Tuesday, May 28, 2024

 Plattsburgh highlights Inuit culture

By Nadia Paschal

When walking around campus grounds, it is easy to spot all of the artwork that is on display outside of the buildings. However, there are still many more pieces to be discovered. 

Currently on display in the Feinberg Library Quiet Room is “Our Environment, Our Land.” This collection highlights Inuit culture in the form of several forms of media, including prints, sculptures, and even a short film. 

The collection gives insight into the life, beliefs, culture, and the connection to nature that the Inuit’s held, specifically those who reside in Northern Quebec and the Nunavut province.

There is a wide variety of pieces on display that are not only interesting to look at, but to learn about, as the majority originates from the mid 20th century.

Karen Blough, the curator of the museum, volunteered to fill that position and help ensure the exhibit’s success. Blough had been reached out to by the museum director to put together a show regarding Inuit art, using Plattsburgh State Art Museum’s small collection of pieces. Her role in this process was to identify the objects and conduct thorough research.

“You can’t just say, ‘I’m just going to put all the Inuit art out there.’ You have to contextualize it,” Blough said.   

Additionally, Blough helped formulate the structure of the show and determine which pieces would fit into the overall theme.

Also working closely on the exhibit was Tonya Cribb, the museum director. 

“I’m the person that sort of brings the vision or big picture to our exhibits,” Cribb said. describing her own role. “We want to make sure the shows are inclusive.” 

The preparation for the exhibit lasted over a year to ensure that could be accomplished.

Much like their initial origins, these pieces come from a mix of different owners. Some have been in the possession of the school for many decades, and others have been borrowed from private lenders. 

Blough said, “There is an increasing desire to put emphasis on non-Western or European-derived art”, which is precisely why these pieces have been dug up from the school’s collection after all of these years.

The exhibit has had a wonderful reception so far with a great turnout from not only students and faculty, but the community as a whole. The gallery will continue to be on display until Dec. 8 and in line with the current hours of the library.

 

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