Looty Pijamini was born November 14, 1953, in Clyde River. His father was a member of the RCMP and moved the Pijamini family to Grise Fiord when he was a boy. Looty has lived there since then with his wife, five children and three grandchildren.
At the age of fifteen, Looty began carving. He explored a wide range of media such as stone, metal, ivory, caribou, antler, muskox horn and narwhal tusk. His interest in precious metals led him to complete a two-year diploma program in Jewellery and Metalwork at Nunavut Arctic College.
Looty has been commissioned to make art by private collectors throughout the world. His works are on display in the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, NWT and internationally, in Greece, Mexico, and the US. In March 2003, a solo exhibition of his sculptural work was displayed at the INAC office in Hull, Quebec. Iqaluit residents will recognize his Sedna sculpture at the Legislative Assembly.
Among Looty’s awards in the arts are three NAC graduate awards and the Grand Award at the Eastern Arctic Fine Arts and Crafts Competition in 1994 for his sterling silver hollow-ware sculpture of a swan. Looty took first prize in the following year’s competition and first place at the Great Northern Arts Festival in 1996.
A BBC film crew captured Looty carving a 8.5 foot tusk with 42 individual carved images. His work has also been showcased on the cover of the Northwestel phonebook.
These days Looty is spending much of his time constructing fiberglass kamotiks – the first of its kind – and printmaking.