Experience art made by Inuit living in Canada in a setting designed to evoke the landscape of the Arctic – right in the cultural heart of Toronto. MIA is the only museum south of the Arctic devoted exclusively to the display of Inuit art from across Canada: from Nunatsiavut (Labrador) to the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories and the Yukon) and everything in between. MIA celebrates the range and diversity of artistic expression produced in these areas and showcases all forms of art, from sculptures to ceramics and drawings to wall hangings. With works ranging from 1,000 years ago to the present day, MIA presents a unique opportunity to view beautiful pieces of art that offers something for everyone.
Gallery I: Artistic History and Thematic Foundations of Inuit Art
The first gallery examines the evolution of art in Canada’s Arctic through the recognized historical periods; prehistoric Thule culture; post-European contact; and early modern Inuit art. This space also showcases the themes that are based on traditional culture and that have inspired so much Inuit art; belief systems (shamanism, spirits and tranformation), myths and legends (e.g. the sea goddess), animals, the human figure, community life, the roles of men and women, modes of transportation, and hunting by land and by sea.
Gallery II: Diversity of Styles and Artistic Expression
The second gallery provides an overview of modern artistic styles and media that have evolved in Canada’s Arctic in the various regions and major communities, thus reflecting the scope and depth of artistic expression within Inuit art. The varied media employed in Inuit sculpture – stone, bone, antler, ivory and ceramic – are represented as prints, drawings and textiles. The major regional styles represented are: Nunavik (Arctic Quebec), Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island), Kivalliq (Keewatin), and Central Arctic miniatures, and Kitikmeot (Netsilik).
Gallery III: Masterworks and Contemporary Sculpture
The principal feature of the third gallery is the presentation of major works by leading Inuit artists, including Pauta Saila, Judas Ullulaq, Barnabus Arnasungaaq, Oviloo Tunnillie, and Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok. This gallery also includes an installation of contemporary sculptures made mostly by younger artists, some now living in the South; these include David Ruben Piqtoukun, Abraham Anghik, Mattiusie Iyautuk and Manasie Akpaliapik.
Gallery IV and V: Special Exhibitions and Audio-Visual Presentation Centre
The fourth and fifth galleries are devoted to rotating special exhibitions. The goal of these exhibiition is to focus more specifically on particular artists, communities, themes and media. Some of these MIA exhibitions will travel to other museums; these spaces can also accomodate exhibitions from other institutions.
The centrally located Gallery IV can also be used as a space for audio-visual presentations and lectures.
Homepage: Museum of Inuit Art
More at inuitart.org and inuitartalive.ca
Bart Hanna – Interview
To celebrate the launch of the International Year of the Co-Operative on January 12, 2012, we were able to interview artist Bart Hanna in his home community of Iglulik, Nunavut. Technical difficulties cut off the last question, but we were very excited to get to know a little bit more about him and his work.