On March 27, the Winnipeg Art Gallery will open its Qaumajuq center to the public. It’s a $52.4 million addition to the firm’s downtown headquarters that includes a stunning exhibition of Inuit art.
According to the gallery’s director, Stephen Borys, the new section of the museum is meant to honor Inuit art while also acknowledging the colonial history and moving forward in the atmosphere of reconciliation and integration.
The center, whose name translates to “brightness” in Inuktitut, houses over 10,000 Inuit pieces from the WAG’s collection that had previously been overlooked and confined in storage.
The four-story structure was designed by Michael Maltzan of Los Angeles in collaboration with Cibinel Architecture of Winnipeg. A three-story glass vault houses approximately 5,000 Inuit works. There’s also an 8,000-square-foot display area, a 90-seat theater, a coffee shop, and art studios.
Inua, the center’s inaugural event, is planned by a group of Inuit curators and features over 90 renowned Inuit artists’ artwork, including many recent commissions. A sequence of virtual programs will accompany the event to improve awareness of contemporary and historical Inuit art.