Traditional Arts Spotlight by Vermont Folklife – Abenaki Basket Making and Fiber Art

Vermont Folklife logo.

Sherry Gould (Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation) and Vera Sheehan (Elnu Abenaki Tribe), are both lifelong artists and their apprenticeship structure is unique. They are both recognized in their communities as expert artists in different art forms. Sherry is a basket maker. In 2006 she became a juried basketmaker through the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen in 2006, being the first Native American artist in the league. Sherry and her husband, Bill, work to maintain basketmaking as part of Abenaki culture through teaching other Abenaki people through traditional arts programs in New Hampshire and Vermont. Sherry is also a state representative in New Hampshire. Vera practices knotting: Abenaki textile weaving using natural fibers such as milkweed (also referred to as twining). She is also an educator and activist, the Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, and the Founder of the Abenaki Arts & Education Center, and previously a Museum Educator and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Click here to read the full article on the Vermont Folklife website and listen to recordings by Sherry and Vera

Juried Artist Benefits

Poster for Thoreau Art Gallery art exhibit.

The above advertisement is an example of the type of promotion that may be given to juried artists who participate in shows. This one was designed by the gallery.

The best part about becoming a Juried Artist is knowing you’re a part of an organization that supports your art and culture. Juried Artists are eligible for benefits such as:

  •  A free webpage of Vermont Abenaki Artists Association‘s website and cross listings on the art by media and alphabetical artist lists
  • Exclusive invitations to VAAA partner art shows
  • Invites to invitational museum exhibitions
  • Opportunities to have your artwork promoted on social media (Instagram, Facebook)
  • Notifications about upcoming opportunities for artists
  • Priority vending space at the annual Abenaki Heritage Weekend in June
  • Professional development opportunities

Darryl Peasley

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Darryl Peasley is for the most part a self taught arts and crafts person who creates contemporary style pieces.  He uses his imagination to make his pouches, dance sticks and hats come to life. 

Darryl started in 2003 by creating pouches made of deer skin with fringe with some edge beading, He made some dance sticks from tree branches that spoke to him and a turtle shell purse from a turtle shell that said …”make me into something special” and that’s what he did.  Darryl started vending at Pow Wows and found people really liked his work. Then Darryl introduced top hats and derbies to the Pow Wow circuit at a New Hampshire Intertribal Council event.  Soon Darryl was known as “The Hat Guy”. 

In 2013, Darryl was awarded a NH Council for the Arts Folk Art scholarship that allowed him to apprentice under master bead worker Debbie Bazin Dostie.  During his apprenticeship Darryl demonstrated loom beading at Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum during several of their events. 


Artist Statement

I enjoy working with all sorts of media. I use leather, bone, glass beads and feathers. I use bone beads to create choker style hat bands. I use leather to create the different style pouches or a hat band and glass beads to put a decorative edge on a pouch or hat band.  I like creating loom pieces on the loom I made for my apprenticeship.  My biggest joy is when someone sees one of my creations and they enjoy it as much as I do…that makes my day!   


Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Abenaki Trails Project

Art & Artists

Explore Abenaki Artistry: Navigate Your Way

Welcome to the heart of Abenaki creativity. Here, you have the power to choose your artistic journey, exploring the diverse expressions of our talented Abenaki artists. Select your path below and uncover the rich heritage embedded in each masterpiece:

1. Alphabetical Showcase: Embark on a journey through the names of our remarkable artists. This path connects you with the individuals behind the art, inviting you to discover their unique stories and inspirations.

2. Art by Medium: Immerse yourself in the magic of different artistic mediums – quillwork, wampum, paintings, and more. Each medium reflects a distinct facet of Abenaki creativity, transporting you into the heart of our culture.

3. Artist Memorial Pages: Pay homage to the artists who have left a lasting imprint on our community and culture. Through these memorial pages, we remember and celebrate their contributions, ensuring their artistic spirits remain alive in our hearts.

Your choice, your journey. Whichever path you choose, you’re engaging with the living legacy of the Abenaki people, a legacy that bridges the gap between tradition and innovation. Each brushstroke, beadwork, and creation tells a story – a story that becomes richer with every step you take.

Questions? Please contact Elisa by email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.

About Us

The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association was a long time in the making. After the state of Vermont recognized the four tribes, we realized there was a need to collaborate so that our artists could be found. Please read Our Story, which follows, and then click on Abenaki History for detailed information about the types of art created by our people in the past and present.

Abenaki Historic Art↗

Learn about the historic Indigenous arts of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Current Shows ↗

Stay updated and see our current exhibitions here.

Our Artists

Artists are organized by media and skill level.

In Memory…

This page is created to honor the Abenaki Artists who have crossed over and are walking with our Ancestors. We appreciate the legacy they have left and will remember them always.


Bernie Mortz was an Elder and the War Chief for the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. He learned drum making as a boy from his uncle and made high quality hand-made hand drums his entire life. The steady sound of beating one of his drums will move your spirit as you listen to the heartbeat of Mother Earth.

Image of Bernie Mortz.

Bernie was also a wood carver, making war clubs with brass tack inlays, dance sticks, friendship bows and Snowsnakes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with snowsnakes, it is a winter snow sport.

 Bernie was very active in the Abenaki community and did cultural programs in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Image of back side of drum made by Bernie Mortz.
Back side of drum
Image of hand drums made by Bernie Mortz.
Hand drums
Image of war clubs made by Bernie Mortz.
War clubs

Image of Isabell and her daughter, Sherry Gould
Isabell and her daughter, Sherry Gould

Isabell Nina Blanchard  was very proud to be able to carry on the important family tradition as a basketmaker. Her grandfather, Eber Dyer, was a basketmaker for the Peterborough Basket Company. His parents Simon and Elizabeth (Blake) Dyer were well known Abenaki basket makers in Vermont with the Phillips family.  Isabell was a beloved citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. Her daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Bill Gould, are proud to be able to carry on the tradition of basketmaking and by doing so, Isabell will never truly leave us. Today, she walks with her ancestors and is able to sit by their campfires and continue to learn from them.

Image of Isabell making a basket.
Image of Isabell making a basket.


Image of Suzanne Vermette.

Suzanne Vermette was a Native American educator, historian, story teller, fiber artist, bead worker and native house builder. She also gave speaking engagements, lectures and demonstrations at schools, colleges, museums, and historic sites throughout the Northeast for almost twenty years. Her mother and grandmothers were all fiber artists. Her earliest memories were of learning how to knit, sew, embroider, and tat, from them. Her first piece of needlepoint was in a show when she was just 7 years old. Suzanne expanded on this background and also did finger weaving, twining, beadwork, moose hair embroidery and weaving. She researched these traditional art forms both in print and in museums for several decades. Several of her pieces are in museums in the Northeast. She also worked with hemp, wool, silk, jute and cotton.  

