Two new exhibits at the MAG

  • Jan. 11, 2012 4:38 p.m.

Between Jan. 14 and April 1, the MAG will host Uuturautiit: Cape Dorset Celebrates 50 Years of Printmaking, organized by the National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with Dorset Fine Arts.

This significant exhibition of some 80 works pairs the most recent and innovative work with the complete inaugural 1959 collection. Extremely rare, the latter has been reassembled for the first time in five decades. Works represent a mix of elder, established and emerging artists.

In 2009, Cape Dorset celebrated the Jubilee Anniversary of making prints, and the creation of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative Ltd. Kinngait, as it is locally known in Nunavut, continues to operate, providing an outlet for artists to create and market their art.

‘Uuturauqtu’, or ‘uuturautiit’ in the plural (pronounced ‘oo-to-raw-tee’), is the Inuktitut term used for proofing a print, which is the crucial, experimental stage before the print is finalized. It means, “To try different things”. The artists of Cape Dorset have been combining their skill and artistry in a fascinating and prolific body of work for over 50 years, sharing their personal experiences and cultural knowledge through this vital art form.

Also, from Jan. 28 to March 4, the Museum will feature Cape Dorset: Selections from the MAG Collection.

Inuit communities and culture are key components in the Alberta Grade 2 curriculum. This exhibition will feature art and artifacts representative of the diversity of Canada’s north. Visitors will explore the geography, language, culture and resources of our northern neighbours.

Dr. Kathleen Swallow, a local collector in Inuit and Native Art donated her collection to the Red Deer and District Museum in 1983. Many Cape Dorset prints comprised a large portion of her donation.

“The depth and quality of Inuit art in the MAG’s collection is of a national calibre. The MAG is very excited to present these works, many by the same artists represented in the National Gallery exhibition,” said Lorna Johnson, executive director.

During the run of these two exhibitions, the Museum will welcome Inuit artist-in-residence, Tim Pitsiulak to Red Deer. Pitsiulak, an artist from the Kinngait Studios and included in the National Gallery exhibition, will be working in the galleries between Feb. 20 and March 2.

– Fawcett