FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dr. Frederick Wiseman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Where: The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, VT
When: Noon Sunday, 6/29/2014
Image Caption: Dr Wiseman (c) with his Lifetime Achievement Award. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum auditorium. Jessee Lawyer (l) and Vera Longtoe Sheehan (r)
At the first Vermont Abenaki Artists Association Awards ceremony at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Professor Fred Wiseman was surprised during his filming of the event by being asked to come to the stage from behind the camera. Dr. Wiseman, of Swanton, Vermont, who is retiring from Johnson State College at the end of July, was surprised with a certificate of Lifetime achievement and the VAAA T-shirt that he had been trying to buy for two days, but with no success.
The Award was presented by his mentoree and VAAA board member Jessee Lawyer of Burlington, VT, with other board members Vera Longtoe Sheehan, of Westminster, VT and Jeanne Kent of Winstead, CT, looking on. The award was not specifically for his achievement in promoting the decorative and performing arts, such as fashion design, wampum (shell bead) art, Indigenous song, dance and oratory, but in his advocacy for recognition by the state of Vermont that its indigenous peoples and their artistic heritage has always been here and needed to be recognized by the state. It was this recognition that permitted Abenaki artists, for the first time to legally sell their creations as Indian art under the Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act.
The Board members and Dr. Wiseman shared some memories of working together as long ago as the mid-1990's, and their continuing endeavors to assure that Vermont's Indigenous arts heritage will never disappear. Koasek Abenaki Tribe citizen Cheryl O'Neil, who was at the ceremony, said "it was an amazing event, to see Dr Wiseman with some of his oldest friends and former students sharing their joy in the fruits of his more than thirty years of supporting Abenaki culture and history. It was a well-deserved treat for all of us at the Maritime Museum."
The award ceremony was followed by a gallery tour of a new exhibition of work by members of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. The exhibit, titled Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions, is on view at Lake Champlain Maritime Museumthrough October 12, 2014.
For more information contact:Prof. Frederick Wiseman (802-868-3808), Vermont Artists Association Director Vera Sheehan (802-579-0049 or Eloise Beil of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (802-475 2022).
Copyright 2013 VERMONT ABENAKI ARTIST ASSOCIATION. All rights reserved.