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'Stunning' Qaumajuq Inuit art centre opens to public acclaim –



When she walked into Qaumajuq on Saturday, Tricia Richardson said she felt like she was witnessing history.

It was the first day the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s new Inuit Art Centre — whose name means “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut — opened its doors to the public.

“[It was] so powerful. So, so beautiful,” Richardson said, after walking through the 40,000-square-foot space housing the world’s largest public collection of Inuit art.

“It’s so fantastic to have this and not lose a part of that culture, so it’s preserved for future generations.”

Richardson said she hopes other people come to Qaumajuq and gain the same appreciation that she did for how wide-ranging Inuit art is.

“It’s a lot to take in, but it’s just stunning,” she said.

The name of the gallery’s inaugural exhibit, INUA, means “life force” or “spirit” in several Arctic dialects, according to the gallery’s website.

WATCH | Artists on educating Canadians about Inuit culture:

The Winnipeg Art Gallery launched a virtual tour of Qaumajuq — a new 40,000 square foot space devoted to Inuit art. Artists Beatrice Deer and Julie Grenier talk about the importance of seal skin in Inuit diet and why sewing is a vital skill in Nunavut. 6:05

The name is also an acronym for Inuit Nunangat Ungammuaktut Atautikkut, which in English translates to “Inuit Moving Forward Together.”

Robert Janz said he had the same experience as Richardson did, walking into the space for the first time.

“It is unbelievable. I mean, the space itself is beautiful — so much light. I guess it reminds you a lot of what it must be like in the north, where it’s all white,” he said.

“And the art itself was just inspiring. [There] really is some beautiful work up there … It’s an exposure to a different culture, so you can appreciate the art history and thoughts that are happening up north.”

Exhibit ‘takes your breath away’

The gallery holds roughly 14,000 Inuit artworks, in addition to about 7,400 on long-term loan from the Nunavut government.

Janz said he hopes other visitors who come in with preconceived notions about Inuit art have them blown apart once they arrive, much like he did.

Qaumajuq includes a four-storey transparent vault, which puts sculptures, carvings, dolls, paintings and more on display. (Submitted by Winnipeg Art Gallery)

“You’re obviously used to seeing soapstone carvings, that’s all you think of. But then now you see the wide variety of art and somewhat different interpretations. And it’s such a powerful image to me,” Janz said.

“I think [people will be] overwhelmed in a good sense. There’s so much there that takes your breath away.”

Deirdre Chisholm said she was “awestruck” when she walked in. The Brandonite, who works in arts administration, was looking forward to seeing the gallery’s four-storey transparent vault, which puts sculptures, carvings, dolls, paintings and more on display. 

The gallery’s displays ended up being too much to take in on a single trip, Chisholm said, so she’ll likely be back soon — maybe once she gets her COVID-19 vaccine. 

But what she’s really looking forward to is seeing how the space transforms over time.

“This is a great history and legacy. It’s very moving,” she said. “It will be even more rewarding to see how new people, new artists, new curators … continue to invest in the spirit of the work that’s here.”

Chisholm said she also hopes people bring children to the gallery to inspire a new generation.

“It sparks a flame,” she said. “You build up their appreciation and understanding and they want to do this as adults. And they remember it.”

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Art exhibits return to Callander’s Alex Dufresne gallery –



After a long hiatus, art shows are returning to the Alex Dufresne Gallery at the Callander Bay Heritage Museum this Saturday.

The works of Carole Davidson and Sara Carlin-Ball are highlighted in an exhibit entitled “Journeys to a Conversation with Nature.”

In a release promoting the show, Davidson and Carlin-Ball explain the “works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.”

Their goal in selecting the pieces for the exhibit is to capture “the luscious spectacular that is Nature, Muse, Essence,” and emphasize how these “inspire the audience to revision their place – their gratitude and responsibility – on this Earth.”

See: Callander museum reopens from COVID with new art show

“It feels absolutely wonderful to have art back on the walls,” said Natasha Wiatr, the gallery’s curator.   

The last show was this past April but did not last long before Covid regulations closed the event. Since then, “the walls have been empty.”

