July 18th, 2024

New U of L exhibit showcases Indigenous printmaking

By Alexandra Noad - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on July 5, 2024.

The University of Lethbridge art gallery has opened an exhibit featuring 10 artists from the small hamlet of Ulukhaktok.
Ulukhaktok, formally known as Holman until April 1, 2006, is located in the Northwest Territories, 1,000 kilometres north of Yellowknife.
The Ulukhaktok printmaking studio ran from 1964 to 2001. Most of the prints in the gallery are from the early years of the studio’s production and are being displayed for the first time.
The prints were acquired by the University’s art gallery from the estate of Marmie Hess at her bequest.
The dominant type of prints of the Ulukhktok printmaking studio and in the exhibition is stonecut.
Stonecut is a technique where an artist carves out the art in reverse in stone which is then painted and the image is transferred to paper.
David Smith, preparator and assistant curator of the university’s art gallery, says Indigenous art is tied to the history of colonialism in Canada and the images in the gallery reflect that.
“The history of printmaking in Canada’s North is really tied to the history of Canadian colonialism, so I think these prints sort of speak to that history,” said Smith.
The exhibit will be open until September 28 and is free to attend. Smith will also be hosting a curator’s tour where he will talk about the prints on display on July 18 2-4 p.m.
Smith encourages everyone to check out the exhibit.
“I think they’re really beautiful works and everyone should come see them.”

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