top of page
June 29, 2019 - July 27, 2019

Often referred to as “the epicenter of Inuit art,” Cape Dorset has received global recognition for its annually-released collection of limited-edition prints since its founding of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative (WBEC) in 1959. Though 2019 marked the 60th anniversary of the organization’s celebrated print collection, curator Claire Foussard instead chose to highlight the original drawings and stone sculptures of nine artists currently living and working in Cape Dorset: Saimaiyu Akesuk,Ningiusuaq Ashoona, Pootoogook Jaw, Mathewsie Oshutsiaq, Palaya Qiatsuq, Jamesie Pitseolak, Ooloosie Saila, Nicotye Samayualie, and Padloo Samayualie. With this selection, Foussard hopes to “subvert and expand the public’s perception of Inuit art and what it means to be Inuit in the 21st century.”


Two highlights of the show included artists Ningiusuaq Ashoona and Padloo Samayualie. Ashoona is the sole female sculptor currently working for the WBEC. Masterfully carving with locally-sourced marble and serpentinite, each of her eleven works in this exhibition address the fluidity in movement of shamans between the three realms of Inuit cosmology: spirit, dead, and living. Samayualie is celebrated for her unique representation of industrial architecture through drawing. Many of the drawings included in the exhibition were based on her impressions of New York during her residency at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016. Ullumi marks the first time this body of work has been displayed in a New York City gallery.


The exhibition’s title Ullumi, means “today” in the Inuktitut dialect spoken in Central and Eastern Arctic Canada. Says Foussard, “asserting the validity of these artists as contemporary makers whose work is fundamentally Inuit not because it appears to fit Western notions of the ‘Eskimo,’ but because it is created by an Inuk artist.”


As a product of this exhibition, the Brooklyn Museum’s Senior Curator for Art in the Americas reinstated the residency program for artists from the Canadian Arctic, and requested that the Gallery partner with the Museum for annual exhibitions beginning in 2020. In October of 2019, Foussard was invited to lecture at a conference hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Cultural Entrepreneurship department, and the WBEC and Art Toronto requested she participate in a panel discussion as a part of the PLATFORM Speaker Series.

bottom of page