The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History will premiere the upcoming exhibition Inuit: The Art of Survival, on display from February 12 through April 29. This exhibition will open on Thursday, February 12, at 6 pm, with a free public lecture, “Inuit Art and Life Above the Arctic Circle,” by Texas A&M University Emeritus Professor, Dr. Peter Witt.
He will discuss the story behind the amazing collection and reveal some of the challenges Inuit have survived and continue to face today. His presentation will be followed by an open reception with refreshments and gallery viewing. The exhibit will celebrate the art and endurance of the Inuit peoples, featuring stunning works by famed artists Kenojuak and Pitseolak from Peter and his wife Joyce’s private collection in this exclusive and singular opportunity.
Dr. Witt has collected Inuit art since the early 1970s. His interest was influenced by his parents, Bert and Ellen Witt who opened the Arctic Circle gallery in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. At their request, Peter did some of the initial buying for the gallery, but over time, expanded his interest in Inuit art and culture and along with his wife, Dr, Joyce Nies, built a small collection of sculptures and prints, supplemented with gifts and ultimately inherited pieces from Peter’s parents.
Dr. Witt retired in 2013 after a 43 year university teaching and research career, the last 20 of which was spent at Texas A&M Universityas a professor of youth development in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism. He was the holder of the Bradberry Recreation and Youth Development Chair, a former department head, and the recipient of the Bush Faculty Award for Public Service. Before coming to Texas A&M he served as the Associate Vice President for Research and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Texas.
His major interests are in the impact of out-of-school time involvements of children and youth on social, emotional, educational, and physical development. His published articles have appeared in widely respected journals and his book projects have received considerable attention. He was accorded many honors including the Crawford Youth Prize from the National Recreation Foundation and the Distinguished Colleague Award from the National Recreation and Park Association. Peter and Joyce are pleased to partner with the Museum and to share their enthusiasm for Inuit art.
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History is committed to promoting science, and cultural and natural history with the integration of art in exhibits and educational programs. This exhibit was made possible in part through Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley. The Museum is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. For more information, contact the Museum at (979) 776-2195, or visit www.brazosvalleymuseum.org.