Winnipeg Art Gallery is going to expand next year.
Its $65M Inuit Art Centre will attract the attention of city residents to Inuit art, and it promises to vault the art to new heights. After the opening, Winnipeggers will be able to see treasures of the North that are currently hidden from public view.
Wight, the WAG's curator of Inuit art, explained that about 7,500 stone, bone, antler and ivory carvings from across the Arctic are in underground storage and soon they will be lifted to take over the busy downtown street corner.
In addition to these exhibits, residents of Winnipeg will see items of modern Inuit art that is not like any other art in the world. The modern era of Inuit art began approximately 70 years ago. People were forced to lose their language and part of their cultural heritage. The gallery will show not only the romantic side of life in the Arctic but also some of the darker sides, some social problems.
The construction of the gallery is planned to come to an end in the spring of 2020. In the summer of 2020, it will open its doors to visitors. The gallery design was inspired by northern landscapes. A 40,000 square foot art center will be connected to Winnipeg Art Gallery.
All Inuit Art Centre visitors will be able to enjoy a three-storey-high glass vault that will display the carvings, a 90-seat theatre capable of showcasing films and presentations, a carving area, library, learning commons and five indoor and two outdoor studios with northern Indigenous culture.
WAG CEO and director Stephen Borys said that the new art center will make people more aware of the history of Indigenous peoples and will contribute to reconciliation. It will also help people understand the legacies of colonialism in the North.
On an opening day, four curators will present an exhibition of the Inuit Art Center called INUA. It will be devoted to exploring the future of Inuit art. Each curator comes from one of four different regions of the Canadian Arctic. They are all sure that the Inuit Art Center will be a step in the right direction because now the interest in the art of Inuit has been revived.