jeanne morningstar kent

Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Image of Jeanne Morningstar Kent.
Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Artist Bio

Jeanne Kent was named Spozowialakws (Morningstar) by an Abenaki Elder many years ago.  It means: “One who leads others out of the darkness into the light…a teacher.”

She is an Enrolled Member of the  Nulhegan Band, Coosuk-Abenaki of Vermont, and also descended from Nipissing, Montagnais, and Algonquin People from the Quebec area of Canada.  Her father was French and Indian; her mother was German.  Her art work contains Native American symbols and designs of the Northeast Woodland People with a focus on the Wabanaki group.  Her medium is gourd art.  Currently, she is working on a series of gourd designs which she hopes will provide a visual language for the woodland people.

“There is something wonderful about putting one’s hands into the soil to plant the seed, nurturing it until the blossoms form, then protecting them until they develop into natural canvases upon which to work my art, ” she said.  “Working with gourds is a combination of my art and heritage bound together in a spiritual journey with Mother Earth.”

She has received both state and national awards and participated in one man shows, and group shows through out CT, NY, NH, and MA. Her work has sold internationally via her website. She holds a Batchelor of Fine Arts Degree and a Master in Art Education from the University of Hartford.  Additional courses were taken at Johnson College, VT; Smith College, MA; Trinity College and Yale Campuses, CT, and the Woodstock School of  Art, NY.  She taught art in public schools for twenty years transversing levels from kindergarten to college.  As teacher and artist, she has given in-services on Native crafts and history, to educators, acted as a mentor for student teachers,  and offered courses at the University of Hartford Extension Service.

Image of Morningstar's studio.
Morningstar’s studio

Morningstar serves as an interpreter at the Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington, CT, where she has also lectured and given workshops. One of her gourd rattles is part of their permanent collection. Other permanent collections containing her work are the Chimney Point Museum (VT) and the Roger Williams University (RI). Many pieces are in private collections.

“I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil,” she said.  “Once I made a mark, I never stopped experimenting.”

Her work has been shown at the Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden (NH), the Artworks Gallery, (CT), McDaniels-Wiley Gallery, (CT), the Gallows Book Store and Gallery at Trinity College(CT) and the Bushnell Theater Gallery (CT). She was invited to participate in an invitational group show in Boxboro (MA) at the New England Native American Institute which hosted the show: “Walking Between Two Worlds.”  She currently shows her work at the Autumn Light Gallery in Avon, CT.

She recently offered lectures and workshops at the Institute for Native American Studies, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the University of Connecticut, the Naugatuck Community College, the ECHO Maritime Museum (VT) and numerous social groups.

Affiliations include the Institute for American Indian Studies, (CT), the American Gourd Society,   the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the French Genealogy Library (CT).

“Although I am continuously walking between two worlds, I consider myself fortunate for having found a balance between my ancestral cultures.”
                     
— Spozowialakws (Morningstar)

Contact

Phone: 860-921-1637

Email: rkent3661@cgharter.net

Website: Fine Wabanaki Art by Morningstar

Image of gourd with dreamcatcher.
Image of gourd with dreamcatcher and deer antlers

Image of painted gourd with traditional Abenaki double curve designs.
Painted gourd with traditional Abenaki double curve designs

Image of painted wolf and traditional Abenaki double curve design.
Gourd with wood-burned wolf and traditional Abenaki double curve design

Image of gourd with artistic double curve design and a butterfly.
Etched gourd with artistic double curve design and a butterfly

MUSEUMS AND PERMANENT COLLECTIONS

The artist is a recognized Abenaki Artist and enrolled Member of the Nulhegan Band, Coosuk-Abenaki of Vermont with work housed in the following permanent collections:

  • Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian Studies, imaagiNATION Activity Center, New York, New York
  • Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH, Permanent Collection
  • Institute for American Indian Studies Permanent Collection, Washington, CT
  • Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island
  • Chimney Point Museum, Addison, VT, Permanent Collection
  • Part of the permanent collection of Abenaki Cultural items at the Burlington International Airport, Vermont.

Exhibits, Lectures and Demonstrations

2021

  • “Abenaki People Emerging From the Ashes”, show and sale, Villages Gallery, Contoocook, NH
  • Group Show, Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT
  • On line presentation on The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art for the Institute for American Indian Studies.
  • Video Interview by Museum of American Indian Studies. 2021-Installed as Member of the Board of Trustees at the Institute for American Indian Studies.

