CRAFTED 2022: Success for NWT Artists

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Supported by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) NWT Arts Program, 12 Northwest Territories (NWT) artists travelled to Winnipeg in October with their suitcases full of handmade northern inspired wearable art and fine crafts, bound for the annual CRAFTED: Show & Sale and CRAFTED: A Fashion Show, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG).  Most of them returned empty handed (that’s a good thing!) with a hoard of positive experiences and new clients.

A Cheryl Fennell creation is modelled in Winnipeg


Cheryl Fennell – uses leather and furs to make jewelry, bags and even some furniture, and also contemporary materials to make dresses.


The market development opportunity was coordinated by the NWT Arts Program, administered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, as part of its mandate for economic development and in support of the GNWT’s mandate to increase economic diversification by supporting growth in non-extractive sectors.


NWT Arts partners with Winnipeg Art Gallery to showcase northern artists

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Returning artists said crowds were very receptive to their work and the sell-through ratio for each artist was higher than most other shows they had attended in the past. As well, several members of the delegation were offered the opportunity to sell their remaining pieces and some future work through the WAG’s year-round gift shop, offering a new avenue for sales and exposure.

 Kim Ruben – makes jackets, mitts and other pieces of clothing as well as dolls with traditional materials and styles.


Loretta Wiley – works with traditional materials and techniques to create contemporary jewellery and fashions.


In addition to the support and marketing expertise available from NWT Arts leading up to and during the event itself, the artists said they found support amongst themselves. The delegation was a mix of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists using traditional and contemporary mediums, or a mixture of the two. They all enjoyed the opportunity to share their stories, their art and their cultures with one another. This event was also an ideal opportunity for artists to expose themselves to work from a variety of other Manitoba artists, allowing them to expand their contacts and gain new inspiration