Image of corn husk dolls.
Corn husk dolls
Image of fingerweaving.
Fingerweaving

Rose Hartwell with several of the sashes she made.

Rose Hartwell was a well-respected Elder from the Elnu Abenaki Tribe. She had researched Eastern Native decorative art for more than 25 years.  Rose did remarkable porcupine quillwork, finger weaving, twined and made Traditional Eastern style clothing and regalia items.

Rose also participated in educational programs at museums, historic sites and schools all over New England for more than 20 years.


Image of Billie Largy.
Billie Largy

Billie Largy was an Elder for the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. She was introduced to her culture at a very young age. Her father took her under his wing and made sure she understood the traditions of the Abenaki, specifically concentrating on that which is spiritual. She was a singer of traditional Abenaki songs, as well a drummer. Billie was especially know for the beautiful dreamcatchers she made in a traditional way.

Image of dreamcatcher.
Dreamcatcher
Image of dreamcatcher.
Dreamcatcher
Image of dreamcatcher basket.
Dreamcatcher basket

Donate

People holding hands and doing the Round Dance.

Support the Heart of our Culture: Your Generous Donation Makes a Difference.

Join us in preserving and celebrating the Abenaki culture through your contribution, enabling us to continue our impactful programs, cultural events, educational initiatives, and the creation of new exhibitions. Every donation is a vital investment in the legacy we cherish.

Questions? Please contact Elisa by email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.


THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS, SUPPORTERS, & PARTNERS

Image of Vermont Humanities logo.
New England Foundation for the Arts logo
Vermont Arts Council logo
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Vermont Department of Health logo.
Abenaki Arts & Education Center Logo
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Vermont Folklife logo.

Lisa Ainsworth Plourde

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Image of Lisa Ainsworth Plourde

Lisa Ainsworth Plourde brings a career of 28 years of teaching visual arts with a BA in art education along with her passion for knowledge of the people of N’dakinna. Of Abenaki heritage, she has acquired knowledge through research and interaction with Abenaki elders; a lifelong journey.

Lisa is ardent about bringing to life the traditions and art of the Abenaki people, past and present, and in doing so also bringing a better understanding of this proud and very much alive culture. Lisa’s fine art practice includes graphite, ink and conte crayon drawing and acrylic and watercolor painting.

Her journey of discovery has brought to her a practice of many different traditional art forms, as in native culture, items for everyday living are functional as well as beautiful. Hide and fur, birch bark, feathers, shells, quills, and beads create objects that bring a connection to the environment as well as create a sense of peace. In her teaching of children, Lisa has been successful with replacing traditional materials with ones that are inexpensive and readily found while exhibiting examples of her own made with traditional materials. During this creative process Lisa speaks to all aspects of life, survival, kinship, respect, and a love of all things, while working to dispel the ravages of colonization and stereotype.


Artist Statement

I grew up in southern NH and discovered art at an early age, always knowing that I wanted to be an educator. I was employed by the Goffstown School district for 28 years. During that time, I raised two daughters and took in commissioned artwork in various mediums. Upon early retirement, I moved back to my family’s ancestral homeland of the Northeast Kingdom on Maidstone Lake, in the heart of N’dakinna. Here I have been able to focus on my connection to the land and Alnobak. Exhibits may be in my future; but, currently I feel that educating and showing the children of Vermont about the Abenaki and our art is my contribution.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]


Image of acrylic painting of Yosemite National Park.
Acrylic painting of Yosemite National Park
Image of charcoal drawing of Banff by Lisa Ainsworth Plourde.
Charcoal drawing of Banff
Image of watercolor ladyslipper by Lisa Ainsworth Plourde.
Watercolor painting of ladyslipper
Image of cradleboard by Lisa Ainsworth Plourde.
Cradleboard

Affiliations
  • Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation
  • Title 6 Indian Education Instructor
  • NH Artists’ Association
Awards

NH Art Educator of the Year

Artists by Media

***For a list of artists in alphabetical order Click Here***

Image of gourd with dreamcatcher.
Gourd with dreamcatcher and deer antlers made by Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Traditional arts are listed on the left of the page and contemporary artforms are listed on the right side. They are listed by media.

Artists are organized by media and skill level*.

See definitions of skill levels below.

Click on the artist’s name to view their profiles, images of their art, artist bios, and artist statements.


*ARTIST SKILL  LEVELS*

MCB = Master Culture Bearers have a superior skill level, mentor emerging artists, exhibit their artwork internationally, and have received awards for their artwork or work with and for the community.

M = Master Artists have practiced their craft for at least 10 years are familiar with the history of their art form.  They have exhibited their work, offer workshops and lectures.

J = Journey Person have practiced and sold their craft for at least 5 years.

Crafts-person (C) = Craftspeople are can either be self-taught or had some lessons but they are not doing an apprenticeship with a Master Artist. They do not have the technical expertise to be considered for the Journeyman or Master Artist categories.

A = Apprentices are in the process of learning their craft.


Carol Billings McGranaghan

Enrolled Citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Juried Artist since 2017

Image of Carol Billings McGranaghan

Carol Billings McGranaghan has served the community as a member of the Vermont Commission on Native America Affairs. She is also a culinary artist who follows the traditions of her grandmothers who taught her about wild edible plants. She uses this knowledge of regional edible plants to create her one of a kind jams and jellies.


Artist Statement

I was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. My parents and grandparents taught me about plants, gardens, and “living off the land.” My interest in plants really started with my paternal Grandmother showing me the different wild flowers and what they were for, which were edible and how to care for them so they could continue for generations. Mom made chokecherry and apple jelly – the reason I started researching wild flowers and herbs to make my own products. Each season brings yet more to find and more to learn about, which provides an ongoing learning experience.

I also do beadwork.  That interest was initiated at my other Grandmother’s knee. She showed me how to weave seed beads, string beads using patterns and colors to tell a story and how to use natural materials as beads. I have been selling my handmade beaded jewelry on Etsy for several years now. I am currently learning how to weave baskets, both in traditional and non-traditional designs.  

I have participated in many panel discussions about Abenaki subjects, from wearing our heritage to women’s roles today, the history of Abenaki survival from colonization to the trauma of the Vermont eugenics survey and present day ethnic mascots. I teach my grandson about smudging, our plants/animals and the traditional stories so he will have an understanding of Abenaki history, to be proud of it, and to pass it on to others when he’s older. 

