Mary Paningajak Alaku is a visual artist from Ivujivik, Nunavik. She practices drawing, painting and printmaking as well as sculpture. Mary is a multi-talented artist who is inspired by her environment, by Inuit culture and by the creativity of her people in her artistic work.
Mary is also part of the collective of artists who have developed a linocut workshop in Ivujivik, in collaboration with Qumaq Mangiok Iyaituk, Passa Mangiuk and Lyne Bastien. Her work is recognized and can be found in the collections of the Avataq Cultural Institute, the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec and the Kativik School Board. It has also been presented at events such as the Biennale de Saint-Jean Port-Joli and the Montreal Paper Fair.
As part of the Standing Together Through Art project, Mary is using her artistic creativity to illustrate the events and emotions related to the pandemic situation in Nunavik. It was her work as an artist illustrating the activities of another initiative – the Atautsikut Community of Practice (CoP) in Youth Mental Health and Wellness project – that brought the idea for the Standing Together Through Art project to life. Since the spring of 2020, as face-to-face meetings of the Atautsikut CoP had to cease due to the pandemic, the focus of Mary’s illustrations has changed, but not the richness of her contribution to documenting experiences. For Mary, art is a source of well-being.