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WAG to Host First Solo Exhibition of Pitaloosie Saila

Winnipeg, Manitoba, October 17, 2017: The Winnipeg Art Gallery is pleased to showcase the first retrospective exhibition celebrating Pitaloosie Saila in a public gallery. Over the decades this remarkable Cape Dorset artist has created an incredible body of work. She is the sole remaining active artist since the earliest years of printmaking in her community. Saila will be in Winnipeg for a rare series of events to launch the exhibition. Pitaloosie Saila: A Personal Journey opens October 27 and runs until spring 2018.

Saila began drawing in 1958, giving her the distinction of being the most senior early master currently working in Cape Dorset. For over 60 years Saila has drawn fascinating images reflecting her amazing life. A Personal Journey features 32 prints centred on themes of women and family, shamans, birds, and life experiences.

Quick Facts:

  • Saila’s extraordinary body of work includes 1,450 drawings and over 165 prints, which have been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally.
  • Her work is included in every major public art collection in Canada, such as the National Gallery of Canada, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Canadian Museum of History, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
  • In 1977, Fisherman’s Dream (1971) was chosen by Canada Post to be featured on a stamp in recognition of Inuit art’s contribution to Canadian cultural heritage.
  • Arctic Madonna (1980) was selected by UNICEF as a greeting card in 1983.
  • In 2002 Saila became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
  • The WAG exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue.
  • The WAG is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
  • To celebrate the art and to honour Inuit, the WAG is building an Inuit Art Centre, a transformative place led by the images and stories from the art, the people, and the land.


  • October 27, 7pm, come celebrate the opening of Pitaloosie Saila: A Personal Journey. Free entry.
  • October 28, 3pm, hear Pitaloosie Saila talk first-hand about her incredible life and artwork. FREE with Gallery admission.
  • November 22, 12pm, join WAG Curator of Inuit Art Darlene Coward Wight for an Art for Lunch tour. FREE with Gallery admission.


“The WAG is excited to host the first-ever solo exhibition of master graphic artist Pitaloosie Saila. An artistic innovator before her time, Saila uses art as an outlet to illustrate her life and the world around her. It is an honour to not only share this work with the community, but also provide a platform for Inuit stories to be told by Inuit.”
—Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG

“Pitaloosie Saila has steadfastly followed her own artistic vision—whether in subject, style, or use of media—to create a remarkable body of work. She has lived through a time of unprecedented change and documented these changes, embracing her past and merging it with the present, creating an outstanding artistic legacy.”
—Darlene Coward Wight, WAG curator of Inuit Art and Susan Gustavison, guest curator

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For more information or to prearrange interviews, please contact:
Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media & Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Tammy Sawatzky
Public Relations Coordinator
Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate—a lens and forum—helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery and inspiration.

The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Breaking ground soon, the WAG is creating an Inuit Art Centre to celebrate the art and to honour Inuit. The Centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. It will also house the WAG’s nationally recognized Studio art and learning program.


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