I was appointed to the Vermont Commission of Native Affairs in 2016. I was elected Vice-Chair in 2017 and Chair in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. In 2018, one of my first projects was to have the items which were gifted to Vermont at the time of State recognition for the four Abenaki tribes installed as a permanent display in the Vermont State House. In 2019, with the assistance of the Friends of the State House, we held a celebration on the State House lawn for the opening of the display, the declaration of Abenaki Heritage Week and for Indigenous Peoples’ Day being passed into law. I provided training sessions to the State House tour guides so they would have a better understanding of Abenaki history. In 2020, I worked with the legislature to have Abenaki names added to state park signs. In 2021, members of the VCNAA and I provided testimony in behalf of the eugenics survey apology and in support of schools who were attempting to change their ethnic school mascots. 

I have worked closely with Carol Irons, another member of the Commission, to present and teach basic Abenaki history, culture, and customs to both adults and students as part of the Abenaki Cultural Regeneration project. I welcome the opportunity to share this learning with others who are interested.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Etsy Store: Hidden Bear

Image of jar of Queen Anne's Lace jelly.
Queen Anne’s Lace jelly made by Carol
Image of necklaces made by Carol.
Necklaces made by Carol.
Image of Four Directions basket made by Carol.
Four Directions Basket
Image of Assorted Hidden Bear Treasures Jellies.
Assorted Hidden Bear Treasures Jellies

Speaking Engagements and Exhibits

2021

  • Participant in International Center for Transitional Justice workshop on Truth and Accountability 

2020

  • Abenaki Opening Devotional in the Vermont Legislative House
  • Moccasin Tracks interview on VCNAA updates
  • Legislative work to add Abenaki names to state signs
  • WCAX interview for Abenaki state park signage
  • WCAX interview for Deb Haaland appointment to Secretary of the Interior

2019

  • Provided training for State House tour guides on the Abenaki display
  • Moccasin Tracks interview on VCNAA
  • Endangered Alphabets Abenaki Perspective, Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier VT
  • Overview of Abenaki History and Culture, Proctor School, Proctor VT
  • Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Camp, Northwoods Stewardship, Charleston VT
  • Permanent Installation of display for the Abenaki recognition items
  • Smudged, labeled and installed the permanent display of Abenaki recognition items
  • Stowe High School Indigenous Peoples’ Day presentation

2018

  • Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Camp, Northwoods Stewardship, Charleston VT
  • Abenaki Stories and Drumming, Button Bay Campground, Ferrisburg VT
  • Overview of Abenaki History and Culture, Whitingham Middle School, Whitingham VT

2017

  • Wearing Our Heritage Panel Discussion, Shelburne Library, Shelburne VT.

Affiliations

  • Appointment by Governor Scott to the Racial Equity Task Force (2020-2021)
  • Social Equity Task Force  (2020-2021)
  • Social Equity Caucus   (2020-2021)
  • Friends of the Vermont Statehouse, Panel member
  • Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project, Co-leader
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs member since 2016. Vice Chair 2017, Chair 2018 – 2019, 2019 – 2020, 2020 – 2021, and 2021 – 2022

Artisan Levels

When artists join VAAA their work is juried and they are classified into one of the following four categories. Artists may also request their artwork be reevaluated annually or after receiving appropriate awards.

Master Culture Bearer (MCB)

Birchbark Moose Call made by Aaron York.
Birchbark Moose Caller made by Aaron York

Master Culture Bearers are few and far between because this distinction requires superior skill level, mentoring Abenaki apprentices, and emerging artists using traditional Abenaki epistemology. They have exhibited their artwork internationally, and have earned awards for their artwork or work with/for the Abenaki community. They have a long-standing record of service to their community, VAAA, and the arts and humanities organizations. Some may also have academic credentials that support their traditional knowledge. Anyone applying for this level must provide a resume of their achievements, photo samples of their work and original pieces to be examined if requested. By this time in their career, they should be well known throughout the region. (Please note that this is a new category.)

Master Artists (M)
Most Master Artists are culture bearers that are bringing traditional arts to the next generation. They must be knowledgeable about the history of their chosen art form, how to harvest and prepare the necessary materials. They have their own style, create original pieces, not replicas. Their work is increasingly original, and they may be increasingly pushing the boundaries of their chosen medium, and they have designed and taught classes and workshops about their medium. Their art is sought after by museums, galleries, and collectors. Master Artists must also be available as a jurist for new artists coming into the category of their art form. Anyone applying for this level must provide a resume of their achievements, photo samples of their work and original pieces to be examined if requested. By this time in their career, they should be well known throughout the region. A journeyman who has been selling their pieces professionally may apply to be juried after ten years. Application does not guarantee designation of a title.

Journeyman (J)

Silver cuffs by Paul Rene Tamburro..
Sterling silver cuffs made by Paul-Rene Tamburro

The minimum requirements to being a Journeyman are to have practiced a craft for at least five years. They have achieved technical proficiency but are still developing their style, and they make professional looking pieces that are of high quality to sell.  Some Journeymen may be beginning to exhibit their works and be thinking about teaching workshops. Apprentices are eligible to apply for this level after three to five year period as an apprentice, but they must show significant growth in their skill and creativity before they apply to be re-juried for this designation or title.

Craftsperson (C)

Craftspeople are can either be self-taught or had some lessons but they are not doing an apprenticeship with a Master Artist. They do not have the technical expertise to be considered for the Journeyman or Master Artist categories.

Apprentice (A)

Four turtle shell rattles with fur on handles made by Michael Descoteaux.
Four turtle shell rattles with fur on handles made by Michael Descoteaux.

Apprentices are taking their first step on their journey as an artist. They are in the process of learning about the tools and techniques of their craft. During this stage, their work may appear primitive or inconsistent in quality. Through practice, they are developing proficiency. Some apprentices are studying with VAAA Master Artists while others are learning from other culture bearers. Apprentices can also be self-taught through research, trial, and error. Although apprenticeship typically lasts a few years, they will not automatically move on to the next level. They must request that the VAAA committee required them. If successful they will move on to be a Journeyman and if not they may remain Apprentices for a longer period. Kits may never be used during the jurying process.

Application & Rejurying

Applying to Become a VAAA Juried Artist

Examples of parfleche by Nathan Johnson.
Examples of parfleche

Thank you for your interest in applying to be a juried artisan with the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA). Our mission is to promote Vermont’s Indigenous arts and artists, to provide an organized central place to share creative ideas; professional development; and a have a method for the public to find and engage Abenaki artists.

How to request a VAAA application? Email [email protected] to request an application form. Please provide your name, contact information, Abenaki Tribal affiliation, and Tribal ID number. After your status as a citizen in a state-recognized Abenaki tribe is confirmed, we will send you an application packet with more details and directions.

