The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) presently has two indigenous exhibitions open to the public. Subsist and ᐃ are curated by Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art, and Jocelyn Piirainen, WAG Assistant Curator of Inuit Art.
On view until May 2020, subsist features Interdisciplinary work ranging from photography, drawings, sculpture, and installation to explore discussions surrounding the seal hunt, western globalization policies, and the economy. Artists include Maureen Gruben, Mark Igloliorte, Andrew Qappik, Omalluq Oshutsiaq, and Dana Claxton.
ᐃ is a symbol in both Inuktitut and Anishininiwak syllabics translated as ‘I’ to embody self-determination and solidarity in collective reclamation. The connection between these cultures stems beyond language and syllabics and is presented within sculpture. In 1968, a group of carvers from Garden Hill, Manitoba, The Ministic Sculpture Co-operative, travelled to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, to research Inuit stone carving and how the Arctic Co-ops were organized. At that time, Rankin Inlet artists were exploring ceramics, having been recently introduced to clay through a federal government-run project inspired by Indigenous pottery from the south. The clay and stone sculptures in this ongoing exhibition display influences of each cultures’ established practice and methods in material and form.