WAG Carves New Path for Indigenous Artwalk with Four Inuit Sculptures


Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 22, 2016: The Winnipeg Art Gallery has joined the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Indigenous Artwalk by adding four Inuit sculptures located at Portage Place Shopping Centre.

“We commend the work of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ in celebrating Indigenous art and culture in downtown windows and spaces,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “Art provides another pathway to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. As we work to build the Inuit Art Centre, the WAG is raising awareness of the North and taking great strides to expand Indigenous programs at the Gallery and beyond. That’s why we’re so proud to participate in the Indigenous Artwalk.”

The Indigenous Artwalk features artwork placed in storefront windows along Portage Avenue, Graham Avenue, Garry Street, and Donald Street. The project launched in May with 12 artists in 12 locations, with artwork on display for three months, from May until August. The full list of artists and locations is available at the end of this press release.

“We’re very excited about the Indigenous Artwalk,” says Stefano Grande, CEO of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Other cities throughout North America and around the world have been featuring artwalks for many years, and this marks the first artwalk project here in Winnipeg. We’re always exploring new ways to make our downtown streets more inviting and attractive for everyone, and I can’t think of a better way than by decorating downtown windows with welcoming artwork.”

The WAG display highlights Inuit culture and land with carvings by four artists from three Northern communities. Family scenes are depicted by both Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok from Arviat, and Simon Kasudluak from Inukjuak. Presented alongside are sculptures of an elegant hawk and the sea spirit Taleelayuk by Cape Dorset artists Osuitok Ipeelee and Aqjangajuk Shaa. All works are from the WAG’s permanent collection.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee is happy to see an initiative that promotes talented artists from the Indigenous community – especially one which has the potential to create a deeper awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture.

“Art is an expression of an artist’s identity, and through artwork, people can gain a better understanding of who the artist is,” says Sharon Redsky, a member of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee, and one of the artists whose work is on display in the Indigenous Artwalk. “It will be great for people to see the diversity of Indigenous culture as reflected in the artwork being featured throughout downtown Winnipeg.”

Tour the entire Indigenous Artwalk and you can win a prize package!

Each of the 12 stops along the Indigenous Artwalk features information about the artist, and a description of the art piece. Every stop also features a special code – when combined, will create a sentence. Submit this sentence and be entered to win a tailor-made prize of a night-out for two in downtown Winnipeg (value of $500). Contest information is available on the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ website.
Two guided tours are scheduled on August 3 and 10 from 12-1:30 p.m. All artwork included is inspired by the word “welcome,” with each artist sharing a vision to build a more inclusive, diverse, and artful downtown. Visit all 12 locations, learn about the artwork, and find out more about the many talented artists whose work is on display. RSVP to rascreative@yahoo.ca.

About the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee
Initiated in 2014, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee aims to act as a formal liaison point between the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Management Board and Indigenous peoples/stakeholders. In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the objectives of this committee are two-fold: (a) to encourage feedback from Indigenous peoples on the programs led by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and (b) to acknowledge Indigenous history, culture, and traditions.

The BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Manito Ahbee Festival, Red Road Lodge, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, Portage Place Shopping Centre, and representatives from the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Management Board. The ideas, visions, and suggestions for Indigenous initiatives emanates from this core group, in addition to comprehensive engagement with the broader community.

Visit wag.ca and for the latest updates follow us on Twitter (@wag_ca), Facebook (wag.ca), and Instagram (@wag_ca). #IndigenousArtwalk #finditdowntown

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For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media & Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Emily Ormonde
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
RoseAnna Schick, RAS Creative
Indigenous Artwalk Coordinator
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