The Winnipeg Art Gallery is planning to light up its downtown building with art in the lead-up to the grand opening of Qaumajuq, the WAG’s new Inuit art centre.
Starting this weekend, the gallery will be projecting contemporary Inuit artwork and imagery onto the exterior walls of the new Qaumajuq building at the corner of Memorial Boulevard and St. Mary Avenue in preparation for the space’s expected opening in late March.
“Qaumajuq is all about celebrating the North in the South, and this series of projections is an amazing example of that,” said WAG’s director and CEO, Stephen Borys, in a release Monday.
“The light of Qaumajuq is shining brighter as we get closer to the opening of the Inuit art centre in just a few weeks, and we invite everyone to come out for this safe outdoor activity.”
The display will play on a loop every half-hour from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights starting Feb. 26 and running until March 27.
The 20-minute projection will feature work by Glenn Gear and Zacharias Kunuk, Inuit artists featured in Qaumajuq’s inaugural exhibition, as well as imagery from the North and a soundtrack by Inuk multimedia artist, Geronimo Inutiq.
The gallery has also installed two new massive sculptures in the outdoor plaza near the entrance to Qaumajuq.
The first, titled Time to Play by Abraham Anghik Ruben, is a large limestone carving of a family of bears playing.
The second, Goota Ashoona’s Tuniigusiia/The Gift, is a marble statue that is meant to reflect knowledge transfer through education and storytelling, as well as the important role played by teachers.
After being forced to close due to COVID-19 public health restrictions, the WAG reopened to the public on Valentine’s Day under strict COVID-19 protocols. This includes contact tracing, hand sanitization stations, and mandatory mask-wearing.
The WAG, Canada’s oldest civic art gallery, currently holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art.
— With files from Dan Vadeboncoeur