“We haven’t consistently had shows in what feels like so long,” she said, and is pleased to launch what will hopefully be a long stretch of exhibits.

Currently, the gallery is booked until 2023, “and we’ve added two more shows per year,” Wiatr explained.

“We see ourselves as a community-based gallery,” she said, and as such, strive to present as many local artists as possible.

See: White Water Gallery has a new executive director

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The gallery can hold 14 people at once, and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can also be booked ahead of time at

Staff remind to you please wear a mask when you visit and maintain social distance.

Admission to the museum is $5 for seniors and students, $4.50 for kids 6-12, free for children under 6 and adults pay $5.50. Family rate for 4 is $15. Entrance to the gallery is by donation.

See: Mattawa museum celebrates reopening with Community exhibit

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Callander museum reopens with art show – The North Bay Nugget



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The art show Journeys to a Conversation with Nature will reopen the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery Saturday.

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The works of Carole Davidson and Sarah Carlin-Ball will remain on display to Aug. 20.

“There is an essential longing for life that erupts in a luscious spectacular that we call Nature,” the artists said in a statement.

“The human animal is a part of this longing for life that some might call a Muse – a Muse for artists of every passion and discipline. Artists are at the mercy of their muse and transcribe whatever is whispered to them about life, people, and the compelling natural environment they belong to.

“One may be a studied artist haphazardly trained while another may be an experimental soul, interpreting the ever-changing environment around her.”

Influenced by the gifts of their lives and the natural offerings around them, each artist interprets what touches her soul. Each piece of art tells a portion of her journey, calling to the viewer to look more closely at what life has to teach us.

Carlin-Ball’s muse slumbered as she was raising her children and working. As soon as she could make time, there was an explosion of experimentation driven by her mantra ‘What would happen if…?’

Mistakes happily romped with successes. Now, her careful, unique presentations interpret life and nature, and challenge one’s imagination.

As she learned of the melting of the muskeg and the possibility that Canada will soon lose that habitat and vibrant spring bloom, Carlin-Bell felt the compulsion to replicate that vital image with unexpected media: patinated and fired copper was punched and threaded through with fibre knotted to create the blooms and surface stems.

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Eventually, the vibrant muskeg spring emerged.

One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo
One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo

For Davidson, nature was a refuge she quietly celebrated with natural and cultivated talent for art and writing. A busy and brief career in graphic design took over until disabling MS symptoms forced (or allowed) her to slow down.

She began a meditation practice to cope with symptoms and immediately began painting again.

Her creative work parallels her spiritual path and the subjects of her study get smaller and smaller as she has the opportunity to stop and notice. She finds joy in a yellow spider on a sunflower or a nest full of baby robins.

Together, their works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be booked ahead of time at and the museum and gallery also welcome same-day walk-ins.

Those visiting are asked to wear a mask and social distance.

The museum and art gallery are located at 107 Lansdowne St. E., Callander.

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Greenpoint This Week: Art Fair, Staycations and More –



Happy Weekend Greenpoint!

This weekend, The Other Art Fair is back in town, with affordable artworks ready for your post-quarantine redecorating plans.

If you’re eager to get out, plan a staycation in the neighborhood, for a change of scenery, without a sink full of dirty dishes. If you prefer your own pillows, consider just spending a day at one of our local outdoor pools. The newly opened Le Doggie Cool also has open cafe hours this Saturday, for pups to play in their backyard pool.

This week, we reported that Brooklyn Bowl is reopening in early September! Get your tickets now for upcoming parties and shows. If you’re looking for a free event, Friday night brings a screening of Frozen to Transmitter Park.

We also reported that a new community fridge has opened on Greenpoint Ave. near Transmitter Park. And shared some unfortunate news about a Greenpoint resident arrested for recording his female roommates without their consent.

Make sure to fit in your last visit to the Leonard Library before it closes for renovations on Monday, August 2. Worry not – Greenpoint Library is still up and running, with computer service and open seating also now available.

Don’t forget to check out our summer 2021 fashion sundae roundup for this season’s best local looks.

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