Culture vultures of the world rejoice: a groundbreaking, highly anticipated new art center is opening in the Canadian city of Winnipeg this week—and it’s the first of its kind.
Qaumajuq—translating to “It is bright, it is lit” in the Inuit language of Inuktitut—the world’s largest collection of art by Inuit people, will open in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on March 27. Connected to downtown Winnipeg’s Winnipeg Art Gallery, the center’s opening will create a cultural campus for art and indigenous storytelling in Winnipeg. The project intends to reconcile Canada's colonial past and bridge the country’s north and south through education, research, and art making. Indigenous community advisors worked alongside local artists in the project’s creation.
“Qaumajuq is a new museum, a transcendent place where Inuit vision and voices illuminate and inspire,” said Dr. Stephen Borys, the director and CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. “Above all, we are profoundly grateful to the Inuit artists, living and now passed, who inspire us and have given us a reason to build Qaumajuq. This new centre is their stories told, their voices heard.”
The center’s hyper-modern design features a three-story glass vault displaying close to 5000 Inuit sculptures. It includes galleries, classrooms, art studios, an interactive theatre, research areas, and a main floor shop and cafe.
Art enthusiasts who won't be in Winnipeg for the center's opening can experience the center’s inaugural exhibition, "INUA," from their homes during a special virtual celebration on March 25 and 26.