Kalvak, OC, RCA

Photo: Helen Kalvak
Kalvak, OC, RCA


drawing, printmaking, textile

Artistic Community:

Ulukhaktok, NT



Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.

Kitikmeot, NT

Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.

07 May 1984



Helen Kalvak was born in the Kitlineq region of the Northwest Territories in 1901. In 1960, she moved to Ulukhaktok with her family, where she had the opportunity to participate in the new arts program started by Father Henri Tardy. A highly prolific artist, Kalvak made drawings and prints until about 1978, with many transferred into stencil prints and lithographs for the annual Holman Print Collections. Themes present in many of Kalvak’s works were influenced by Inuit traditions and mythology. Kalvak's work engaged with the role of women, often in the role of healers or as transforming figures. Through her prints Kalvak became a renown and respected artist. In 1975 she was elected as a Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1979.View Long Biography and Citations


View All Publications and Details
Title Year Author
30 Artists to Know: Helen Kalvak Fall 2017 Julia Manoyok Ekpakohak
Helen Kalvak 2008 Bernadette Driscoll
Canadian Aboriginal Art at the Senate 2007 Government of Canada


View All Exhibitions and Details
Name Year Gallery
Holman: Forty Years of Graphic Art 2001 Winnipeg Art Gallery
Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection of Inuit Art Mar - Apr 1996 Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
Kalvak & Nanogak March 1996 Albers Gallery


View All Achievements and Details
Achievement Year Organization
Holman Annual Print Collection 1985 Ulukhaktok Arts Centre
Holman Annual Print Collection 1984 Ulukhaktok Arts Centre
Holman Annual Print Collection 1983 Ulukhaktok Arts Centre

Public Collections

View All Public Collections
Collection Location
Amon Carter Museum of American Art Fort Worth, TX, United States
Anchorage Museum Anchorage, AK, United States
Art Gallery of Sudbury Sudbury, ON, Canada

Edit History

December 13, 2017 Updated By: Lera Kotsyuba
September 12, 2017 Created by: Gabriel Chevalier Updated by: Inuit Art Foundation