Up for auction is this lovely piece by artist, Gabriel Gely. It measures 15 1/2" by 13" and will be shipped out of the frame. The bottom is signed G. Gely, Baker Lake 1964, Kayaitok # 10.
INTERNATIONAL BIDDERS ARE WELCOME
HISTORY OF GABRIEL GELY
At 73, born in 1924, painter Gabe Gely is still going strong and painting the portraits
and the landscape scenes that he fell in love with and lived in for more than
half of his life.
Gely arrived in Canada in 1952 and got a job as a cook's helper in Ennadai
Lake, a weather station west of Hudson Bay.
During his employment, Gely noticed that many of the Inuit people were
starving and he stole food and gave it to them to stop them from dying.
They called him Taraami, meaning "he who comes from downstairs," because the
food storage room was located downstairs.
"T were very few non-Inuit people t and for some reason, the caribou
changed and the Inuit relied solely on them and they were starving to death.
Gabe used to sneak food to them out the back door and that was the beginning of
his love for them," says Marg Baile, the owner of Arctic Art Gallery in
Yellowknife and a close friend of Gely.
The Inuit in the area were eventually transferred to the community of Eskimo
Point, now called Arviat. Gely remained in the North as an arts
and crafts supervisor and worked as an
arts resource person for the government, spending time in most of the Inuit
I was preparing the way for the co-op movement. It wasn't t then," says
Gely who, in 1984, made his home in Eskimo Point with the friends he had made
In 1985, Gely organized a two week trip for 36 of his friends to return to
Ennadai Lake for a drum dance and traditional Inuit celebration. He says that he
noticed that many of his friends still missed Ennadai Lake and had not properly
settled into Eskimo Point.
Gely left the NWT in 1987 but 11 years later, he still misses his friends.
"They're a whole world away from me and yet I still feel I have a connection
with them. I bought a house right on the Bay of Fundy and the only thing missing
is the Inuit people but I can have the illusion because t's an ocean and I
can shut my eyes and imagine I'm in Baker Lake or wver," says Gely.
His 45-year career has consisted solely of painting the Inuit people and
their way of life with most of the scenes revolving around the people of Ennadai
His work has travelled as far away as Mexico but Baile continues to
exclusively show Gely's work.
Trained in France under the impressionists. ,
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