WAG to Open Inuit Art Exhibition at Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC
Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 7, 2017: On June 15, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is thrilled to open Ningiukulu Teevee: Kinngait Stories at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC, the first solo exhibition of renowned Cape Dorset artist Ningiukulu Teevee. The WAG’s first exhibition at the Embassy will be on view until October 20, and includes works from the Government of Nunavut, Dorset Fine Arts, and the WAG collection.
Alongside Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, Ningiukulu Teevee: Kinngait Stories includes 29 drawings and prints created since 2005, and features a new video produced for the exhibition. The 54-year-old artist will be in Washington for the opening and will participate in an onstage conversation with WAG Curator of Inuit Art and exhibition curator Dr. Darlene Coward Wight.
“The WAG is excited to host its first exhibition presented at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC,” states Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “To feature the stunning and acclaimed work of Ningiukulu Teevee is an honour as it not only shares incredible Canadian art with the world, but ensures Inuit stories are told by Inuit.”
Teevee explores the relationship between abstraction and representation, particularly the interplay of patterns found in nature, like no other artist. Her subject matter ranges from traditional culture to stylized birds to whimsical abstractions. She is inspired by traditional stories, particularly those about the sea spirit Nuliajuk. She is also interested in contemporary life in Cape Dorset, or Kinngait, as the community is known to Inuit. Since 2004, Teevee’s drawings have been translated into prints for every annual Cape Dorset Print Collection produced by the Kinngait Studio, totaling 87 to date. Seven of her prints were included in the most recent 2016 annual collection.
“Ning’s work is a unique blend of stories she heard as a child and her present-day lived experiences. These often meet in her work in surprising ways like a raven’s foot in a woman’s high-heeled shoe,” states Dr. Darlene Coward Wight. “Her subjects are interpreted in a bold and contemporary graphic style that results in artworks that preserve a treasured history while forming a significant contribution to Canadian art.”
“Inuit art has long been a narrative expression, a way in which Inuit tell the stories of their lives and their communities,” said George Kuksuk, Nunavut’s Minister of Culture and Heritage. “In many ways, sharing Inuit art with others is a form of healing and reconciliation. Our art gives the rest of the world insight into our thoughts, ideas and perspectives; it is this insight that fosters greater understanding and appreciation of Inuit people and culture. The Government of Nunavut has taken positive steps in ensuring that our art, and thus our stories, have the opportunity to be experienced by Inuit and non-Inuit around the world.”
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Inuit Art Foundation is launching its summer publication of Inuit Art Quarterly (IAQ) – the museum issue, which features the WAG’s Inuit Art Centre. IAQ is the only magazine dedicated to Inuit art, and shares with the WAG a vision to celebrate and promote Inuit creativity, art, and culture.
The Embassy of Canada is located adjacent to the National Mall and within walking distance of the White House. The Embassy gallery showcases Canadian artists or Canada-themed exhibits and is free and open to the public Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
The WAG is grateful to Exhibition Sponsor TD Bank Group and our valued partners: the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, and the Government of Nunavut as well as the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC, and Dorset Fine Arts. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue.
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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 in 2017, the WAG is creating an Inuit Art Centre to celebrate the art and to honour the 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.