Please prepare to have good-quality photos of your craft/art, an artist statement, and biographical information about yourself as an artist, such as how you learned what you do and where you may have exhibited it.

Who is responsible for jurying new VAAA artists? The VAAA jury is comprised of four artists, one from each recognized Abenaki Tribe. Two have degrees in fine art, and two are traditional artists. Master Artists and Consultants are also called upon to help jury art within their area of expertise. When a VAAA artist applies to be juried or is nominated for an award, they must recuse themselves from voting, and a consultant is appointed in their place.

How can I apply to be rejuried into a new category or artistry group? Submit a letter describing your request with 3 to 5 high-resolution images of your work and an updated artist statement. Email your request to [email protected]

Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award (LAW)

The LAW award is only available after a thirty-year track record of success as an artist who willingly gives back to the community and has been a mentor to many others. This award is only available by nomination and nomination does not guarantee an award. To date, only one has been presented. The first LAW was awarded in 2014.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Dr. Fred Wiseman – 2014

Fred Wiseman receiving the VAAA Lifetime Achievement Award with Jessee Lawyer and Melody Mackin on stage with him.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 year of supporting Abenaki culture and history. It was a well-deserved treat for all of us at the Maritime Museum.”


Artist of the Year

Beginning in 2020, as a fan-determined contest to celebrate VAAA artists and promote economic development during the holiday season, the Artist of the Year Award was started. It is also used to publicly thank artists who participated in exhibits during that calendar year. The nominees must be juried members of VAAA for at least one year. Groups are not eligible.

Past Artists of the Year

2020 Amy Hook-Therrien

Image of Amy Hook-Therrien
Amy Hook-Therrien

Amy is a native Vermonter, originally from Chelsea, she grew up nestled on top of a hill overlooking the valleys below. She was surrounded by nature and beauty. She graduated from Randolph Union High School with a passion for art. She went on to college at the University of Maine in Orono majoring in fine art with a focus in sculpture and painting. After graduating with a BFA from UMaine she moved back to Vermont and she and her husband bought a house in Windsor. When she is not creating art Amy loves to travel, hike, garden, and spend time with her family.

Artist Tutorials

The following links for a variety of tutorials are provided to aid our artists in writing important documents such as an Artist’s Statement and an Artist’s Biography. You can also get good information on how to write a resume.

Click on the link:

Artist Statement and Bios. Maryland Institute College of Art


Writing an Effective Artist’s Statement: Some Practical Tips – Claremont Graduate University


Write Your Resume. Illinois Community College: The Career Center


Building Confidence: using your bio & artist statement to talk about your artwork

Artist Information

This page provides links to information about joining the VAAA, such as how to apply, how VAAA artists are juried, our various levels, our awards, and professional development information.

Applying to become a VAAA Artisan or to be rejuried to a higher artisan level

Artisan Levels

Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

Juried Artist Benefits

Programs for Professional Development

Resources

If you have questions that are not addressed in these pages, please feel free to Contact Us.

Lance Hodgdon

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki

Juried Artist since 2019
Image of Lance Hodgdon.
Lance Hodgdon

Lance Hodgdon does beautiful work with wood. He specializes in flutes, which have a rich tone that is pleasant to listen to.

He is also a fine woodworker and is chopping blocks are finely made. He does accept special orders.


Email: [email protected]

Facebook Store: Wind Walker’s Native American Flutes


Image of chopping block in shape of state of Maine.
Chopping block made in the shape of the state of Maine.
Image of chopping block made by Lance Garfield.
Beautiful chopping block made with a variety of wood colors.

Melody Mackin

Enrolled Citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Melody Walker with hand drum.
Melody Walker

Melody Mackin is an educator, mom, and artist.  She works at the Atowi Project. She received her master’s degree in History from the University of Vermont in May 2011. Melody has taught at several institutions an adjunct professor, such as Northern Virginia Community College and taught the History of Western Civilization and US History.

Prior to this, she was an adjunct professor at Champlain College through the EHS Division. Before that, she was an adjunct professor at Johnson State College where she taught “Native American Worldview and Spirituality,” “Native American History and Culture,” and “Abenakis and Their Neighbors.” She gives lectures on a variety of topics, including Abenaki history, women’s issues, and Abenaki political history.

She has done ground breaking research on Abenaki Spirituality and is heavily involved in the Abenaki cultural revitalization movement.  She works with museums and lectures in both the K-12 and collegiate level classroom on topics relating to the Eastern Woodlands and indigenous history.

Melody is a traditional finger weaver, photographer, ribbon work, beadworker, and interprets wampum belts.


Artist Statement

I am an Abenaki historian and I am in love with stories. The finished pieces that I create whether it is a beaded bag or a breechclout with ribbon are created with spirit. They tell my story but they also tell the story of my people. In each stitch I think about the hands that have come before me using the same techniques with the same type of materials. Most importantly, I think of the hands that will create the same artifacts in the future and honor the culture that lights the path through time that we all walk. I spend a lot of time teaching Abenaki history and culture but the artifacts that I shape are the physical manifestations of what being Abenaki means to me. They represent pride, generational love, talent, resiliency, and ultimately they tell a story of survival.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]

Image of finger woven sash by Melody Mackin.
Finger woven sash
Image of breechcloths by Melody Mackin.
Breechcloths
Image of beaded bag by Melody Makin
Beaded bag with spider & web
Image of beaded bag by Melody Makin.
Beaded bag on wool
Image of beaded bag by Melody Makin.
Beaded flower on wool bag trimmed with ribbon

Weaving a thread through the 7 generations, Melody Walker, TEDx Stowe
Melody Walker gives an incredibly powerful and touching insight into rebirth of the Abenaki Elnu tribe. Finding pride in each other and hope for the future, Melody weaves a beautiful talk about finding one’s place in creation and community. 

