Inuit Prints from Brush Gallery on Display in West Virginia
Forty prints selected from the collection of St. Lawrence University’s Richard F. Brush Art Gallery are currently on display at the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, West Virginia. The exhibition, titled “The Macy's Foundation Presents: North of Sixty – Canadian Inuit Prints,” will be on display there until Aug. 3.
The exhibit features prints from St. Lawrence’s permanent collection that offer a distinct portrait of Inuit life and culture in the Canadian Arctic. Inuit printmaking as we know it today dates back to 1957 when James Houston, a young European-Canadian, helped to create a cooperative graphic arts workshop in Cape Dorset, located in the northeast Canadian Arctic and part of what is now the recently created territory of Nunavut.
“Most of the images in the show were first displayed at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., in the summer and fall of 2010,” said Catherine Tedford, director of the Brush Art Gallery. “The show later opened at SLU in the spring of 2011 and then traveled to the College of Wooster in the fall of 2011. A new variation of Inuit prints from SLU’s permanent collection was selected for the Huntington Museum exhibition.”
North of Sixty refers to the circle of latitude that is 60 degrees north of the earth’s equatorial plane. In Canada, the 60th parallel forms a boundary between the northern territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, and the western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to the south.
Cape Dorset artists are well known for stone carvings and stone-cut prints, as well as lithographs, stencil prints, and etchings. Artists from several generations portray the power and beauty of the natural world, as well as town and camp life, traditional Inuit stories and mythic creatures, and, more recently, influences from the south. Living in such a harsh environment, these artists pay close attention to and respect the forces of nature, but their work also illustrates at times a certain lyricism in the portrayal of humans and animals with their surroundings.
Among the best-known Inuit artists are Pudlo Pudlat (1916-1992), Kenojuak Ashevak (1927-2013), Kananginak Pootoogook (1935-2010), and Kavavaow Mannomee (born 1958).
For more information, visit www.hmoa.org or call 304-529-2701.
Visit the Brush Art Gallery at www.stlawu.edu/gallery.