About the Inuit Art Society

The Inuit Art Society provides a platform for those who appreciate and support the culture, art forms, and artists of the Arctic.

Most of us are collectors, both new and established, who are passionate about our collections regardless of their size. The Inuit Art Society exists to connect us both physically at an annual meeting and virtually and to celebrate the arts of the Arctic. Of equal importance is our commitment to educate ourselves and others about the cultures of the Arctic and the beautiful and varied art forms which these cultures and their artisans produce.

We were established in 2003. Read about our history.

Mission

To provide education about and support for the culture, art forms, and artists of the Arctic.

Membership

Our current dues-paying membership is growing and stands at approximately 100. Anyone who enjoys meeting other collectors and who agrees with our objectives is welcome to join. A small annual membership fee is required.

Governance

The IAS is governed by a board of 9 members, and you are encouraged to get to know them. Mirroring the society’s membership, which is largely concentrated in the Midwest, the majority of our board members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. However, we also have board members from  New York, and North Carolina, showing that there are no geographic limits when it comes to the celebration of Inuit art.

Each is passionately committed to their collection and many of our board members have volunteered to share the story behind how they became interested in the arts of the Arctic.

Officers

  • President: Michael Foor-Pessin lives in New York state.
  • Vice-President: Leslie Saxon West is starting her first term as Vice-President in 2024. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, calling Washington home.
  • Treasurer: Lou Jungheim currently serves as the IAS Treasurer. He’s a long-time board member who previously served as President. He lives in Indiana.
  • Secretary: Marie McCosh lives in Minnesota.

Members-at-large

Activities

Annual meetings

The IAS holds an annual meeting each fall, whose location has moved among cities in the Midwest (Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and Traverse City, MI). In 2011, the IAS held its first Canadian meeting in Hamilton, Ontario.

The two-day programs, which usually run from Friday afternoon through the following Sunday afternoon, include native Inuit artists from Canada, knowledgeable speakers about Inuit art and culture, a Marketplace where Inuit art can be purchased, and ample time to meet or reconnect with attendees. Most meetings also include a tour of a private collection near the meeting site and/or an opportunity for a private tour of a public collection.

The actual location of these annual meetings is typically in an educational setting where Inuit art is featured. Locations have included museums such as the Eiteljorg in Indianapolis, IN, the Dennos in Traverse City, MI, the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, MI, as well as the Allen Center of Northwestern University.

Our 2023 meeting was held in Brunswick, Maine, September 28 – October 1.

Virtual programs

In order to meet more regularly, we now hold a few virtual meetings each year via Zoom.