2020

  • Featured on Mt. Kearsarge Indian museum Blog “Being Native is Both Inborn and a Way of Life”

2019

  • Group show office of Bernie Sanders, Washington, DC
  • Selected by Institute of American Indian Studies to have painted portrait added to their Hall of Elders.
  • Spring and Winter Shows at the Whiting Mills Studios, Winsted, CT.
  • Board Member of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association Earlier: Groups show, Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden, NH
  • Group Show, Artworks Gallery, CT Group Show, Arlene McDaniels Gallery, CT
  • Group Show, Bushnell Theater Gallery, CT
  • Group Show, Gallows Book Store and Gallery at Trinity College, CT
  • Group Show, “Walking Between Two Worlds”, Boxboro, MA, hosted by the New England Native American Institute Shown at Autumn Light Gallery, CT
  • NW Arts Council, Studio Tour, Winsted, CT ArtZest, Litchfield, CT

2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. 

2016

Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Dipolomacy Past and Present. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.

2015

Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Dipolomacy Past and Present. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT.

2014     

“Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions” – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

All of my Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World –  Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, N.H.

2013    

  • Containers.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  •  Reading Native Art. Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  •  Artist.  Autumn Light Studios And Gallery, CT
  •  New England Now!: Celebrating six years of NEFA’s Native Arts
  • Program. Mashantucket Pequot Museum,  Mashantucket, CT
  •  Presenter.  Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford, CT
  •  Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT
  •  Panelist. “Quarterly Conversation.”  Mashantucket Pequot Museum,  Mashantucket, CT

2012    

Native Interpreter. Institure for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT

2011    

Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT

2010    

  • Featured Artist. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington, CT
  •  Artist. Northwest Arts Council, Studio Tours, CT
  •   Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT

2009     

  • Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT
  •  Gourds: Seeds of Inspiration. Vermont Indigenous Celebration, Burlington, VT

EARLIER

  • Groups show, Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden, NH Group Show, Artworks Gallery, CT Group Show, Arlene
  • McDaniels Gallery, CT
  • Group Show, Bushnell Theater Gallery, CT
  • Group Show, Gallows Book Store and Gallery at Trinity College, CT
  • Group Show, “Walking Between Two Worlds”, Boxboro, MA, hosted by the New England Native American Institute
  • Shown at Autumn Light Gallery, CT
  • NW Arts Council, Studio Tour, Winsted, CT ArtZest, Litchfield, CT
  • Vendor: Wabanaki Confederacy Conference, Shelbourne, VT
  • 2015 Recipient of NEFA Grant for work on book, The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art
  • Classroom Art Instructor, Hartford School System, Pre-K-8 University of Hartford Extension Courses, Hartford, CT
  • H.O.T. (Higher Order of Thinking) School Consortium, UConn, Campus UConn Workshop, Main Campus
  • Torrington Adult Education, Torrington High school, Torrington,
  • Workshops and talks at Institute for American Indian Studies, Master Teacher-Supervising Student Teachers
  • Master Teacher- Supervising High school Students in Community Service
  • Presenter at the 46th Algonquian Conference, Mohegan Sun,
  • Presenter: ECHO Museum, Burlington, Vt.,
  • Presenter: Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Ledyard, CT
  • Presenter: Ward Hertmann House Museum, Savin Rock, West Haven,
  • CT Village Docent, Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington, Open Your Eyes, Studio Tour, Litchfield, CT

EDUCATION

  • Presenter at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Ledyard, CT. University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT B.F.A. and M.A., Ed.
  • Additional Coursework: Johnson State College, Vt Smith College, Amherst, MA Northwest Community College, Winsted, CT Woodstock School of Art, Woodstock, NY School of Fine Arts and Theater, NY, NY
  • Article: Indigenous Arts, Cultural Survival Quarterly
  • Crafts at Chimney Point Museum, VT Crafts at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center , Burlington, VT
  • Crafts at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Show,
  • VT Indigenous Celebration, Burlington, VT
  • Hammonassett Indian Festivals

Awards

2O12  Native Arts Grant. New England Foundation for the Arts.

Publications

  • Author of “The Visual Language of Wabanaki Arts”, published by History/Acadia Press, which discusses history and meanings of some of the designs used by the Wabanaki people.
  • Kent, Jeanne.  Seeds of Inspiration,  Jeanne Kent publication, Winsted, CT (out of print)
  • Lavin, Lucienne, Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples: What Archaeology, History, and Oral Traditions Teach Us About Their Communities and Cultures. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 2O13.
  • Photos of my work included in “Connecticut’s Indigenous People, Their Communities and Cultures, Then and Now” by Lucienne Lavin. Published by Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and Yale Press.

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artist Association, Committee Member & Juried Artist since 2013
  • Institute for American Indian Studies, Native Advisory Board, Committee Member
  • American Gourd Society
  • Northwest Connecticut Arts Council
  • Connecticut Commission on the Arts
  • French Canadian Genealogical Society