We are pleased to introduce North of Sixty, the gallery’s new Drupal-based digital image collection of Canadian Inuit prints and drawings. Drupal is an open-source content management system that is highly customizable and in this instance able to incorporate resources and contextualize information to enhance viewers’ understanding and appreciation of works of art. Eric Williams-Bergen, SLU science librarian and expert in all things digital, has been crucial in establishing a workflow for digital image collections and has created this Drupal site with its dynamic display of images, ease of use, and enhanced display capabilities.
Cathy developed the idea for this online collection as a result of her longstanding interest in Inuit art and two trips to Nunavut in 2000 and 2004. Since the early 1990s, the gallery has been exhibiting and collecting Inuit art, and the creation of an online database for teaching and research can provide the campus community with quick access to this rich resource. With SLU programs in Canadian Studies and Environmental Studies, the Inuit art collection can be used to discuss nature, town and camp life, spirituality and religion, and other topics.
The digital collection has been several months in the making, with digital photography and cataloguing taking place during the 2009-2010 academic year.
As part of the process, Carole set up the gallery as a photography studio. She and Arline Wolfe, who has assisted with numerous digital projects for the gallery, worked together on the post-processing of images, including renaming and cropping image files, color correcting, and other tasks. Arline uploaded and catalogued the images, adding metadata in CONTENTdm, a database program used by many academic libraries, galleries, and archives. In addition, the Brush Gallery was one of the first institutions to contribute a significant body of Inuit prints and drawings to ARTstor, an international digital image library that provides resources for the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences. Cathy and Carole also compiled the new site’s art bibliography with additional links to other online resources.
Kudos to Cathy and Eric for making this amazing collection possible!
– Carole Mathey and Arline Wolfe