Past Exhibitions What's on at MIA

Some of the MIA’s previous exhibitions included:

Beyond Aurora Borealis: Abraham Anghik Ruben (November 20, 2015 - May 29, 2016)
AAR iconIn MIA’s exhibition, visitors can follow Abraham Anghik Ruben’s continued exploration and contemporary interpretation of connections made between Inuit and Norse history and culture. Utilizing his already extensive research, Abraham expands on his past body of works that have been shared across cultural institutions around the world. With new references to important figures, stories, and events from the Norse canon Abraham moves beyond familiar epic poems such as “Beowulf” to the lesser-known seafaring adventures of “Saint Brendan” to the ending and subsequent birth of a new world in “Ragnarok II”.
This is Our Arctic (November 2015 - May 2016)
BYTE ThumbnailBYTE is a ‘by youth, for youth’ organization that focuses on empowering and promoting youth throughout the Yukon and Canada’s North. In this exhibition, BYTE facilitators traveled to Old Crow, Yukon and Inuvik, NWT to engage youth on the topic of climate change in their communities. The results of this photography project make up the exhibition on display.
Unikkaaqtuat: Inuit Creation Stories (July 9, 2015 - May 29, 2016)
Loon and Raven - thumbnailLearn the stories that inspired the artwork! MIA’s new family-friendly exhibition, Unikkaaqtuat: Inuit Creation Stories, uses sculptures, drawings and prints to illustrate traditional Inuit myths. With the help from books available through Inhabit Media – an Inuit-owned publishing company – stories about popular themes and images in Inuit art, like the Sea Goddess, and Mother and Child imagery, will be brought to life with the MIA’s collection..
Boldly Baker Lake: Barnabus Arnasungaaq (March 8th– November 10, 2015)
Boldly Baker Lake -- WP IconDrawing on recent acquisitions, old favourites, and generous loans from private collectors, this exhibit will explore one of Qamani’tuaq’s (Baker Lake’s) most recognizable artists, Barnabus Arnasungaaq, and the way he contributed to the region’s unique monumental yet minimal style that brings the natural forms of the hard local stone to life.
Collaboratively Created Ceramics from Rankin (March 8th – August 30th, 2015)
matchbox ceramic bearCelebrating the unique legacy of long-running Matchbox Gallery in Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), this exhibition looks at the collaborative approach taken at the only active ceramics-producing studio in the North. 
Stories from the Vault (January 8th – June 28th, 2015)
oopikRecent discoveries about the Museum of Inuit Art’s permanent collection are unlocked with the opening of Stories from the Vault. Delve behind the scenes with the Collections Team as hidden facts are revealed about works on display that will have you looking at these pieces in new ways. 
Celebrating Elisapee Ishulutaq (July – December 31, 2014)
Elisapee iconFor the first time, the museum exhibits drawings from the early career of Elisapee Ishulutaq to celebrate her recent induction into the Order of Canada.

The Matchbox Gallery: A Retrospective (April 10 – October 15, 2014)
matchbox ceramicsCelebrating the unique legacy of long-running Matchbox Gallery in Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), this exhibition looks at the collaborative approach taken at the only active ceramics-producing studio in the North.

