Friday, February 22, 2008

Ithaca College's Handwerker Gallery To Display Collection Of Inuit Sculpture

"Dancing Bear" (1976) by Paula Saila

“Of the People: Inuit Sculpture from the Collection of May and Fred Widding” will open at Ithaca College’s Handwerker Gallery with a gallery reception on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. Curated by Ithaca College museology students, the exhibit will run through April 6. All Handwerker events are free and open to the public.

“The Inuit, an indigenous people living in the Canadian Arctic, have a long artistic tradition that archaeological discoveries have shown to reach back thousands of years,” said Cheryl Kramer, gallery director and assistant professor of art history. “Indeed, the long and storied history of the Inuit has been preserved through their pieces.”

In their native dialect Inuktitut, the word Inuit simply means the people, and alludes to their lifestyle both past and present, Kramer added. Despite continuing changes to their culture, Inuit remain the people of the Arctic.

“Though confronted by numerous transformations to their livelihood over the past fifty years, central Inuit values have endured: community, nature, and spirituality—values we see echoed in their artistic expression,” Kramer said.

The exhibition highlights the distinguished collection of Mary and Fred Widding. Pivotal to the development of the Widdings’ collection is their personal relationship with the work.

By sharing this collection with the Handwerker Gallery, the Widdings hope that others may discover the same connection.An illustrated catalogue written by the student curators will accompany the exhibition.A series of events have been planned in conjunction with the exhibition.

More information is available at To book tours of the exhibition by student-curators, contact RB Schlather at or JJ Ignotz at further information on the exhibition or the Handwerker Gallery, contact Cheryl Kramer, gallery director and assistant professor of art history, at (607) 274-3548.The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (Thursday until 9 p.m.); Saturday and Sunday, noon–5 p.m.

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