Inuit works of art on display during Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

By Dale Johnson Posted: May 22, 2018 11:00 a.m.

  Ningeoga Oshuitoq (1919-1980), "Sentinel" (18/50), 1974, stonecut on paper. University of Regina President’s Art Collection, Shumiatcher Donation. Gift of Dr. Morris C. Shumiatcher, O.C., S.O.M., Q.C. and Dr. Jacqui Clay Shumiatcher, S.O.M., C.M., 2017; sc.2017.22.
Ningeoga Oshuitoq (1919-1980), "Sentinel" (18/50), 1974, stonecut on paper. University of Regina President’s Art Collection, Shumiatcher Donation. Gift of Dr. Morris C. Shumiatcher, O.C., S.O.M., Q.C. and Dr. Jacqui Clay Shumiatcher, S.O.M., C.M., 2017; sc.2017.22. Photo: U of R Photography

Rare artwork is on display at the U of R’s Fifth Parallel Gallery in the Riddell Centre during Congress 2018.

Stonecuts and Sealskins focuses on the majority of the Inuit artworks that have been donated to the University as part of the Shumiatcher donation,” explains Alex King, Curator/Preparator of the President's Art Collection.

In all, there will be 24 pieces on display.

“The rarest item is a 1960 ink drawing by Kenojuak Ashevak, entitled The Enchanted Owl. This is a version of Ashevak's iconic print of the same name; a powerful image of an otherworldly bird with vibrant plumage. The Enchanted Owl is possibly the most recognizable Inuit image because it appeared on a stamp in 1970, commemorating the Northwest Territories centennial,” King says.

“Several of the included works were part of an exhibition I co-curated with Timothy Long at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in 2015/16, entitled Love at First Sight: The Drs. Morris and Jacqui Shumiatcher Collection. The majority of these works have not yet been displayed on campus, but will go on permanent display at the College Avenue Campus later this year,” she adds.

The Shumiatcher donation was made to the University in 2014. It includes more than 1,300 works of art, including important paintings by members of the Regina Five, Indigenous artwork, Saskatchewan ceramics, and 300 Inuit sculptures, prints, and textiles.

“Because of the collection's large size, I have been working with the Shumiatcher family over the past three years to bring selected items over to the University. Examples of this generous gift can be seen throughout campus, with more to come,” King says.

She’s pleased that along with the local and university community, Congress attendees will have the opportunity to see the exhibit. 

“Congress 2018 has provided a rare platform for us to exhibit exceptional work from the President's Collection in a gallery context, and demonstrate the strength of our collection to Congress visitors. It's an exciting opportunity and I hope it will also provide a moment for quiet reflection amidst the other Congress events.”

The opening reception for Stonecuts and Sealskins is open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, May 23 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Fifth Parallel Gallery in the Riddell Centre at the U of R. During Congress 2018 the Gallery is open regular hours, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Stonecuts and Sealskins runs until June 6.