New marble carving will welcome visitors to Qaumajuq, WAG’s Inuit art centre

If you’re in downtown Winnipeg, you may notice a new, large marble sculpture outside of Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 

Tuniigusiia/The Gift, commissioned by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, is the work of Inuit artist Goota Ashoona.

It is meant to represent how knowledge is passed down through education and storytelling, and the important role teachers play in our communities, says a news release from the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 

The sculpture is in the centre’s outdoor plaza and will greet people as they enter. 

Tuniigusiia/The Gift is outside Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre set to open later this year. (Submitted by Winnipeg Art Gallery)

Ashoona is a third-generation artist born in Kinngait, Nunavut, who now creates out of her studio in Elie, Man., primarily carving out of soapstone and whale bone. She also produces wallhangings and is a throat singer.

Some of her other pieces are part of the WAG’s permanent collection, including The Story of Nuliajuk.

Inuit artist Goota Ashoona created the new sculpture. (Jocelyn Piirainen)

Qaumajuq, which means “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut, is set to open later this year. The new 40,000-square-foot-building, which has been under construction for years, will showcase thousands of carvings and offer Inuit-led programming and exhibition, learning and event spaces.

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