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Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios at the Glenbow

By the late 1950s, Inuit communities in northern Canada were grappling with big changes. They were no longer allowed to hunt, fish, and live off the land, and they found themselves rounded up into settlements and forced to give up their traditional language and culture. In response to this, a group of Inuit artists in a hamlet, now known as Kinngait in Nunavut, got together to create work that they could sell. For over ten years, these artists—who would eventually become known as the West Baffin Cooperative—made made beautiful, brightly-coloured paper prints and graphic textiles.

Five decades later, these works have been rediscovered and displayed at the Glenbow in downtown Calgary until March 2024.

Lisa Wilton welcomed Roxane Shaughnessy, senior curator of Toronto’s Textile Museum, to talk about the exhibition Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios.

This arts and culture story is brought to you in part by Calgary Foundation, which has nurtured a healthy and vibrant community since 1955.