The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is expected to fill many roles that, in a larger city, may be spread over several galleries.
But it’s their current exhibition, INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE, that seems to have drawn the attention of many readers. Curated by Jaimie Isaac and Julie Nagam, the show includes work by over 25 artists, including many new commissions, and is spread through multiple galleries as well as the lobby and exterior of the WAG.
“I think millennials are … their art literacy is high,” Andrew Kear, chief curator at WAG, says.
When they see art moving outside of a traditional display, “my suspicion is that they appreciate the significance of that in a way that maybe an older generation might not.”
INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE is “also the largest group contemporary Indigenous art show in Canada, so we’ve been promoting it that way and we feel really proud about that,” Kear says.
The show also represents a turn toward more politicized artistic content.
Kear has noted that younger audiences are more engaged in Indigenous rights, and in the political aspects of the work they’re seeing.
INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE is also one result of the relative fluidity in Isaac’s position as curator of Indigenous contemporary art.
“(W)e don’t want to start setting up a silo, like there’s Indigenous contemporary art and then there’s contemporary art. So we wanted to give Jaimie the breadth to do Indigenous shows when she wants to, do non-Indigenous contemporary shows, do shows that have both,” Kear says.
Overall, Kear describes balancing the WAG’s priorities between large international names, Inuit art, showcasing their permanent collection and responding to local artists.