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North-South partnership brings art to new airport

Some of the GN wall hangings on display at the new Iqaluit International Airport. © Doris Ohlmann

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) partnered with the Government of Nunavut (GN) to create a display featuring Inuit art for the new Iqaluit International Airport, which celebrated its grand opening in September.

The Gallery worked with the territory’s departments of Economic Development and Transportation, and Culture and Heritage to bring artwork from both the GN and WAG collections to Iqaluit. The new airport exhibition includes Inuit sculptures, GN wall-hangings that will be rotated every six months for preservation purposes, and large-scale murals by Charles Johnston that reproduce prints and drawings from the WAG Inuit art collection.

In 2015 the WAG and the governments of Nunavut and Manitoba signed an agreement for the WAG to hold in trust the GN Fine Arts Collection of over 7,300 works on long-term loan. Largely kept in storage since before Nunavut formed in 1999, the collection is being documented, digitized, and displayed by the WAG before a permanent home is built for the artwork in Nunavut.

The Winnipeg Airports Authority is the service provider and manages the Iqaluit airport for the GN.