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WAG Task Force Meets to Discuss Inuit Art and Learning Centre

Winnipeg, Manitoba, October 3, 2020: The Winnipeg Art Gallery is pleased to announce the creation of a national Inuit Art Task Force to help inform and guide the planning of the Inuit Art and Learning Centre (IALC). The product of an international architectural competition, the Centre will house the WAG’s celebrated collection of contemporary Inuit art, the largest of its kind in the world, and the Studio Art and Learning programs. The task force will be meeting in Winnipeg on October 3 and 4.

Led by Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Executive Director, the task force consists of artist Colleen Cutschall, Professor Emerita, Visual and Aboriginal Arts, Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba; artist Jerry Ell, Iqaluit, Nunavut; Kyra Fisher, Manager, Cultural Industries, Department of Economic Development & Transportation, Government of Nunavut; Fred Ford, Manitoba Urban Inuit Association; the Honourable George Hickes, former Speaker of the Manitoba Legislature; Heather Igloliorte, Assistant Professor of Aboriginal Art History, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec; Theresie Tungilik, Advisor, Arts & Traditional Economy, Department of Economic Development & Transportation, Government of Nunavut; and Norman Vorano, Curator of Contemporary Inuit Art, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, Quebec. Representing the WAG are Helen Delacretaz, Chief Curator and Curator, Decorative Arts; Anna Wiebe, Head of Education; and Darlene Coward Wight, Curator of Inuit Art. The meeting will be facilitated by Rhonda Lorch of Lorch and Associates.

“The Inuit Art and Learning Centre will be a creative and cultural forum for people of all ages and backgrounds—where the artistic wealth of Indigenous cultures is celebrated,” says WAG Director Stephen Borys. “In this new Centre we will be moving constantly between art and learning, ensuring that each encounter with the artwork is one that leads to a new experience of exploration. The building will also house the WAG Studio Art and Learning programs which, for 75 years has been inspiring thousands of children and adults through art and art-making.”

The development of the IALC is part of the WAG’s Centennial Legacy project, which will be supported by the Gallery’s upcoming capital and endowment campaign. The Gallery plans to announce the winning architectural firm in late October, and a groundbreaking for construction is anticipated in 2014.  Borys adds that the task force report will help inform the architectural design process.

“The WAG collection of Inuit art encompasses work in diverse media from across the Canadian Arctic,” says Darlene Coward Wight, Curator of Inuit Art. “Virtually every significant artistic development that has taken place in an art history of over sixty years is represented in this collection of over 11,000 artworks. The new Centre will give greatly expanded public access and will become a exciting destination for Canadian and international audiences.”

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The Winnipeg Art Gallery is celebrating its Centennial year with an unparalleled series of exhibitions, programs, and events promoting the power of art in life. As Manitoba’s leading art museum, the WAG is home to over 26,000 works of art spanning ten centuries, including the world’s preeminent collection of contemporary Inuit art.

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