Exhibits

2017

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

Presentations

  • Native History Month Program Coordinator, Champlain College, November 2016. Lectured in Native American Leadership and completed Cultural Awareness Training for Diversity Programmers
  • Affirming Traditions Conference Coordinator, Mt. Norris Boy Scout Reservation, October 22, 2016
  • Camel’s Hump Middle School Lecture/Workshop, Lake Carmi: Abenakis Throughout History and storytelling/drumming workshop over the campfire on September 24, 2016
  • Mount Norris Boy Scout Frontier’s Camp: Full days of arts and crafts workshops for a week long camp June-July 2016
  • Abenaki Heritage Weekend Lecture, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum: “Bringing History to Life” on June 27, 2015
  • Chittenden County School System: Personhood Lecture for educators and parents on June 24, 2015
  • Mount Norris Boy Scout Winter Camp: Full day of drumming workshops on March 7, 2015 for students traveling from all over New England
  • Encounter – Vermont Indigenous Culture for the Classroom: Full day lecture on November 9, 2014 for teachers from a variety of schools held at Endeavour School
  • Abenaki Heritage Weekend Presentation: “Haven Project: Seeds of Renewal,” June 28-29, 2014
  • Abenaki Spirituality: Class lecture at Middlebury College on January 21, 2014National Native Seeds School,MA: “Seeds of Renewal,” January 2014
  • Nancy Millette Doucet Memorial Lecture Series Presentations: Various full day lectures twice a semester regarding cultural revitalization topics, 2012-2014
  • Lead Like a Beaver Speaker Series Presentation: “A Shifting of the Glass: Indigenous Perspectives on Leadership,” December 2013
  • Echo Center Harvest Fest: “The House That Raven Built Storytime with Melody Brook” & “Fingerweaving with Melody Brook,” November 29, 2013
  • Champlain College Native American Heritage Month Presentation: “Native American Identity,” November 2013
  • UVM Native American Heritage Month Presentations: “Walking in Two Worlds” and “Rethinking Thanksgiving,” November 2013
  • UVM Continuing Education Diversity Series Presentation: “Identity in the Workplace Through an Abenaki Lens,” May 2013
  • UVM Abenaki Heritage Week Presentation: “Against the Darkness: Indigenous Identity Through the Ages,” April 2012
  • Lake Champlain Basin Program Love the Lake Series: “Abenaki Heritage Center – Haven Project,” February 2012
  • VASS Conference Making Sense of the World: “Haven Project: A Virtual Museum,” December 2011
  • Echo Center Indigenous Summit, Co-Coordinator, November 2011
  • Old Stone House Museum Time Traveler’s/Children’s Camp: “Abenaki History & Culture,” Summer 2009 & 2010
  • Lyndon State College My Story Matters Conference: “Walking in Two Worlds: The Wabanaki Experience,” Keynote speaker, April 2009
  • St. Michael’s College VT Quadricentennial Indigenous Conference, Co-Coordinator, May 2009

Film & Radio

  • Miricle, Irene, “Changeling, AKA Dawnland.” Miricle Girl Productions. 2009. DVD
  • Reger, Deborah. Moccasin Tracks . Recorded February 15, 2013. WGDR 91.1 FM . Web
  • Timrick, Ted. “Before The Lake Was Champlain.” Hidden Landscapes. 2009. DVD
  • Wiseman, Frederick M. Ph D. “1609: The Other Side of History.” 2009. DVD
  • Wertlieb,Mitch. “Interview: El-Nu citizen Melody Walker ” Recorded March 27,2009,  Vermont Public Radio
  • “Vermont Indigenous Celebration: Abenaki Singers – Interview with Abenakis Walker & Melody Brook – Abenaki Dancers, Takara Matthews & Josh Hunt.”  Recorded July, 11, 2009. Channel 17. Web

Awards

  • Cum Laude Honors (undergraduate)
  • ALANA Leadership Award (undergraduate)
  • 2009 Ally of the Year Award from the UVM Greek Community.

Affiliations

  • Atowi Project
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, Vice Chair  (2010-2012 and 2016-2017)
  • Native American Quadricentennial Advisory Committee (2008-2009)
  • WAOLOWZI Minority Health and Wellness Program (2006-2009)
  • Vermont Women’s History Project Steering Committee (2005-2007)
  • Voices Against Violence (2005)

Lori Lambert, PhD, DS

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Dr. Lori Lambert.
Lori Lambert, PhD, DS

Lori Lambert is a scriptwriter, photographer, writer, and researcher. In her spare tine she follows her passion of beading.  She has been beading for over 20 years. She learned her craft from the elders on the Flathead Indian Reservation, especially Rachel Bowers and Edna Finley, and from the great granddaughter of Wooden Legs, a Cheyenne Warrior.

She believes that anyone can learn to bead and that anything can be beaded. It takes patience, and a good sense of what the colors can express. She says, “It is important to have a peaceful heart and calm mind otherwise the work will have bad karma.” At Salish Kootenai College, where she is a professor and the Head of the Native American Studies Department, she has taught students to bead stethoscopes, medallions, dance dresses, and even moccasins. In addition to beading, Lori loves doing research, writing, traveling, and hosting television programs for KSKC-TV. She lives on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana with her husband, Dr. Frank Tyro and their band of sled dogs.

 Artist Statement

Although I enjoyed drawing and writing since I was a child, I never thought of myself as an artist.  To me artists were musicians, painters, dancers and their work was shown in museums or theaters. After I married my husband Frank, I paid more attention to Native cultural arts and took courses in reservation arts at Salish Kootenai College, where I teach.  Many of my friends are amazing bead workers and I continually aspire to their level of perfection.

 I have written and published six books.  They are all on amazon.com.  My latest book is entitled “Research for Indigenous Survival: Indigenous research methodologies in the behavioral sciences.  

 My husband Frank is filmmaker and broadcast engineer. As the scriptwriter, we have collaborated on several projects all of which won various awards from “Best Documentary Short” “Aurora”  “Aurora Platinum.” 

 Over the years I have learned that art is writing, bead working, powwow dancing, and script writing and doesn’t necessarily have to be shown in a museum or a theater. 

My most recent book, Children of the Stars: Indigenous Science Education in a Reservation Classroom was written in coordination with Ed Galindo. It is the story of students and a teacher, courage and hope. Written in a conversational style, it’s an accessible story about students who were supported and educated in culturally relevant ways and so overcame the limitations of an underfunded reservation school to reach great heights.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Image of beaded keychains by Lori Lambert.
Beaded keychains
Image of beadwork by Dr. Lori Lambert.
Beadwork
Image of detailed beading on dress by Dr. Lori Lambert
Detailed beadwork on dress

 Exhibits

 2017

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

2014

  • All of my Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World –  Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Western Montana Fair: Blue Ribbon for Katiya’s beaded harness
  • Art show at the Sand piper Art Gallery in Polson Montana
  • Salish Kootenai College Art exhibit/ Faculty Art exhibit

