Quvianaqtuk Pudlat
(Sparring Narwhals – Quvianaqtuk Pudlat)

In September of 2012, I was hired as a Gallery Assistant at an Inuit Art Gallery – 1 month before the Annual Dorset Release.

I remember going through the show with the owner. Looking at the images of every piece online – talking about the artists and what we thought about each of the prints.

I remember staying late. Researching all the artists, looking at the work they had done previously. Looking through the release catalogues. Seeing the amazing work shown in the past shows. The brilliant artists who contributed.

I remember planning the morning opening. Taking calls, showing the pieces before the show went up, framing every single print.

Making tags. Buying red dot stickers. Tidying the gallery in anticipation.

I remember when the wooden crate came. The tubes. Every piece painstakingly, lovingly packed.

I felt unworthy.

Walrus Lore by Qiatusk Ragee
(Walrus Lore – Qiatsuk Ragee)

This year our gallery will hang the show. And, personally, not much has changed.

I still, kinda, feel unworthy.

Things have changed, of course. You can reserve prints now. At some Galleries.

The morning line-up. Gallery opening 1/2 hour before show time for coffee and snacks. Calling out the line-up numbers – number 1, first pick. Number 2, second and so on, until everyone who came to the launch had all of their choices. Then going to the morning phone reserves. Then the pre-reserves – never guaranteed.

Finally checking the lists. The red dots. Making sure every one is correct. And then turning down the lights to end the long day.

The exciting, long, fabulous day.

Maybe I’m nostalgic for those days. When going to a gallery opening was something truly special.

When you would get up early on a Saturday morning and line up to see the show. Excited and nervous. Butterflies in your stomach hoping you get the piece you want. Waiting for your number to be called. Sticking around a little longer than you thought you would, just to see which other pieces got the red dots.

Bounding Bear - Malaija Pootoogook
(Bounding Bear – Malaija Pootoogook)

As I write this the prints for this years collection, have just arrived. A flat box. A tube. And a smaller box, which undoubtedly contains the show catalogue.

I have to wait to open the shipment. Until my partner arrives at the gallery. (And it is killing me!) They are right behind me. 32 of the most amazing prints from Cape Dorset.

Trusted to us…

How incredible is that!

Katie + Gunner #21

You can preview the full collection up on katieandgunner.com