Nipirasait: Many Voices
Inuit Prints from Cape Dorset
July 1 - December 30, 2010
at the Canadian Embassy Art Gallery
501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC
Mayoreak Ashoona, Tuulirijuag (Greet Big Loon),
stonecut and stencil
This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the Kinngait Studios, located in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, and part of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. James A. Houston introduced printmaking to the north in the late 1950s, and Terry Ryan succeeded him soon thereafter to foster an innovative arts community of Inuit printmakers and stone carvers.
Today, notable artists of an older generation work alongside those younger to depict 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.
Like many aspects of life in Cape Dorset, printmaking is a highly communal and collaborative endeavor. Skilled printmakers translate artists’ drawings into stonecuts, lithographs, etchings and aquatints, and serigraphs. These original limited-edition prints are subsequently made available in annual collections to individuals, museums, and galleries around the world.
St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, is one of two institutions, along with the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Québec, to have acquired the entire 2009 collection of 36 prints by ten living artists.
Nipirasait: Many Voices recognizes the creative spirit of these individuals and others who have worked closely with them, north and south of the border, to offer a distinct portrait of Inuit life and culture in the Canadian Arctic.
The exhibition Nipirasait: Many Voices was organized by Catherine Tedford, director of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University, and Carole Mathey, assistant director.
Special thanks to Leslie Boyd Ryan, Dorset Fine Arts, Toronto, Ontario, and Christine Lalonde, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for their generous assistance with the exhibition. Thanks also to Mark Blichert, Montréal, Québec, exhibition designer; Roy Caldwell, St. Lawrence University, for translations in French; and Nina Manning, Cape Dorset, Nunavut, for translations in Inuktitut.
The exhibition will be on display at St. Lawrence University in the spring of 2011.
More information is available from:
- Dorset Fine Arts, Toronto, Ontario
- St. Lawrence University press release
- Canadian government press releases in English and French
The exhibition is noted in:
- Art Works, a blog of the National Endowment for the Arts, which highlights the role of art in towns and neighborhoods across the country, June 10, 2010
- News Features, WAMU, American University Radio, July 8, 2010
- Stephanie Kanowitz, "Inuition: Five Decades Produces 'Many Voices' from Canada's Cape Dorset," in The Washington Diplomat, November 2010
click on the images below to download pdfs
of the announcement card