2023 IAS Annual Meeting in Brunswick, Maine

The Inuit Art Society held its 2023 annual meeting in Brunswick, Maine, September 28-October 1. The event included a visit to Bowdoin’s Pear-MacMillan Arctic Museum, both in-person and virtual discussions with artists, a chance to view a short award-winning film, lectures on Inuit art and related topics, a marketplace selling Inuit art, and many opportunities to socialize with other collectors.

slide with information on the 2023 Inuit Art Society Meeting and pictures of Brunswick Maine

Go here for information on other IAS Annual Meetings.

2023 Brunswick Meeting Highlights

Thursday, September 28

Opening Ceremony/Keynote Address (Kresge Auditorium, Bowdoin College)

Introductions: Michael Foor-Pessin, IAS President; a representative from the Canadian Consulate; Susan Kaplan, Museum Director, Bowdoin College

Welcome drum dance and song performed by Inuk visual artist and performer Jennie Williams.

Keynote Address: Dr. Nelson Graburn

Friday, September 29

Friday offered time for members to sightsee on their own when not touring the museum and/or attending the roundtable discussions. But the gallery visit and roundtable discussion were not-to-be missed items!

Gallery Tours (Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies, Bowdoin College)

Staff at the new Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies, which houses the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, were on hand to give mini-tours and answer questions. Exhibits included Iñuit Qiñiġaaŋi: Contemporary Inuit Photography, Collections and Recollections: Objects and the Stories They Tell, and At Home in the North.

photo of a woman entering the new Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies at Bowdoin College in Brusnwick Maine © Cindy Carlsson
Entering the new Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies

The museum exhibits do a nice job of telling the story of both the native Inuit past and present and Arctic explorers with ties to Bowdoin College.

photo of Arctic exhibit in the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine © Cindy Carlsson
Entry to the At Home in the North exhibit.

Of course, most IAS members were mostly interested in the spectacular examples of Inuit art on display!

photo of Inuit art in the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum © Cindy Carlsson

A special photography exhibit included work by Inupiaq photographer Brian Adams and Inuit photographer Jennie Williams, both of whom we would meet during our meeting.


Roundtable photography discussion (Bowdoin College)

A roundtable discussion with several of the Inuit photographers featured in the museum’s exhibition will take place. Curator and Inupiaq photographer Brian Adams will be present. This event was open to the general public and IAS members.

Saturday, September 30 (Brunswick Hotel)

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Acknowledgement (Orange Shirt Day)

Jennie Williams addressed the importance of this annual Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

Inuit photographer and performer, Jennie Williams

Williams discussed her life, her photography and filmmaking, and showed her National Film Board of Canada award-winning short documentary Nalujuk Night.

Inuit curator and visual artist, Krista Ullujuk Zawadski


Membership Open Forum

A brief membership forum discussed current concerns, and the future of IAS.

Virtual Tour to Nunavut

Gallery owner Byran Hellwig, owner of Northern Collectables Inuit Art, took us on a virtual tour of his gallery Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Sculptors Pitseolak Qimirpik (Kimmirut) and Toonoo Sharkey (Kinngait) joined us virtually (via a very poor connection from the Arctic) And Billy Gauthier (Labrador) made an unscheduled appearance thanks to the magic of the internet! (The discussion with Billy ended up being the highlight of the afternoon.)

Sunday Morning, October 1

Nelson Graburn


“Where are They Now”

A few of our presenters from the past year joined us for a virtual roundtable discussion that covered what they are doing now and other thoughts. Eva Noah, Vera Grundberg, Norma Dunning, and Drew Ann Wake participated in a lively and far-ranging discussion.

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