 Selected Publications

  •  Lambert, L. (2014). Research for Indigenous survival: Indigenous research methodologies in the behavioral sciences. Pablo: Salish /Kootenai Press
  •  Lambert, L. (2011). Two-Eyed Seeing: Indigenous Methodologies in Psychology. Paper accepted: International Congress for Qualitative Research
  • Lambert, L. (2011). Two-Eyed Seeing: Indigenous Methodologies in Psychology. Paper presented for the Eberhard Wenzel Oration. Australian Health Promotion Association Conference, Cairns, Qld, Australia
  • Lambert, L. (2011). Historical Trauma and Environmental Degradation as Health Disparities for Indigenous People. Keynote paper presented Health Promotion Association of Australia, Cairns, Australia
  •  Lambert, L. & Toby, R. (2009). Gungalu Warrior Dreaming: The biography of Robert Toby senior. Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia (Unpublished Manuscript at the Request of the Family)
  •  Lambert, L (2008). In Our Own Voice: 12 Narratives focusing on culture and health for Grades 8-12. Seattle, WA: University of Washington
  •  Lambert, L.,Wenzel, E. (2007). Issues in Indigenous Health in Critical Issues in Public Health. Ronald Labonte and Judith Greene (Eds). Routledge
  •  Lambert, L. (2005). Paper presented at the Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Conference, Cape Breton, Canada: Distance Education Providing College Courses for Remote Aboriginal students
  •  Lambert, L (2005).Cheyenne Daughter. Bloomington, IL: Authorhouse
  •  Lambert, L & Walsh, C. (2002). Heart of the Salmon, Spirit of the People: Ethnicity, Pollution, and Culture Loss. Bloomington: Author House
  •  Lambert, L.A. (2001). International Union for Health Promotion and Education Journal: Promotion and Education. Vol. viii/2-4. American Indian Partnerships: Historical and contemporary
  • Lambert, L. (2000). Keepers of the Central fire: Issues in Ecology for Indigenous Peoples. New York: National League of Nursing Press
  • Lambert, L. (1996). Through the Northern Looking Glass: Breast Cancer Stories told by Northern Native Women. New York: National League of Nursing Press


Awards & Honors (select list)

2014: Conference Chair: American Indigenous Research Association Conference

2013: Conference Chair: American Indigenous Research Association Conference

2013:

  • Founder and member: American Indigenous Research Association
  • Member: Indigenous Studies Research Network. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Tapestry Institute, Longmont, CO: Board President

2013: The International Women’s Leadership Association: Woman of Outstanding Leadership.

2012: American Indian College Fund Faculty of the Year for Salish Kootenai College

2011: American Indian College Fund Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship Award for Faculty Research

2009 Award: Outstanding Contribution to Distance Learning and Adult Education. The North Carolina State University

2009 Fulbright Scholar: China (6 weeks)

2005: Aurora Award- Platinum Best of Show Cultural Documentary: Lambert, L. & Tyro, F. (2003) Sacred Salmon. Documentary Produced by Salish Kootenai College Media Productions. Frank Tyro, Director, Lori Lambert, Script Writer.2003: Faculty Fellowship Award: United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service 2002: Faculty Development Award: Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences

 2002: Faculty Development Award: Canadian Embassy

 2001: Sloan –C National Award for “Excellence in Asynchronous Teaching”

 2001: Nominated for Outstanding Employee of the Year: Salish Kootenai College

1999: Course Award: Center for Theology and the Natural Science, Berkeley, Calif.: Science and Religion : Environmental Science and Indigenous Religions.1995 American Society for Canadian Studies in the United States: Nominated for the Distinguished Dissertation Award

1996: Canadian Embassy Research Grant

1995 The Union Institute: Nominated for the Sussman Award for Distinguished

Dissertation

1994: Canadian Embassy Graduate Student Fellowship

1988: The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA: Board    Award.

1982: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA: Outstanding Graduate Award.

1980: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA: Outstanding Graduate Award 1980

1979: Gladys Pearlstein Humanitarian Award: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Lina Longtoe

Enrolled Citizen of the ELNU ABENAKI TRIBE

Juried Artist since 2013

Image of Lina Longtoe.

Lina Longtoe grew up in a family of artists and was exposed to multiple traditional and contemporary artistic disciplines.   As a teenager, she realized so much culture was being lost with the passing of each Elder and sought to record history and traditions from older culture bearers. She began interviewing Elders, Chiefs, and artists. 

Her first documentary “Speaking to the Ancestors” was screened at the Vermont Indigenous Celebration in 2009. The documentary chronicled the growing cycle, history of and usages of traditional tobacco. 

Following the success of her first documentary, Lina created a short film series, which is on permanent exhibit at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. She has expanded her cultural documentation to the digital photography median as well. Lina’s films & photography have been exhibited in the Mid-Atlantic, New England states, and Canada. Lina also finger-weaves and twines.


Artist Statement

Through film, Lina Longtoe seeks to educate both Native and non-Native people alike through innovative shorts and featured length documentaries. Lina has served as the Elnu Abenaki Tribal Documentarian since she was a teenager.

Much of the Abenaki culture and it’s vast traditions are endangered with the passing of each Elder.  Lina strives to record our history at every opportunity.

Her Artisan Spotlight Series and Abenaki Short Film Series are on permanent exhibit at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, located in Vergennes, VT. They have also screened at the American Museum of Natural History, Chimney Point State Historic Site, The Fort at No. 4, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center and other sites across New England and Canada.

Lina is inspired by her grandfather who is a Culture Bearer of generations who  were raised to hide and be ashamed of their heritage. She realized the ongoing threat to the continuity of knowledge about their people, crafts, and oral traditions and decided to help preserve her culture.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: Askawobi Productions

YouTube: Lina Longtoe Channel

Facebook: facebook.com/askawobi

Twitter:twitter.com/askawobi

Image of movie poster called The Other Harvest.

On Going Exhibits

 2011 – present. Contact of Cultures, “Abenaki Short Film Series”  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2014 – present.   Northeast Woodland Fiber Arts, Mt Kearsage Indian Museum, Warner, NH

Limited Engagement Exhibits

2017

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

2016

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

2015

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

2014

  • Along the River, Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Giona Sezoha G’dakinna: We Paint Our Land, Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH 
  • Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • All My Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World – – Invitational Group Art Exhibit, Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH 

2013      

  • Featured Artist at the Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum, Ontairo, Canada
  • Indigenous Fibert Art,  MacDonell-Williamson House, Ontairo, Canada
  • Containers. Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

Film Screenings and Presentations

2009 – present    

Abenaki Short Film Series. American Museum of Natural History, NYC, NY

2016  

Abenaki Cultural Weekend. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.

2012     

  • Presenter, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • “Meet the Artist” and film screening, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, MA

2011    

Presenter, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2010    
Presenter, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2009    

  • Film Screening.  “Vermont Indigenous Celebration,” ECHO Lake Aquarium and  Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT

In Permanent Collections

  • “Abenaki Short Film Series,” Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Fiber Art Photo Collection,” Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Twined Weaving Photo,” MacDonell-Williamson House, Ontario, Canada

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Kerry R. Wood

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2016
Kerry Wood processing splint for basketmaking.
Kerry Wood processing splint for use in basketmaking.