Remembering 'Ovilu Tunnillie, RCA (September – March, 2014)
oviluTo commemorate the passing of internationally acclaimed artist Ovilu Tunnillie, this exhibition showcases examples of her work from the museum’s permanent collection to explore her style and contributions to contemporary art by Inuit.
SKQ (February – September 2014)
skq showUsing medium as a starting point, this exhibition explored works produced in the Nunavut community of Sanikiluaq. As a small, island community with close cultural ties to Nunavik, artistic expression in Sanikiluaq takes on a variety of subjects using both argillite and the revived tradition of basketmaking. 
New Acquisitions: Drawings from the Kivalliq (October 2013 to July)
new aquisitionsThis exhibition looked at the museum’s collecting practices by seeing some of the museum’s most recently acquired works: drawings by Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok of Arviat and Ruth Annaqtuusi of Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake). Visitors were invited to consider why the works have been selected for the museum’s permanent collection and provide their own curatorial assessments.
The Art of Play (August – November 2013)
Art-of-Play-Web (3)This exhibition examined contemporary game-play primarily as it relates to Inuit, but also in a wider context. We looked back at the history of game-play in the Arctic and also at non-Inuit games that have helped to define modern concepts of the form. We asked these questions: Are (all) games art? Are these traditions of play different? And if the answer(s) are yes, what does that mean?
Drawn (2013 – 2014)
2013.4.5 This exhibition explored compelling new drawings from Kinngait (Cape Dorset). Featuring diverse works from established artists Tim Pitsiulak, Ningeokuluk Teevee, Qavavau Manumie and Shuvinai Ashoona, as well as newer voices Nicotye Samayualie and Pudlo Samajualie, Drawn invited viewers to explore these artist’s unique styles.
Speaking the Inuit Way (May – June 2013)
speaking the inuit wayThis exhibition will examine contemporary game play, primarily as it relates to Inuit but also in a wider context. This means looking back at history of gameplay in the Arctic, but also at non-Inuit developed games that have helped to define modern concepts of the form, to look at the questions: are (all) games art? Are these traditions of  play different? And if the answer(s) are yes, what does that mean?
Working Together: The Co-operative Influence on Inuit Art (August 2012 – 2013)
Co-opThe United Nations General Assembly declared  2012 as the International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC 2012) . Due to the importance of co-operatives to the development of art made by Inuit, MIA partnered with Canadian Arctic Producers, Dorset Fine Arts and La Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec (FCNQ)  to celebrate the contributions of the co-operative movement with a specially-curated exhibition. This special exhibit showcases works from all over the Arctic produced within Arctic co-operatives to give context to the development and success of the co-operative system.
Stories from my Grandmother: Irene Avaalaaqiaq (September 2010 – 2012)
IreneThis exhibition show cased the work of Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake) artist Irene Avaalaaqiaq’s personal and narrative styles as demonstrated in her wall hangings, drawings, prints and beautiful amauti construction.
Spotlight on Mattiusi Iyaituk
Bringing together many of Iyaituk’s contemporary pieces, this exhibition explores the artist’s abstract style use of mixed media to create stunning narrative sculptures.
The Inuit Sea Goddess (August 2011)
Learn more about the Inuit Sea Goddess, one of the most popular and enduring subjects in Inuit art, and see how contemporary artists are interpreting her story in new and interesting ways.
Bold Images In Stone (May 2011)
See rare stoneblocks used in the early printmaking program, beautiful prints by Helen Kalvak, CM and Mark Emerak and learn about how the printmaking processed changed during the early years of the Ulukhaktok (Holman) co-operative.
Malaya Akulukjuk
malayaMalaya Akulukjuk (1915-1995) began to sculpt and draw in 1962 upon settling in Pangnirtung. Prior to that, she led a traditional life on the land. Well-regarded as a talented and prolific artist in Pangnirtung, her drawings were often selected for images for prints and tapestries. The exhibition highlights her working drawings and wall hangings, and tapestries based on her drawings. Rumoured to be a Shaman, Malaya drew many images of transformation and fantastical creatures full of mystery – some of which are featured in the exhibition.
Focus On...Birds in Inuit Art (May 1 – September 30, 2010)
focusonbirdsThe most popular subjects in Inuit art, birds are very compelling images for many artists, who depict them in all media. Birds symbolize seasonal bounty as over 100 species migrate to the Arctic each spring to hatch and raise their young. Birds in all their grace, beauty, and skill are portrayed in Inuit art as subjects in their own right, but they also feature prominently in depictions of Inuit myth and legend. They are frequently shown as participants in transformation and spirit imagery in Inuit sculptures, prints, drawings, and wall hangings.
Focus On...Caribou Antler Sculpture
focusoncaribouReadily available, caribou antler is strong yet lightweight and can even be bent when heated, so it is versatile as a carving medium for art. Antler is often used in mixed-media works, and it’s branch-like tines make an ideal base for complex scenes. It also inspires many artists to create a variety of animal and spirit images.

