2018 Traverse City Meeting

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Inuit Art Society was held at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City, Michigan, on October 19-21, 2018.  With record attendance and interesting and exciting speakers, the meeting was a great success.

We appreciated the expanded Inuit art galleries at the Dennos Museum and the kind assistance of staff. The Canadian Consulate was a generous partner in our proceedings, and we extend a grateful thank you to Canada.

Guest Artist

Bill Nasogaluak

Inuit sculptor Bill Nasogaluak  joined us as a guest artist. Noted for his carving, Nasogaluak began his career as a painter and enjoys working in a variety of mediums.

Guest Speakers

Don and Jill Stuart

Don Stuart, OAC, discussed the establishment and art of the Pangnirtung Weaving Studio

Don and Jill Stuart in the ArcticStuart developed and initiated the acclaimed studio on Baffin Island, which today thrives as the largest hand-weaving studio in Canada.  Pangnirtung weavings from the Dennos’ collection were on display at the museum.

Stuart, also internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading gold/silversmiths, known for his striking jewelry, had an exhibit of 40 neckpieces he created to celebrate Canadian women past and present (including Inuit artist Malaya Akulukjuk) during the Inuit Art Society meeting.

His wife Jill worked as a nurse in Pangnirtung.

Stephanie Gandulla

Stephanie Gandulla is a member of the Sedna Epic Expedition Project studying the impact of global climate change on the fragile arctic ecosystem and the aboriginal peoples who live there.

Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad

As a curator and independent scholar, Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad publishes widely on Inuit art and cultural history. Her interests focus on Inuit cultural history, including historic clothing design and the contemporary work of Inuit seamstresses; Arctic ethnographic collections in North American and European museums; and contemporary sculpture and graphic art by Canadian Inuit artists. She currently holds an appointment as Research Collaborator at the Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian Institution. Her contributions to the annual meeting were timely and of great interest to members.

Douglas George

As the Consul General of Canada in Detroit, Douglas George is responsible for the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. He is a career diplomat with 35 years of experience, and most recently served as Canada’s Ambassador to Kuwait.


(as you can see, we had a full agenda for our meeting)

Friday (all events at the Dennos Museum)

2:00-5:30 pm  Registration

6:00-9:00 pm  Reception

Connect with other Inuit art collectors, view the 2018 Cape Dorset print collection and browse the galleries at the Dennos (including items on display in the museum’s permanent Inuit art collection and two new exhibits of  Pangnirtung Weavings from the Dennos Museum Center’s collection and 40 framed neck pieces celebrating Canadian women by jewelry artist Donald Stuart), all while enjoying appetizers graciously provided by the Canadian Consulate. (The Consulate has also been very supportive behind the scenes, so be sure to thank our good friends from the north for their continuing support!)

The Marketplace was open for anyone interested in purchasing Inuit art to add to (or start) their own collection.

Saturday (at the Dennos Museum)

8:30-9:45 am Registration continues, the Marketplace is open, and time to review the Cape Dorset prints, or tour the galleries. Refreshments will be available.

10:00-11:00 am  Cape Dorset Sale via Lottery

11:00 am-12:00 pm  Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad on “Arctic Connections: Artists, Museums, Collections, and Communities”

12:00-1:00 pm  Buffet Lunch

1:00-2:00 pm  Don Stuart on “Beginning the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio on Baffin Island, Nunavut”

2:00-2:30 pm  Afternoon Break with time to visit the Marketplace

2:30-3:30 pm  Artist Bill Nasogaluak from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories

3:30-5:00 pm  Several options are available, including attending the IAS Business Meeting, visiting the Marketplace, or spending more time touring the galleries at the Dennos

Saturday Evening

6:00-7:00 pm   Happy Hour at the Traverse City Golf and Country Club

7:00-9:00 pm  Optional dinner at the Traverse City Golf and Country Club ($50, reservations required)


8:00-9:30 am  The Marketplace is open for shopping, with refreshments available

9:30-10:30 am Stephanie Gandulla, maritime archeologist and media coordinator, on “The Sedna Epic Project and Expedition”

10:30-11:00 am  Announce raffle winners (raffle tickets available throughout the meeting).

The Marketplace closes at 11:00 am.

11:00 am-12:00 pm  Question and answer/panel discussion with presenters

Opportunities to Purchase Inuit Art

2018 Cape Dorset print release

The Dennos Museum again hosted a release of the annual Cape Dorset print collection. This is the 59th year that Cape Dorset has released the annual print collection, and this year’s collection consists of 34 images by 10 artists. Participants in the Inuit Art Society’s meeting will have the opportunity to preview these prints Friday night in advance of the Saturday morning public preview and sale.  Due to high demand, the sale itself will be conducted by lottery beginning at 10 am on Saturday. (Information on the public preview and sale at the Dennos can be found on their websitePictures of the prints can be seen on the Dorset Fine Arts website.)

Dennos Museum Shop

IAS members will be offered IAS members will receive discounts of 10-20% off all Museum Shop merchandise during the weekend. Take a peek at their website to get a preview of all the goodies available.

IAS Market Place

The Annual IAS Market Place, which again featured offerings from Native Art Traders, was also at the Dennos Museum for the duration of the IAS meeting. Additional vendors to be announced.

Venue and local information

The Dennos Museum in Traverse City, Michigan,  hosted this year’s program.

Dennos Museum Center

The Dennos Museum may have the largest collections of Inuit Art in the United States. The Inuit art collectionwas established in the 1960s through efforts of long-time IAS member Bernie Rink (who was honored at the Museum during our opening reception with a plaque to commemorate his work supporting Inuit art and the Museum), and its holdings have grown to include a large selection of Inuit prints, carvings, and textiles. With the opening of the Barbara & Dudley Smith Wing for Inuit Art in 2018, the Dennos museum has more space for exhibition, education, and programs. The Dennos Museum has hosted Inuit Art Society meetings three times.  We look forward to returning to their newly expanded facility, which will have more Inuit art than ever on display.

In addition to the the museum’s outstanding permanent exhibit of Inuit Art and the 2018 Cape Dorset print collection, the Dennos will be opening two special exhibits that will be of interest to meeting participants.

  • Pangnirtung Weavings from the Dennos Museum Center’s Collection features weavings from the Inuit art collection, by the artists of the Pangnirtung Weaving Cooperative.
  • Homage: Inspired by Outstanding Canadian Women includes 40 framed neck-pieces created by contemporary jewelry artist Donald Stuart as a celebration and tribute to Canadian women, past and present. Donald A. Stuart Homage (PDF) See a review of the exhibit here.

Donald Stuart’s “Homage” on exhibit in Canada

The Dennos museum is located on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College at 1701 E. Front Street in Traverse City.

2018 Cape Dorset Print Release

The meeting coincides with the annual Cape Dorset print release.  Friday evening the IAS reception at the Dennos will provide the opportunity to browse the galleries and view this year’s Dorset prints.  The print sale will be by lottery on Saturday morning. The Dennos Museum Shop is offering IAS members 10% discount for the 2018 Cape Dorset prints.

Stonecut print of a large yellow polar bear

Mighty Bear, a stonecut by Quvianaqtuk Pudlat, is just one of the beautiful prints in the 2018 Cape Dorset annual print collection. Image from Dorset Fine Arts.