Kerry Wood/Kalli Abazi is a citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation.  In 2016 she completed a 3 year apprenticeship program with Jeanne Brink through the Vermont Folklife Center Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program for making traditional Black Ash and Sweetgrass baskets. 

Elvine Obomsawin, Kerry’s Great-Grandmother, and her family made and sold baskets to tourists in Vermont in the early to mid-1900’s. Jeanne Brink is also Kerry’s cousin, and hearing the stories from their Obomsawin family heritage while learning basket making brought her past alive! When she is making baskets, she feels a deep connection with those who have gone before her, and is at peace and connected. Her husband helps prepare the ash by harvesting the ash trees and, with their son Aaron, pounds and splits the ash. The family works together to create the materials for baskets from the harvest of the tree to the final project.

Kerry has baskets on display at the Vermont Maritime Museum, The Abenaki display at the Burlington Airport, and at the Bennington Museum. Black Ash and baskets remain a critical aspect of Abenaki culture and heritage. They are part of Ndakinna, our land. Kerry teaches Abenaki people and others the history and craft of Abaznodaka as well as the language of the Abenaki people, Alnôbaôdwa, so the culture and heritage will continue. She is also collaborating with people across Vermont to help combat the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer, which threatens the very existence of the Black Ash trees. Basket making is part of the Abenaki soul and heritage, and it is critical to ensure it is never lost.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Traditional Abenaki Basket
Image of ash and sweetgrass basket.
Ash and sweetgrass basket
Image of ash basket by Kerry R. Wood.
Ash Basket

Demonstrations (as an Apprentice with Master Basketmaker Jeanne Brink)

2016

  • Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College
  • Native American Program, Dartmouth College
  • Vermont History Exposition, Tunbridge, VT

2015

  • Abenaki History Day, Hartford, VT
  • Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Native American Program, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Saratoga Native American Festival, Saratoga, NY

2014

  • Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Native American Program, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Vermont History Exposition, Tunbridge, VT

Awards

2013, 2014, 2015 

  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, Vermont Folk Life Center. Middlebury, VT

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

June Roberts Wesley

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist
Image of June Roberts Wesley.
June Roberts Wesley

June Roberts Wesley, like many artisans before her,  had an affinity for drawing and painting. No surprise her favorite class in school was Art Class! She had an eclectic interest in many mediums, including silversmithing and painting.  During her high school tenure she began to explore more traditional Native art forms and bought her first beading loom.

She attended her first pow wow at Dartmouth college and was enthralled with a whole new world opening up for her. She was fortunate to have her early work on display at an All Native art show for high school students and one of her drawings was chosen to be the graphics on the pow wow poster for the Dartmouth event.

June has settled into the sewing and designing of dance outfits using applique as her “paint”, creating colorful contemporary powwow dance clothes for dancers all over the US and Canada, including a former Miss Indian World. She also enjoys beading and sequin work. She is currently working on a traditional fully beaded top for a client as well as other custom orders. She is also helping to make a traditional Apache dress for a young lady’s Sunrise Ceremony, a coming of age celebration for Apache girls as they come into womanhood.

June lives in Arizona with her husband Fred in the beautiful Apache homeland enjoys the always dramatic surroundings in the Southwest desert.


Artist Statement

I have always been drawn to color and being able to design and sew powwow dance outfits or bead items for a living is pretty extraordinary!  My mom always encouraged me, even allowing me to paint murals all over my bedroom. ..how cool is that for a little girl? Get me in a fabric store or bead shop and I just get excited at the possibilities…..

I am so grateful to those who enjoy my work and to those who encouraged me through the years, especially my friend Amisa Yellowbird who spent countless hours with me, teaching me new techniques and brainstorming ideas.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Image of child's regalia by June Roberts Wesley.
Child’s regalia
Image of detail on skirt by June Roberts Wesley.
Detail on wrap skirt
Image of detail of First Nations Women Warriors Dresses by June Roberts Wesley.
Detail of First Nations Women Warriors Dresses
Image of regalia by June Roberts Wesley.
Regalia

Jon Manitouabe8ich

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2015
Image of Jon Manitouabe8ich.

Jon Manitouabe8ich is a well-known graphic artist and musician with a heart for serving the Native community. His creative and unique style of art is sought by many businesses and organizations for designing logos and advertising for marketing campaigns. As a musician, he and his band create a variety of music in many different languages – an artistic approach that causes his music to be appealing to a wide range of interests.

Jon is now working on refining his skills in jewelry-making as well as crafting other types of Native American items. His strong desire to hold to the customs of his family is evident by all he does.

Jon Manitouabe8ich is also a writer. With six books published at Éditions Kizos, the writing work has taken up much of his interest and time. Literary essay, initiatory novel, tales, the collection grows from year to year. You can find the links on his Facebook page.


Artist Statement

I’ve been creating art since I was born. My parents taught me the basic techniques and I quickly develop my own work methods. I studied graphic design in which I hold a diploma. Since then I make my living in art.

In addition to this work, I also create music. In 2007, I founded the music band called Black Lizards. I have a recording studio so I can create music with other amazing artist. In this circle everyone is equal and I refused to take center stage. My vision is that each one of us is a part of a circle and nothing is possible without each other. Our music has no particular style. The songs are written in different languages so that everyone feels comfortable. Since the beginning of the adventure with the Black Lizards, I had the chance to invite several artists to participate to share the same vision of Love, Compassion and Gratitude.

The earth is loaned to us and we need to improve it as a legacy to our children. It is only trough the transmission of values such as respect for others that we will find balance in this world so that we may live in harmony. These values that we teach others must come from within ourselves.

Image of graphic design poster by Jon Manitouabe8ich.
Image of Red Urban Project logo by Jon Manitouabe8ich .
Red Urban Project logo
Image of Logo created by Jon Manitouabe8ich.

Books

Image of book by Jon Manitouabe8ich.
Image of book by Jon Manitouabe8ich.
Image of book by Jon Manitouabe8ich.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.soundcloud.com/black-lizards

Facebook: www.facebook.com/blacklizardsofficial    

www.facebook.com/manitouabe8ichart

John Hunt

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2016
Image of John Hunt.

John Hunt grew up in the farm country of Vermont. When he was young, his father would tell him about his native heritage and about how their ancestors had lived. John enjoyed imaging how it was long, long ago as well as how his grandfathers lived more recently. He saw how life used to be made up of your own two hands. Whether it was tools needed for farming or hunting or things you would need around the house like bowls and baskets it all had to be made by someone’s skilled hands.

This inspired John to have a relationship to life like his family had always had. To know how to make what he needed from the land around him. When he looked back at many of the tools of our ancestors, he saw they were created not only to be functional but beautiful as well. He was inspired by that way of being and has chosen to live his life in that way. Though he has tried and practiced many art forms, he has focused most on carving, basketry, and pyrography.


