WAG Illuminates Downtown in Lead-up to opening of Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre
New outdoor projections feature contemporary Inuit artwork, imagery, and music
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory, February 22, 2021: The Winnipeg Art Gallery is pleased to announce a spectacular projection display on the exterior of the two connected WAG-Qaumajuq buildings. In celebration of the late-March 2021 opening of Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre, the public is invited to come view outdoor projections of contemporary Inuit artwork and imagery from the street on Memorial Blvd and St. Mary Ave in downtown Winnipeg. The display will play on a loop every half hour between 6pm and 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays starting February 26 and ending March 27, as part of #Qaumajuq365, the Inuit art centre’s inaugural year.
- The 20-minute projection display, curated by Jocelyn Piirainen, WAG Assistant Curator of Inuit Art, consists of work by Glenn Gear and Zacharias Kunuk, Inuit artists featured in Qaumajuq’s inaugural exhibition INUA, as well as Northern footage made possible through partnerships with Destination Nunavut, Travel Manitoba, and the National Film Board of Canada. Inuk multimedia artist Geronimo Inutiq has provided a dynamic soundscape throughout the display.
- Working with archival material from the National Film Board of Canada, Geronimo Inutiq has created a new short film to honour the ancestors and family members of artists and community members.
- The two connected WAG-Qaumajuq buildings will be activated with projections: on the WAG wall facing Memorial Blvd and the Qaumajuq façade facing St. Mary Ave.
- Visitors are invited to walk around the buildings for this safe outdoor experience, and are advised to dress warmly.
- On January 1, 2021, the WAG kicked of #Qaumajuq365, offering many ways for the public to be part of the inaugural year, both online and on-site. The festivities launched with a Northern Lights-inspired display on the outside of the WAG-Qaumajuq buildings, which will start up again on Feb 28 on Sunday- Thursday nights until March 31, 2021.
- While taking in the projections, the public can also enjoy two newly unveiled sculptures Tuniigusiia/The Gift by Goota Ashoona and Time to Play by Abraham Anghik Ruben, and peek inside Qaumajuq’s glass entrance to thousands of Inuit carvings in the stunning Visible Vault.
- The WAG building reopened to the public with reduced capacity on February 14, 2021 with regular hours resuming, except for February 23-24 for special preparations for the opening celebration of Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre, coming up at the end of March.
- The public can also access creative online programming from afar via WAG@Home, where the projections will soon be featured.
- Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre opens at the WAG in March 2021. Stay tuned for exciting details!
- Meaning “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut, Qaumajuq provides a new home for the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
- Qaumajuq is the first art museum of its kind, bringing Inuit voices to the forefront, and dedicated to the art and culture of Inuit from Canada and beyond.
- Qaumajuq will innovate the art museum, taking art from object to full sensory experience with Inuit-led programming, complementing and augmenting the cutting-edge art education that the WAG offers today.
- The new 40,000-square-foot-building designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architecture will connect to the WAG on all four levels, providing stunning exhibition, learning and event spaces; a revamped shop; plus a new café on the main level in partnership with Circa Catering.
- The central feature is a Visible Vault, showcasing thousands of carvings. The public is invited to support Qaumajuq by donating, or adopting a shelf on the Visible Vault (details at wag.ca).
“Qaumajuq is all about celebrating the North in the South, and this series of projections is an amazing example of that. The light of Qaumajuq is shining brighter as we get closer to the opening of the Inuit art centre in just a few weeks, and we invite everyone to come out for this safe outdoor activity. We thank our partners for making this exciting project a reality as part of #Qaumajuq365, the Inuit art centre’s inaugural year.”
— Stephen D. Borys, OM, PhD, MBA, Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery
“We are thrilled to partner with organizations here in Winnipeg and throughout the North to offer light and inspiration to our community this winter. Qaumajuq celebrates Inuit art in all its forms and we are excited to feature these new multimedia works while creatively showcasing the architecture of the WAG-Qaumajuq campus.”
— Rachel Baerg, Head of Learning & Programs, Winnipeg Art Gallery
“I was happy to work with Geronimo Inutiq on bringing together these wonderful videos by leading Inuit artists today, Glenn Gear and Zacharias Kunuk, who are transcending traditional media to tell Inuit stories on screen – and now, in outdoor public spaces – extending Qaumajuq’s reach beyond the building’s boundaries and into our community.”
—Jocelyn Piirainen, WAG Assistant Curator of Inuit Art
Destination Nunavut, Travel Manitoba, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Panasonic, Winnipeg City Councillors: Brian Mayes (St. Vital), Markus Chambers (St. Norbert – Seine River), Ross Eadie (Mynarski), Kevin Klein (Charleswood – Tuxedo), Shawn Nason (Transcona), Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan), Scott Gillingham (St. James), Vivian Santos (Point Douglas), John Orlikow (River Heights – Fort Garry), Jason Schreyer (Elmwood – East Kildonan), Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry), Janice Lukes (Waverley West); and National Film Board of Canada.
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Amy Rebecca Harrison
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.786.6641 ext. 210
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (the WAG) is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre. Opening in March 2021, the centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. To learn more visit wag.ca