As part of a five-year deal, the governments of Nunavut and Manitoba will spend $1 million to move thousands of pieces of Inuit art — much of which have been in storage for years — to the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery already has the largest Inuit art collection in the world with 14,000 pieces. under the Nunavut-Manitoba memorandum of understanding, it will receive more than 7,000 pieces on loan for a five-year period. The collection spans a 70-year period and includes Inuit carvings, tapestries, prints, handmade toys, clothing and tools.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s planned new four-level, 40,000-square-foot Inuit Art Centre will be directly beside the existing gallery building. In addition to Inuit and indigenous galleries, it will include space for artist and curator residencies and five studios offering year-round programming.
It is hoped that construction will begin at the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017 with an expected completion date of two years.
WAG is planning an exhibition of tapestries for the spring of 2016 with interest from France and Germany to host shows as well.