Focus On...Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok
focusonlucyTasseor’s semi-abstract stone carvings depicting her trademark faces and heads are easily recognizable. It is remarkable though, when you see them a group, how distinct each work is from the next, and how the shape, hardness and features of the stone help to determine the differences in each piece.
Inuit Dwellings: Past and Present (May 28 – September 30, 2010)
dwellingsThis exhibition was curated especially for 2010 Doors Open Toronto and the theme: architecture. The show features historic photos of dwellings of the past – igloos and their construction and a tupiq (summer hide tent) – as well as photos of modern-day buildings in the Arctic. The art, both sculptures and prints, depict the traditional igloo and tupiq as well as the qarmaq, a more permanent house with stone or sod walls and a hide roof. In stark contrast is Annie Pootoogook’s print Interior/Exterior illustrating a typical modern-day house and Kananginak Pootoogook’s Untitled (Houses in Cape Dorset), the current view of the landscape.
Kanaginak Pootoogook: Celebrating Five Decades of Artistic Achievement (February 15 – May 31, 2010)
Kananginak-Poster-WebThe opening/vernissage of this exhibition took place at the MIA on March 28, 2010. Fresh from receiving the 2010 National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the Arts in Regina on March 26, 2010, Kananginak was at the opening along with his wife, Shooyoo. Jimmy Manning accompanied Kananginak and translated for him.
Big, Bold, and Beautiful: Large-scale drawings from Kinngait (Cape Dorset) (2010)
bigboldbeautifulDrawing as an art form blossomed in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and Qamanittuaq (Baker Lake) in the 1970s, but drawings were not widely exhibited until the 1980s. In the past decade, some younger Kinngait artists have also begun pushing the boundaries of Inuit art with their drawings. Many of these artists enjoy working on a larger scale as they explore both traditional and modern themes. The eclectic styles and drawing media reflect each artist’s personal aesthetic, visual influences, and psychological state.
The Inuit Sea Goddess (August 15, 2009 – January 15, 2010)
seagoddessThis special exhibition focuses on the story of the Inuit Sea Goddess, one of the most powerful creatures in Inuit myth and legend – a compelling subject for Inuit artists working in all media. This exhibition outlines some of the fascinating regional variations of the Sea Goddess story, and presents visual representations—in sculpture and graphics—by Inuit artists from across Canada’s Arctic.
Inuit Dolls from Kivalliq (October 15 – December 31, 2009)
dollsThis traveling exhibition circulated by the Burnaby Art Gallery and curated by Darrin Martens features contemporary dolls from all communities of the Kivalliq (Keewatin): Arviat, Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Coral Harbour, Rankin Inlet, Repulse Bay, and Whale Cove. These works were created during workshops organized by the Tarralikitaaq Arts Society in 2007 and were subsequently exhibited at the Kivalliq Inuit Doll Festival in Rankin Inlet.
James Houston: Artist, Author, and Inuit Art Pioneer (2009)
houstonJames Archibald Houston was born in Toronto and educated at the Ontario College of Art (now known as the Ontario College of Art and Design). He spent 12 years in the Arctic during which time he introduced printmaking to the Inuit artists, and Inuit art to the world. A man of many talents, Houston was an artist and prolific writer: he authored children’s stories, memoirs, novels, art catalogues and many articles. The Houston display will include selections of his art, books, manuscript materials, articles, artifacts and Inuit art created during Houston’s time in the Arctic.

The Combs of our Ancestors (April 4 – June 7, 2009)
combs This exhibition shows the evolution – from idea to completion – of a magnificent new tapestry from the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts Tapestry Studio in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. This tapestry depicts the image of three combs of ancient origin found in an archeological dig. Combs of our Ancestors was designed by the acclaimed graphic artist Germaine Arnaktauyok (originally from Igloolik and now living in Yellowknife), whose original drawing for the tapestry forms part of the exhibition.