Nunavut has a rich tradition of creativity and artistic ability. Traditional Inuit culture, legends and the arctic environment provide unparalleled inspiration and distinct themes. Inuit have been using their surrounding materials to create art for millennia.
The period of contemporary Inuit art began in the late 1940s. Since then, Inuit tapestries, prints, carvings, jewelry, and fine arts have become renowned throughout the world. Storytelling, throat singing and drum dancing are also an honoured tradition amongst Nunavut's Inuit.
Art in Nunavut has blended traditional knowledge with modern-day techniques. This combination of new and old brings together the practices of our elders and youth to create exciting, innovative art that is truly unique to Nunavut.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
In 2015 an agreement was made between the Department of Culture and Heritage and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) to transfer approximately 7,000 of Nunavut’s fine art collection from storage at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. The collection will be on long-term loan at the WAG for five years.
It is the first time since the creation of Nunavut that these fine pieces of art have been out of storage, and creates a unique opportunity for collaboration between Inuit artists, Culture and Heritage and the WAG.
The art collection dates from the 1960’s to the present, and includes thousands of sculptures, prints, drawings and textiles by internationally renowned artists such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Osuitok Ipeelee, Jesse Oonark, Kananginak Pootoogook, Parr, Pauta Saila, and Irene Avaalaaqiaq Tiktaalaaq. Access to the collection will allow for showcasing fine Inuit art, the development of educational material, as well as opportunities for Inuit artists to study and use the collection to create contemporary art.
Director of Heritage