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Inuit art and the six senses of Buddhism come to Ann Arbor's UMMA in March

Explore powerful Inuit art, learn about the religion and ritual behind Buddhism

Niviaksiak, Polar Bear and Cub in Ice © Dorset Fine Arts. Photo | Charlie Edwards
Niviaksiak, Polar Bear and Cub in Ice © Dorset Fine Arts. Photo | Charlie Edwards

ANN ARBOR, Mich.On March 16, the University of Michigan Museum of Art will welcome two new exhibits to its halls: “the Power Family Program for Inuit Art: Tillirnanngittuq” and “The six senses of Buddhism." 

Two stories intertwine in the Power Family Program for Inuit Art: Tillirnanngittuq collection of 20th century Inuit art. Gifted to the UMMA by Philip and Kathy Power, the exhibition demonstrates the Power family’s influence and involvement in bringing Inuit art to American audiences as well as the development of Inuit art over past decades.  

Walking Bear, Inukjuak - one of the many pieces in the new Tillirnanngittuq exhibit at the UMMA. Photo | Charlie Edwards
Walking Bear, Inukjuak - one of the many pieces in the new Tillirnanngittuq exhibit at the UMMA. Photo | Charlie Edwards

Within the exhibition are 58 works from prominent Inuit artists including Kenojuak Ashevak, Lucy Qinnuayuak, Niviaksiak, Osuitok Ipeelee, Kananginak Pootoogook and Johnny Inukpuk.

”Tillirnanngittuq,” meaning “unexpected” in Inuktitut, is not only a memorialization of the Power family collection but also a celebration of contemporary Inuit art, which uses pencil sketches, stone, bone and ivory among other media.

The exhibition lasts until Oct. 6 and can be found on the second floor in of the UMMA in the special exhibitions space.

A pair of prayer bells in the "six senses of Buddhism" exhibition starting March 23 at the UMMA.  Photo | University of Michigan Museum of Art.
A pair of prayer bells in the "six senses of Buddhism" exhibition starting March 23 at the UMMA. Photo | University of Michigan Museum of Art.

On March, the six senses of Buddhism exhibit will focus on stimulating the senses. With objects from the UMMA’s various collections of Japanese Buddhist artwork, the exhibit was made to help audiences use more than just their sense of sight. With chanting, incense, touchable pieces and religious implements, “the six senses of Buddhism” will have audiences engage their six senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, sound and the activity of the mind.

With support from the Japan Business Society of Detroit Foundation and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, the goal of the exhibition is to allow museumgoers to gain more insight into the significance of objects and practices used within Buddhism.

Located in the Jan and David Brandon family bridge, the exhibition runs until June 20.

Throughout March there will also be museum tours and workshops for children and adults focusing on these new exhibitions. For a list of these, visit the UMMA website.

A 16th-century ink and silk piece: Taima Temple Mandala: Amida Welcomes Chjhime to the Western Paradise.  Photo | University of Michigan Museum of Art
A 16th-century ink and silk piece: Taima Temple Mandala: Amida Welcomes Chjhime to the Western Paradise. Photo | University of Michigan Museum of Art

Even though the UMMA is free and open to the public, please remember to make a donation so as to support the arts. While the building is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., visit the UMMA galleries between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m, Tuesday through Saturday or noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The UMMA is located at 525 S. State St.

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