Pangnirtung artists embark on Canadian tour


2002 print collection opens in galleries across North America on June 21

Two Pangnirtung printmakers will be showcasing their talents in eight eastern Canadian cities this spring.

Funded by the department of sustainable development, Andrew Qappik and Noah Maniapik will leave Pangnirtung June 19 and embark on a 10-day tour to promote Inuit printmaking from the community.

They see themselves as ambassadors for Nunavut, but specifically for Pangnirtung, which is one of the most well-known printmaking communities along with Cape Dorset, Baker Lake and Holman, NWT.

The 2002 Pangnirtung Community Print Collection opens in galleries across North America on June 21, the first day of summer and National Aboriginal Day.

The collection will showcase 31 prints representing the work of 10 printmakers, based on the original images of 13 Pangnirtung artists. A variety of techniques, including stencil, relief print and etching are represented in the collection. About 25 galleries across Canada and the United States from Ann Arbour, Michigan, to Seattle, Washington, will be exhibiting the prints.

Qappik, Maniapik and the general manager of the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts in Pangnirtung, Peter Wilson, will be at the Houston North Gallery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, on June 21 for the official opening of the collection. Gallery owner and filmmaker John Houston will make a presentation. The master printmakers will be at the gallery the next day as well to demonstrate their technique and answer questions.

“When an interested public has an opportunity to meet and shake hands with one or two of Arctic Canada’s authentic Inuit artists and to speak with these individuals about their work, their culture and life up north, it all contributes to a greater sense of appreciation for the images,” Wilson said. Having a direct connection with the artist makes some people want to own a print even more, he said.

While in Nova Scotia, Qappik and Maniapik will demonstrate their art for the students of master printmaker Judith Leidl at Acadia University in Wolfville. Leidl was the arts advisor for this year’s print collection.

The Pangnirtung group will leave for Ontario on June 25 and give a demonstration at the Snow Goose Gallery in Ottawa before visiting Gallery Indigena in Stratford and maybe taking in a Shakespearean play. The artists will stop at the Native Art Gallery in Oakville and will be in Toronto on June 29 at the Guild Shop and the Feheley Fine Art gallery.

The artists will leave for Baffin Island June 30, but not before they have their fill of sightseeing and shopping.

“Art supplies are a lot easier to get and cheaper down South,” Qappik said.

Maniapik said good stencil brushes are non-existent in the North and that he has a very long shopping list.

The artists are hoping there will be time for a visit to Iqaluit’s Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum before crossing Cumberland Sound for home.

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