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Established in 1959, West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative has enjoyed an international reputation for producing renowned prints, drawings and carvings. The Kinngait Studios in Cape Dorset provides the artists in the co-operative with a state-of-the-art print facility. The studios have the strongest and longest tradition of any community-run, art making co-operative in the Arctic. Due to the stability and longevity of the Co-op’s management, four generations of Inuit artists have developed and sold their art around the world. Today, the Kinngait Studios remain the longest continuous running print studio in Canada.

Annually, Dorset Fine Arts (a division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative) produces a calendar to celebrate and feature works from the artists who have worked in the Kinngait Studios. For the 2021 calendar, the selected artists represent multiple generations, whose artwork incorporates traditional Inuit motifs that are re-imagined through a contemporary lens. Utilizing printmaking techniques such as lithography, stonecut and etching, the pop art-like anthropomorphic images reflect these artist’s everyday scenes found in their Artic environment.

Each of the twelve prints in the calendar offers a unique perspective, from both emerging and established artists, to reveal glimpses into their personal relationship with the human-animal world as seen in the aesthetically colourful drawings of birds, seals, octopus, foxes and fish. The artworks offer points of cultural connection between the past and present, reflecting on the complicated impact of colonialism in Canada’s far North, along with the current environmental issues in the face of climate change. -Leah Taylor

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