Rose Okpik, chairperson and driving force of the Uqqurmiut Inuit Artists Association (UIAA) in Pangnirtung, NWT, died in November 1997. She formed in May 1988 UIAA with the goal to keep Inuit art alive for both Inuit and others. – Inuit Art Quarterly 1989
Rose Okpik’s passion to preserve and expand Inuit’s art is in her Introduction to Pangnirtung’s 1997 Print Collection by Rose Okpik, Chairperson, Uqqurmiut Inuit Artists Association:
“The Arts in the Arctic are precious and garner respect worldwide, they must not be ignored, not by the Government or by our own people. Since we cannot go back to the land like our sisters and brothers before us we must keep our culture alive through our art. The printmakers of Pangnirtung are doing exactly this. Since settling into their roles in the new Print Shop the printmakers are now turning back to the community to teach their craft to the younger generation – our future. We must maintain an active Print Shop for these future generations of artists emerging from the community and looking to us for direction and inspiration. The arts are our strongest link to our cultural past.
Our hearts go out to all who have played a part, and are still active in the building of this vital link to our cultural roots and who have helped to bring the Pangnirtung Community Print Collection to world attention in recent years. Mostly we want to thank Ed McKenna, our General Manager for the past 8 years. Ed’s untiring pursuit of excellence has brought us this far and helped to set the stage for a shining future. We welcome Geoff Ryan as our new General Manager and look forward to his fresh vision. The arts advisors of the past few years, including John Houston, Stephen Osler, Don Holman, Paul Machnik, Dan O’Brien and Bruce Okamoto, have been invaluable in bringing new inspiration and technical excellence to the printmakers who now pass this knowledge on to a new generation of artists.
The printmakers and artists of Pang are home. This, the first full year in our new Print Shop has been inspirational. We have now editioned two collections from this magnificent building, and we are looking forward to many more.
We hope you enjoy the 1997 collection. The images, as usual, speak with their own voice.”