“When I went down to the litho shop to sell my first drawing, I was very nervous wondering whether they would buy it or not. My first drawing was an image of my late grandfather’s [Latcholassie Akesuk] carving of a bird. I was so proud to get paid for that drawing and it inspired me to do more drawings.”
Saimaiyu (Saimaiyuk) Akesuk was born on April 28, 1988 in Iqaluit but she has lived in Cape Dorset her whole life. Her parents are Lau Akesuk and Olayuk Akesuk who was one of the first Members of the Legislative Assembly in Nunavut.
Saimaiyu was inspired to start drawing by Ningeokuluk Teevee while they were taking a class together at the Nunavut Teaching Education Program.
Saimaiyu’s confident drawings of birds and bears are characterized by her bold and dynamic simplicity rendered with soft tenderness and quite often a touch of whimsy.
Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection, 2013. Artist photo: William Ritchie.
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