Tag Archives: Mattiusi Iyaituk

“Getting” Art with Alysa

14 May

More musings from the MIA intern coming at ya!

When I first came into the museum studies program I thought that I would be surrounded by students who loved art as much I do. I had this vision of people gathered together at an exhibition opening, talking about such-and-such an artist and their brilliant project -which was sure to change the world.

In reality though…not so much.

Turns out I’ve got a bit of an art history bias and sort of forgot about the other types of museums out there. Like the natural history or science museums.


Not to give my fellow students a bad rap. Networking with archaeologists and scientists has some pretty cool benefits. And there are a lot of people out there who either haven’t given art the time of day, or walked away from it rather quickly because they “didn’t get it”. There are even times where I myself struggle to understand a theory or philosophy an artist is trying to address in their work.

But thank goodness for the internet! Google searches, podcasts, and videos have certainly answered a lot of questions I’ve had about what the heck some artists are doing. And joining that resource list is a member of our MIA team, Educational Coordinator Alysa Procida!


Recently she was asked by Lifestyle Goddess to talk about some of the pieces in the MIA collection. In the short segments, Alysa quickly covers portions of an artist’s biography in order to give the viewer context but without over burdening them with lots of detail or complicated terminology.

I’ll admit that before starting my internship here at MIA, I had never heard of Mattiusi Iyaituk before. But after watching Alysa’s video, and understanding his style and motivations I’ve been able to walk around the MIA’s collection pointing out his sculptures without referencing any labels. Success!!!

Alysa has also discussed the work of Bart Hanna  and Abraham Anghik Ruben in two other videos, which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I have. And hopefully they’ll make you feel like you’ve finally arrived at the “art getters” club.

posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant

Meet some of MIA’s docents!

12 Apr

The Museum of Inuit Art began its docent program in winter 2012, and we are now thrilled to offer regularly scheduled tours for the public!

We asked some of our docents which pieces they love to talk about and why:


Christine with Bart Hanna's (1948- ) "Sedna", 2009, stone and ivory, MIA Collection.

Christine was MIA’s first docent to give a public tour! When asked which piece she likes to talk about with visitors, she chose Bart Hanna’s Sedna: “This piece is beautiful and the ornate details give it a decorative appeal. Actually, the style of carving reminds me of Indian art. The figure is sensually positioned with its flirtatious curves, and I love how the artist has interpreted the traditional goddess, Sedna, as masculine with his beard and small chest. The animals Sedna is breathing life into are rendered with sweeping gusto in beautiful ivory. In fact, the artist has a deep connection to the material, as he actually hunts every walrus whose tusks (ivory) he uses in his artwork.”

Watch MIA’s Educational Coordinator, Alysa Procida, interview artist Bart Hanna here.


Nadia with Mattiusi Iyaituk's (1950- ) "Mermaid, Inuurlamiluuq, Wondering What She Is Looking At" 2010, stone, caribou antler, muskox horn, MIA Collection

Our docent Nadia likes to talk about Mattiusi Iyaituk’s piece “because it incorporates various materials from so many different animals to create something new. It also incorporates natural forms, such as the curve of the antler to look like a hands and a tail, and muskox horn (typically resembling birds) resembling the hair of the mermaid. There are very modern elements, and the forms are very simplistic, very smooth, and almost edible.  Mattiusi Iyaituk said, ‘When you look at my sculpture, you don’t understand all of it. That way you have the freedom to dream. Everyone has their own opinions about art.’  He was definitely a dreamer when me made his piece come to life in the most creative and unexpected ways.”

Come by MIA and find out what we are talking about next!

– By Emma Ward, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer