Inuvialuit artists across the Beaufort Delta spent the week painting a series of murals to be displayed around the region.
A total of 33 murals were painted by artists across all six communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region over the course of six days, running from March 14 to 18 and wrapping up with a final day on March 21.
Each artist painted their own mural, with a few painted as a shared effort by a non-profit. The Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO) provided funding for the project.
“In Inuvik, the idea brewed up that the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation would administer this project to alleviate some of the financial pressures the artists were feeling during the pandemic with the lack of tourism,” said ICEDO director Brian Wade. “We’re giving them financial compensation to create art and also to market their work.
“It’s a kind of free publicity, because these murals are eventually going to be displayed along main street in Inuvik, and the originals will be given to the community corps to display as they wish.”
Wade said he’s hoping to unveil the completed artwork in the summer of 2022, but he was still working out the logistics of producing duplicates.
Once the artists complete their work, the next step is to take high-resolution photographs of the murals and put them onto metallic sheets for high-quality printing, so they can be displayed indefinitely without damaging the original work.
Wade said the initiative has helped give a boost to the region’s art communities, which had taken a bit of a hiatus over the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s been great. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “Artists range from established artists to hobby painters to just beginners. People just love interacting with one another and creating artwork they know is going to be displayed and is specifically designed to highlight their community and culture.
“This is Inuvialuit artists making Inuvialuit art to showcase and be proud of.”