts.
A cornerstone of the Northern Images operation is our commitment to fair and timely compensation for Co-op member-artists. The artists bring their original works of art to their local community Co-operatives where it is professionally valued and purchased before it even leaves the community.
The Co-ops forward the artwork to our Mississauga show room for distribution to various galleries, including Northern Images, where it is displayed and marketed to the public.
Absolutely! Through the promotion and sale of authentic Inuit art, we perpetuate this market for future generations and assist in ensuring the sustainability of the northern heritage, while providing an essential cash flow to the participating Co-op member-artists and their communities.
This Igloo tag is your guarantee of authenticity. All artwork marketed by Northern Images comes with this tag. Igloo Tag Trademark has been the internationally-recognized symbol of authenticity for Inuit visual arts for over six decades. (For more information, click here - Authenticity & Igloo Tag.)
Sorry, we do not offer an appraisal service at this time.
Look for a piece that appeals to you personally, and is within your price range.
The overall composition and subject, the type and colour of the stone, the amount of detail, whether or not it depicts motion, the fine finishing … these are all some of the factors for you to consider. (For further information on choosing sculptures and prints, click here - Choosing Art.)
Although some of the criteria in FAQ #6 may affect the price of a sculpture, perhaps the most important factor is the artist’s reputation. A beautiful carving done by an unknown Emerging Artist will not command the higher price point that a similar sculpture carved by a world-renowned Master Carver would.
Many factors are responsible for the value of Inuit sculptures, making this art form an excellent investment.
a) International interest in Inuit art continues to grow substantially.
b) Supply and Demand:
- With the formation of Nunavut, the number of carvers is beginning to decline as more lucrative career opportunities become available. These jobs are much less physically demanding than hand-mining carving stone, which is dangerous and gruelling work.
- Adverse Arctic weather conditions can hamper long mining expeditions, making higher-paying,
indoor government jobs (with benefits) much more appealing to the younger generation.
- The mines are usually situated a substantial distance from artists’ communities, requiring many days of travel that make holding a non-traditional job difficult.
c) The best carvers of animals seem to be hunters who have a first-hand familiarity with the animals they carve. Younger people are now purchasing food from grocery stores rather than hunting for it and, therefore, they are missing out on this traditional resource to add quality to their carvings.
Over time, as fewer quality pieces become available, the value may increase.
Some of the many types of stone used for carving Inuit sculptures, from various regions, include:
In addition to various types of stone, sculptures are also made using other natural materials such as whalebone and ivory, musk ox horn, caribou antler, leather hides, etc. (For more information on shipping certain natural materials, click here)
The colour of stone varies between regions as a result of the varying mineral content of the land from where it is quarried.
Artists get their own stone from mines in their region, usually located a significant distance from their home community. After several days of travelling to the desired location, artists mine the stone by hand using picks, axes, grinders and crowbars.
Dynamite cannot be used because it damages the stone. After manually removing the stone from the mine piece by piece, it is loaded and hauled back to the community. As there is only a small window of time to retrieve an adequate supply of stone for 8 - 10 months of work over the winter months, the artist may have to make several return trips to the mine for additional supplies.
Just as the type of stone or other medium used to create beautiful works of art varies between regions, so do artistic styles. As a result of the type of stone that is available for artists to work with, each art-producing community has developed its favourite themes and styles.
We accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards.
Yes, where applicable.
Yes, where applicable.
Yes, with the appropriate export documentation. (Please refer to Import Restrictions.)
Northern Images will utilize the most appropriate carrier based on various shipping criteria
(e.g. destination, weight, dimensions, etc.) Click here for our complete Shipping Policy.
Your shipment is insured for loss or damage by the carrier.
We take great care to pack your shipment to ensure damages do not occur. In the unlikely event an item is damaged during shipping, please contact us immediately for instructions.
We offer an exchange within 30 days, with appropriate prior approval by an authorized Northern Images Associate. (Click here to read our complete Merchandise Return for Exchange Policy.)
Many countries restrict the import of certain animal products. It is recommended you check with your local customs officials prior to purchasing art containing any animal products as fines or penalties may be severe.
Written import clearance must be obtained and provided to Northern Images prior to shipping outside Canada and is the responsibility of the customer.
Purchased items that are subject to import penalties or are refused entry into the destination country are not eligible for refund.
The item may have been purchased by another customer.
We do! Our Corporate Program encompasses a
a) Recognition Program – Recognize staff milestones, dedication or performance with a unique reward they are sure to treasure.
b) Gifting Program – Thank your board members, clients or guest speakers with a stunning gift of authentic Inuit art.
c) Décor Program – Decorate your halls and offices with beautiful sculptures and prints depicting real life or the mythology of Canada’s Arctic.
Handle your carving with care to avoid scratches (e.g. from jewellery) and/or breakage. Carefully support your carving with non-slippery, latex gloves when moving it. To clean, dust it with a soft cloth, or use a watercolour paint brush to dust away dirt embedded in crevices.
Bone, antler and ivory pieces should be kept away from doorways, air vents and direct sunlight. Ivory, in particular, reacts to changing humidity levels by swelling and shrinking, which can cause the piece to crack and warp. Ivory also yellows naturally. This is its natural patina; do not attempt to bleach it out.
Prints should be displayed in darker areas, as they can fade if exposed to too much light (sunlight or artificial).
(For more information click here - Caring For Your Art.)
Simply give us a call or send us an e-mail with the particulars, such as the desired subject matter (e.g. polar bear, owl sculpture, print, etc.) and the approximate dimensions. We would be pleased to help you select the perfect piece to compliment your décor.
E-mail us at: NorthernImages@Arctic.Coop