WAG Carves New Path for Indigenous Artwalk with Four Inuit Sculptures

Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 22, 2016: The Winnipeg Art Gallery has joined the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Indigenous Artwalk by adding four Inuit sculptures located at Portage Place Shopping Centre.

“We commend the work of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ in celebrating Indigenous art and culture in downtown windows and spaces,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “Art provides another pathway to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. As we work to build the Inuit Art Centre, the WAG is raising awareness of the North and taking great strides to expand Indigenous programs at the Gallery and beyond. That’s why we’re so proud to participate in the Indigenous Artwalk.”

The Indigenous Artwalk features artwork placed in storefront windows along Portage Avenue, Graham Avenue, Garry Street, and Donald Street. The project launched in May with 12 artists in 12 locations, with artwork on display for three months, from May until August. The full list of artists and locations is available at the end of this press release.

“We’re very excited about the Indigenous Artwalk,” says Stefano Grande, CEO of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Other cities throughout North America and around the world have been featuring artwalks for many years, and this marks the first artwalk project here in Winnipeg. We’re always exploring new ways to make our downtown streets more inviting and attractive for everyone, and I can’t think of a better way than by decorating downtown windows with welcoming artwork.”

The WAG display highlights Inuit culture and land with carvings by four artists from three Northern communities. Family scenes are depicted by both Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok from Arviat, and Simon Kasudluak from Inukjuak. Presented alongside are sculptures of an elegant hawk and the sea spirit Taleelayuk by Cape Dorset artists Osuitok Ipeelee and Aqjangajuk Shaa. All works are from the WAG’s permanent collection.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee is happy to see an initiative that promotes talented artists from the Indigenous community – especially one which has the potential to create a deeper awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture.

“Art is an expression of an artist’s identity, and through artwork, people can gain a better understanding of who the artist is,” says Sharon Redsky, a member of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee, and one of the artists whose work is on display in the Indigenous Artwalk. “It will be great for people to see the diversity of Indigenous culture as reflected in the artwork being featured throughout downtown Winnipeg.”

Tour the entire Indigenous Artwalk and you can win a prize package!

Each of the 12 stops along the Indigenous Artwalk features information about the artist, and a description of the art piece. Every stop also features a special code – when combined, will create a sentence. Submit this sentence and be entered to win a tailor-made prize of a night-out for two in downtown Winnipeg (value of $500). Contest information is available on the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ website

Two guided tours are scheduled on August 3 and 10 from 12-1:30 p.m. All artwork included is inspired by the word “welcome,” with each artist sharing a vision to build a more inclusive, diverse, and artful downtown. Visit all 12 locations, learn about the artwork, and find out more about the many talented artists whose work is on display. RSVP to rascreative@yahoo.ca.

About the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee

Initiated in 2014, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee aims to act as a formal liaison point between the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Management Board and Indigenous peoples/stakeholders. In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the objectives of this committee are two-fold: (a) to encourage feedback from Indigenous peoples on the programs led by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and (b) to acknowledge Indigenous history, culture, and traditions.

The BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Manito Ahbee Festival, Red Road Lodge, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, Portage Place Shopping Centre, and representatives from the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Management Board. The ideas, visions, and suggestions for Indigenous initiatives emanates from this core group, in addition to comprehensive engagement with the broader community.

Visit wag.ca and for the latest updates follow us on Twitter (@wag_ca), Facebook (wag.ca), and Instagram (@wag_ca). #IndigenousArtwalk #finditdowntown

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For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media & Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.789.1767
media-manager@wag.ca

Emily Ormonde
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
204.958.4626
emily@downtownwinnipegbiz.com

RoseAnna Schick, RAS Creative
Indigenous Artwalk Coordinator
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
204.783.7600
rascreative@yahoo.ca

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery, and inspiration.

The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Using the art as a vehicle, the creation of the Inuit Art Centre allows the WAG to further celebrate and engage with Inuit art and Indigenous cultures through exhibition, research, education, and art making. The Centre will also house the WAG’s nationally recognized Studio art and learning program.

ARTISTS & LOCATIONS

STOP 1:
Bison Books, 424 Graham Avenue
ARTIST: Storm Angeconeb
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Miigwech


STOP 2:
Women’s Health Clinic, 418 Graham Avenue
ARTISTS: Sharon Redsky & Crystal Redsky-Smith
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Water Welcome

STOP 3:
Portage Place, 393 Portage Avenue, Second Floor
ARTIST: Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok, Osuitok Ipeelee, Aqjangajuk Shaa & Simon Kasudluak
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Mother and Children, Hawk, Taleelayuk (Sea Spirit) & Woman, Child and Otter, Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery

STOP 4:
Don’s Photo, 410 Portage Avenue
ARTIST: Renata Meconse 
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Aniin

STOP 5:
Marvel Beauty School, 404 Portage Avenue
ARTIST: Leonard Bighetty (Red Road Lodge Artist)
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Deja View

STOP 6:
Book Fair Comics, 340 Portage Avenue
ARTIST: Kevin Anderson (Red Road Lodge Artist)
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Bitter Sweet

STOP 7:
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), 339 Portage Avenue
ARTIST: Jacqueline Traverse
TITLE OF ARTWORK:  Water Carriers 

STOP 8:
Alt Hotel, 310 Donald Street
ARTIST: Brooklyn Rudolph-Nicholas 
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Welcome Home 

STOP 9:
Telpay, 298 Garry Street
ARTIST: Brandi Hodgins
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Unity Under Grandfather Sky 

STOP 10:
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, 227 Portage Avenue
ARTIST: April Scott-Beardy
TITLE OF ARTWORK: Journey Through Life

STOP 11:
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, 259 Portage Avenue
ARTIST: John Oige (Red Road Lodge Artist)
TITLE OF ARTWORK: A Star Is Born
ARTIST: Margaret Gomez Fonseca (Red Road Lodge Artist)  
TITLE OF ARTWORK: The Inner Light Prevails

STOP 12:
The Planit Restaurant & Lounge, 285 Portage Avenue
ARTIST: Randy Sutherland AKA Rainbow Man 
TITLE OF ARTWORK: The Seven Sacred Laws

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