WAG’s Inuit Art Centre Receives Support from The Winnipeg Foundation
New exhibit opens alongside gift announcement
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wednesday, October 14, 2015: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is pleased with the announcement of The Winnipeg Foundation’s grant of $950,000 to support the Gallery’s new Inuit Art Centre, which will engage audiences with Inuit art, culture, and history. The announcement was made in conjunction with the opening of The Inuit Art Centre Project, a new exhibit curated by Dr. Stephen Borys that outlines key aspects of the initiative.
“The Inuit Art Centre will be an innovative programming hub that celebrates Inuit art and Indigenous cultures through exhibitions, research, education, and art making, while also showcasing the WAG’s significant collection of contemporary Inuit art,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “This generous gift from The Winnipeg Foundation helps the WAG develop programs to engage Winnipeg residents of all ages and backgrounds, and to build bridges between North and South.”
“The Inuit Art Centre will be a forum for dialogue and understanding between people – especially youth – both in the North and South,” comments Barry Rempel, Inuit Art Centre Campaign Chair. “It will be a path to understanding our history and our future – a future that is increasingly being shaped by Canada’s Arctic regions.”
The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. With more than 13,000 pieces, the collection represents half of the WAG’s total permanent art collection. The Inuit Art Centre will allow this extensive cultural resource to be shared with people of all ages and backgrounds. The Centre will also house the WAG’s nationally recognized Studio art and learning program.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this exciting opportunity to celebrate Inuit and Indigenous art and let everyone experience the rich culture and traditions of the North. This is a significant investment for The Winnipeg Foundation and one of the largest grants we’ve ever made. We feel it’s an important project for our community and its future,” said Winnipeg Foundation Board Chair Susan Millican, when making the grant announcement.
With architectural renderings, the building model, Inuit sculpture, and photography, The Inuit Art Centre Project exhibit highlights the vision for the centre, the design process, and the history of Inuit art at the WAG. This state-of-the-art international centre will not be just bricks and mortar, but will feature exhibitions and programs, research and learning, studio practice and artmaking. It will be a gathering place – a community hub for exploration and advancement – with the art serving as a lens on the world of Canada’s Arctic. The Inuit Art Centre Project exhibition is installed adjacent to The George & Tannis Richardson Collection of Inuit Sculpture exhibition, which showcases a selection of carvings from the WAG’s large collection.
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