Kinngait Studios to release ‘unique, provocative’ print collection featuring 13 artists
‘I think this one is going to be very popular,’ says Will Huffman, marketing manager at Dorset Fine Arts
The 62nd Cape Dorset annual print collection is set to be released next month, promising Inuit art lovers a unique and provocative series of art pieces, says the president of the studio releasing the prints.
The West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative’s Kinngait Studios has been putting out its annual limited collection of prints since 1959. The 2021 collection will be released internationally online and in select galleries on Oct. 16.
The co-operative’s president, Pauloosie Kowmageak, called this year’s collection “highly unique, skillful and occasionally provocative.”
“For more than 60 years, the prints of Kinngait have been cherished by art collectors and they continue to be a vital part of Inuit art identity in Canada and around the world,” Kowmageak said in Sept. 13 release.
As so much of Kinngait’s work does, the 2021 collection puts a big focus on Arctic wildlife, offering bold and whimsical interpretations of birds, polar bears and caribou.
This year’s collection features the work of 13 artists, including Ohito Ashoona and Ningiukulu Teevee.
Teevee’s art features images of wildlife sporting symbols from Inuit or popular culture. Strutting Owl, for example, depicts large yellow owl eyes and a beak fashioned with two high heeled shoes.
“Some of the stuff is so out there,” said Will Huffman, marketing manager at Dorset Fine Arts, the Toronto-based sales arm of Kinngait Studios.
“There’s always been energy around the collection. But I think this one is going to be very popular.”
Huffman credits the bold collection to artists having a new space to work in — the Kenojuak Cultural Centre in Kinngait, which opened its doors in 2018 — as well as the addition of a new arts manager, Jordan McQuaid, who brings a new perspective to the print selection process.
The COVID-19 pandemic also gave some artists more time to focus on their work, Huffman said.
Typically, the studio considers between 300 and 500 prints for each year’s collection. This year, there are 32 prints being released.
A limited run of 50 prints of each piece will go on sale Oct. 16. The Nunatta Sunakkutaagit Museum in Iqaluit will host a display of the print collection next month.
You can view the 2021 collection here.