On View: September 30th - November 4th, 2019, Highpoint Center for Printmaking’s Print Study Room
Highpoint is thrilled to exhibit Kinngait Studios Returns, an exhibition of recent prints created at the Inuit printmaking studio at the West Baffin Co-operative in Cape Dorset, Canada. Highpoint hosted its first exhibition of prints from the co-operative in the fall of 2018, and received an incredibly positive response; with record gallery visitors and a packed scholar’s talk with Inuk Scholar, Heather Iligiorte. In conjunction with the Native American Art Studies Association (NAASA) conference being held in Minneapolis October 2 - 6th and the exhibition in the main gallery, Transference: Printmakers in Mni Sota Makoce, Highpoint welcomes Kinngait Studios back for a second exhibition in our Print Study Room.
When the West Baffin Co-operative opened in 1959, printmaking was a new artistic medium for the Inuit community. However, they have been drawing and carving since time immemorial. Imagery that had been passed down through generations found its way into the drawings and prints of this vibrant community. Artists depicting a wide range of imagery are included in this exhibition, from traditional Inuit practices and storied Inuit lore to contemporary subject matter.
The artists at the West Baffin Co-operative work in tandem with the printmakers of Kinngait Studios. The artists create drawings and imagery and the printmakers translate those drawings into printed editions. Although most traditional printmaking techniques are used at Kinngait Studios, the printers are known for their stonecut prints. The stonecut method, a specialized relief technique, was developed and perfected at the Kinngait Studios. A stonecut carver cuts away at the flat surface of the soft soapstone, and any of the original surface that remains is inked and printed. Although this is a slow and meticulous process, the resulting prints have a highly-desired visual aesthetic that is unique to Inuit printmaking.
The printmaking tradition at the Kinngait Studios and unique artist style of the West Baffin Co-operative epitomizes the ingenuity and enterprising spirit of printmaking studios all over the world. Highpoint is honored to present these prints to the community in hopes that they inspire visitors as much as they inspire the international printmaking communities.
Saimaiyu Akesuk, Kudluajuk Ashoona, Pitseolak Ashoona, Shuvinai Ashoona, Cee Pootoogook, Kananginak Pootoogook, Malaija Pootoogook, Sarni Pootoogook, Mary Pudlat, Pauojoungie Saggiak, Pitaloosie Saila, Nicotye Samayualie, Ningiukulu (Ningeokuluk) Teevee, Papiara Tukiki.
The Kinngait (pronounced Kinn-ite) Studios (the printmaking studio at The West Baffin Co-operative) has earned a worldwide reputation for the quality and originality of limited edition prints made by its member artists. Every year since 1959 the printmaking studios have released an annual catalogued collection of between 30 and 60 images as well as numerous commissions and special releases. The studio utilizes a broad range of printmaking techniques, including lithography, stencil, intaglio, screen printing, and most notably stonecut. Kinngait Studios is the longest continuous running print studio in Canada.
About Lender, Dorset Fine Arts, Toronto: Dorset Fine Arts was established in Toronto in 1978 as the wholesale marketing division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. The Co-operative is in Cape Dorset, Nunavut and is unique among the Arctic Co-operatives for its focus on the arts and artists of the community. The Annual Graphics Collection from Cape Dorset has been released since 1959 and the Co-operative also represents many acclaimed sculptors and drawing artists. Dorset Fine Arts was established to develop and serve the market for Inuit fine art produced by the artist members of the Co-operative. Sales and exhibitions of prints, drawings and sculptures are made through the Dorset Fine Arts showroom in Toronto to galleries around the world.