Celebrating Nunavut: Inuit Art From the Canadian Arctic

January 31, 2011 // 7:30am4:00pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
Canada Institute

The Canada Institute's first art exhibit showcases Inuit culture through 25 selected works, including stonecut, stencil, and lithograph prints, as well as textile embroidered wall-hangings. Eighteen Inuit artists are represented in the exhibit from the leading art-producing communities of Qamanittuaq (Baker Lake), Kinngait (Cape Dorset), and Pangnirtung in Nunavut. The artists are also represented in major private collections and public art museums and galleries across Canada and internationally.

Beginning with the founding of the Cape Dorset (Kinngait) printmaking cooperative on Baffin Island in 1957, Inuit printmakers have translated the drawings of fellow artists into limited edition prints, as well as etchings and engravings. Through this collaboration, artists have documented the historical events that have transformed Inuit life over the past several generations.

Working first in skin tents and snowhouses, and now in well-equipped printmaking studios, Inuit artists have created a compelling visual record, documenting the social, cultural, and economic changes that have taken place across the North over the past 50 years.

Many of the prints included in this exhibition are autobiographical, recalling the artists' experience of living on the land where families moved seasonally to fish and hunt caribou, seal, whales, and walrus. Prints by Pitseolak Ashoona and Pudlo Pudlat, as well as the textile art of elder Elizabeth Arngrnaqquaq, recall a traditional camp life devoted to hunting and fishing.

The works in this collection are by well-established artists from various communities across the Canadian Arctic: Jessie Oonark, Luke Anguhadluq, Ruth Annaqtuusi, Simon Tookoome from Qamanittuaq (Baker Lake, Nunavut); Kenojuak, Pudlo Pudlat, Suvinai Ashoona, Kananginak Pootoogook, Pitaloosie Saila from Kingait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut); and Helen Kalvak, Mark Emerak, Mary Okheena, Peter Palvik, and Agnes Nanogak from Uluhaktok (Holman) on Victoria Island about 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

The exhibit was brought to the Canada Institute by curator Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad, with the assistance of the Embassy of Canada.

The exhibit is displayed in the 4th floor atrium and on the 5th floor. It is open to the public 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m.


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