Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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Cape Dorset Prints 2012

Cape Dorset Prints 2012

Annual Print Collection

October 19 - November 9, 2012


The United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives, with the theme “Co-operative enterprises build a better world.” In Canada’s north, the “craft shop” constructed in Cape Dorset in 1956 led to a pan-Arctic co-operative development program that now supports thirty-one community co-operatives across Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

The West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative in Cape Dorset was the first to be incorporated under the federal program in 1959. Wholly owned by the Inuit residents of the community, the Co-operative model made possible their active participation in all aspects of community development. In Cape Dorset, one of the most important elements of community life is this unique art form that has sustained both the economy and culture of the people and captured the imagination of the world.

Since the release of the first catalogued print collection in 1959, the annual print collection has been the mainstay of the Kinngait Studios. This year’s collection of thirty images represents twelve artists, including three newcomers.

In honour of this International Year of Co-operatives, this annual print collection is dedicated to the members, boards of directors, management and staff of the Cooperative — both past and present — who have supported the graphic arts studios over these past fifty-three years with purpose and conviction. There is no question that this enterprise at Cape Dorset has helped to build a better and more beautiful world.

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Current Exhibition

Pacific Currents

Pacific Currents - New Collaborations in Glass and Jade

September 9 - September 30, 2017

The Spirit Wrestler Gallery is honoured to be hosting the long-awaited second collaborative exhibition, Pacific Currents - New Collaborations in Glass and Jade, by Seattle-based Tlingit glass artist, Preston Singletary, and leading Māori pounamu jade artist, Lewis Gardiner, from Aotearoa (New Zealand).

In 2007, their first exhibition, Fire & Water - Pacific Visions in Glass & Jade, captured the attention of our audience with its ground-breaking collection of innovative artworks that merged new materials together in shapes, designs and stories found in both cultural art-forms. The originality of these artworks proved that creativity could overcome cultural differences and distances between the artists working on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean. The success of their first collaboration beckoned for an encore.

The creative beginnings of this second exhibition began many years ago but the artists' busy schedules of other exhibitions, teaching, commissions, cultural and family commitments, delayed its completion.

Over the years despite the challenge of being artists at a distance, their mutual artistic respect and friendship had kept the communication alive. Both artists were still intrigued to pursue this second exhibition and have the opportunity to further explore similar stories that existed between the Northwest Coast and Māori cultures. It is now a decade later and we finally have the much anticipated collection of 20 exciting new artworks.

Preston Singletary has been an ambassador for the glass medium to First Nation cultures internationally, including several trips to New Zealand to introduce glass to Māori artists. Glass is seen as a chameleon material that can imitate other materials including many that are seen as rare and endangered to the world and to the very future of certain artistic traditions. For the last 20 years, Lewis Gardiner has been a leading pounamu jade artist in New Zealand. He has accepted invitations to exhibit his creations in China, as well as in New Zealand and Canada, and still continues to explore monumental jade (pounamu) at a time of scarcity that limits access to a material considered a cultural taonga (treasure). Glass and jade are such compatible mediums as they are both translucent and activated by light.

We believe the ten year wait has been worthwhile as we reveal this inspired second collection, Pacific Currents, that continues to explore and develop on new ideas and forms found in their traditional cultural stories. Both artists have been inspired by the flora and fauna of their natural environment, as well as by the ceremonial objects that are both worn and presented in sacred ceremonial settings. The design forms cleverly blend Māori and Northwest flat design onto traditional sculpted forms.

We invite you to see the exhibition in person and to meet these two important artists who created this amazing collection.

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Spirit Wrestler Gallery

101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6J 1K1

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Phone: 604-669-8813

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one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.

Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5