Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic August 01, 2012 - 6:30 am

Winnipeg Art Gallery launches design search for Inuit art and learning centre

$45-million facility will showcase the gallery's Inuit art collection

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Ulayok Lucy Kaviok of Arviat crafted this beaded amautik in 1970s. The amautik is one of three given to the Winnipeg Art Gallery from Jill Oakes and Rick Riewe, authors of
Ulayok Lucy Kaviok of Arviat crafted this beaded amautik in 1970s. The amautik is one of three given to the Winnipeg Art Gallery from Jill Oakes and Rick Riewe, authors of "Our boots: An Inuit woman's art." (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WAG)

The Winnipeg Art Gallery, which bills itself as “the home of the largest Inuit art collection in the universe,” plans to build a new $45-million Inuit art and learning centre.

The centre will be located at the south end of the gallery’s triangular property, bordered by Memorial Blvd., St. Mary Ave. and Colony St. in downtown Winnipeg.

Earlier this week, the gallery announced it was opening an architect selection process for the Inuit Art and Learning Centre, which will cover 40,000 square feet over three floors.

That selection process should last about three months, a news release said July 30.

“I expect we will see some extraordinary designs emerging for this international centre,” said the gallery’s executive director, Stephen Borys.

The project, first announced two years ago, with a target opening date of 2014, is now set to start in 2014.

When finished, the centre will house the gallery’s collection of contemporary Inuit art,” the largest of its kind in the world,” and the studio art and learning programs, the release said.

Borys will chair a 10-member Inuit art task force, which includes Inuit artists and curators, and will be set up to develop a program and mandate for the new centre.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is home to an international collection of over 26,000 works of art. The collection includes many works of Inuit art which the museum has bought or received as donations.

In 2006,  H.G. Jones, an American historian from North Carolina, who collected a total of 140 works by Pangnirtung artist Andrew Qappik over 31 years, gave the collection the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

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