We have had the pleasure now for over 20 years to do the framing for our local museum, the Dennos Museum Center. Not only is their permanent collection something to behold, but they also boast that the have the largest Canadian Inuit collection in the United States. Over 1,000 prints, sculpture, and textiles exist in the collection, and change frequently within the gallery. In the late 50’s/early 60’s, these indigenous people began an artist collection that sells every fall, known as the Cape Dorset sale, named so after it’s original point of origin.
As framer’s, my crew and myself go every fall to prepare this set of limited additions. The proceeds not only benefit the museum, but Canada’s aboriginal artists as well, and the artwork is primitive, by whimsical. To watch the progression of artist’s styles, compared to that of 50 years ago, is telling of the times. The collection is a must see.
As time went by, I began to fully appreciate the artwork, and started collecting prints available to the general public through the Dorset sale. My first print, “Protecting the Herd”, was an acquisition made in 2000, done by Kananginak Pootoogook. This artist is one who is instrumental in the formation of the artist co-operative graphic arts program that started the whole Cape Dorset program. But I really don’t care who did it, I just like the image. It said to me “HEY! Look at me!” And I’ve liked it everyday it is on my wall. I have collected another print, an owl, by the same artist. A couple of years ago, I started collecting the sculpture and started with this Musk Ox.
At some point, after years of enjoyment, I will be honored to donate it back to the Dennos to be a part of the collection. I hope when that happens, Canada’s Prime Minister will stop by, and show us the reason to support Canadian Inuit Arts. After all, he is a walking example of being the country’s biggest fan.