ARTIST STATEMENT

I have been creating art since I was a child, but since the age of 18, it has become a very strong focus in my life.  Though I have never had one primary teacher, I have learned through many people over the years as well as through my own personal practice.

Carving: For my carving, I use many types of wood. For kitchen utensils, I like to use a hardwood like black walnut,

Image of gourd bowls with corn.
Gourd bowls with corn made by John Hunt

black cherry, apple, maple, etc. and for more figure/ sculpture carving I use soft woods like white pine or cedar.

Basketmaking: My family members were basket makers that sold their wares around northern VT. However, there is no longer anyone in my direct family practicing this art, so I have sought out many different teachers over the years. Though I haven’t formally studied with anyone, I have spent time with many different basket makers around Vermont. I primarily make bark and willow baskets. For the willow, I gather from a few locations by my home that grows nice long rods, and I tend these patches. For my bark baskets, I prefer pine, and I keep my eye out for trees that have fallen over during the winter and peel their bark in the spring.

To create my art, I use modern hand tools. However, I gather all of my materials from the natural world. My art is an expressive outlet for me and a connection to my ancestors. I really enjoy making things that have a function as a spoon but going beyond function and giving it a unique beauty. I find inspiration for my crafts in nature around me. I try to have my crafts showcase and lead to the innate majesty of the plants, animals, and elements.

Pyrography: Over the last several years, I have studied traditional Wabanaki designs and the images I see in nature. From these studies, I create my designs. I grow the gourds that I use and gather soft woods for my pyrography.

Image of spruce and bark baskets.
Spruce and bark baskets made by John
Image of cranberry and skunk bean necklace
Handmade true Vermont cranberry and skunk bean necklace
Image of handmade wooden spoons.
Handmade wooden spoons

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]


MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITS

Currently
Part of the permanent collection of Abenaki Cultural items at the Burlington International Airport, Vermont.

2017
Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

AFFILIATIONS

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Jim Taylor

Enrolled Citizen of the ELNU ABENAKI TRIBE

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Jim Taylor.
Jim Taylor – Photo courtesy of Adam Sings in the Timber

I am a Tribal Councilman and citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe of Southern Vermont which recently was granted State Recognition after years of battling with both the State & Federal Governments. I also descend from the Eastern Cherokee my Fathers people who reside in Kentucky.

Artist, Eastern Quillworker, & Wampum, I have been involved with various art forms since I was a small child, with the help from my recently deceased maternal Aunt she fostered the talent the Creator blessed us both with.

I am currently employed as a Graphic Designer designing Police, Fire, Federal, & International Law Enforcement badges; for past 28 years.

I currently reside in Rhode Island with my wife Claudine and two daughters, Ashley age 22 and Jillian age 16 along with our Golden Retriever Abby. My Tribal duties in Vermont do take me away from home many weekends throughout the year which my wife is very understanding. The many reasons are is it’s what’s needed to build a better future for the next 7 generations of my people; I thank her and my 2 girls for their patience and understanding.

I have been doing Eastern style quillwork for the past 26 years along with other various native related beadwork and crafts and most recently learning how to create wampum beads from quahog & whelk shells. My quill work began when I became more involved with Living History/ Native Interpreting at French & Indian Living History events. The Abenaki played an important role as Allies with the French during that period. As I became more proficient, my quillwork became more sought after by other Living History people as well as other Native people.

My quillwork has been featured in numerous articles and magazines & books; also my work has been displayed in the Mingei International Museum of Folk Art in San Diego, CA, and currently I have an Underwater Panther bag on permanent display in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, NY. My work has also have been in various local Art shows in RI as well.

I hope to continue doing quill work and to become more proficient in the wampum bead work as well, my hope is to pass this onto future generations of youth within my tribe along with possibly getting future grants to allow me to travel west to Washington State to share how to do quillwork and wampum making with Native Artists in the Communities there with the hope of learning some of their traditional crafts like Cedar Hat making and Cedar carving to share with my tribe Elnu and others here on the East Coast.


Future work:

I am currently trying to organize a Multi-Eastern Tribal Canoe Journey on the Connecticut River beginning at its head waters in Canada to where it spills out into Long Island Sound. This Journey will be mirrored to the same one held annually out west in Washington by the Salish Coastal peoples. My hope is that this will be a Journey to inspire our youth to make them stronger physically, mentally as well as spiritually; this will be a journey for ALL ages. We along with others here in New England hope to have a smaller version to start with by sometime next year; I urge all eastern peoples / Tribes to contact us if they are interested in being part of this hopefully Annual event. We can be reached via Facebook at Kwinitekw Canoe Journey https://www.facebook.com/groups/248209231873305/ or my Email at [email protected]

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: Quillwork by Swift Fox

Image of quillwork detail on bag by Jim Taylor.
Detailed quillwork on bag
Image of carved bone combs made by Jim Taylor.
Carved bone combs
Image of quilled knife sheath and bag.
Quilled knife sheath and bag
Image of wampum pendant.
Wampum Pendant

 Exhibits

2017

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

2016

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

2015

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

2014     

  • First Light: Native American Artists from New England, The Flanagan Campus Art Gallery, RI
  • Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • All My Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World – Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

2013      

Like Breathing: Native American Beading and Quillwork.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum,  Warner, NH

2012     

Quilled Underwater Panther Bag.  American Museum of Natural History, NYC, NY  

2000      

Arrow of the Spirit. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA

Publications

  • Jones, Paul R.  “Quillworkers 2: The Tradition Continues.” Muzzleloader, Nov/Dec 1999, 40
  • Dubin, Lois Sherr.  North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to Present Concise Edition, Harry N Abrams Incorporated, NYC, NY. 2003. 71

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Woodland Confederacy

Jessee Lawyer

Enrolled Citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Jesse Lawyer.
Jessee Lawyer

Jessee Lawyer is an enrolled citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi. He i the head chef at Sweetwaters in Burlington and caters special events. As a culinary artist he creates indigenous specialties using Wabanaki ingredients.

Jesse descends from a long line of Indigenous artists. He continues his family tradition as one of the last two Native families in the Northeast who continue to make miniature horsetail coiled baskets. Jessee also hand carves traditional soapstone pipes and contemporary soapstone sculptures. He draws great inspiration from his father who taught him how to carve. As he continues to polish his skills, he is being mentored by two VAAA artists.

 

Artist Statement

As a child, I spent many nights watching my father create art. He worked in many mediums; he was well known for his moccasins and homes that he built. His attention to detail captivated and inspired me. Hand carved feathers and chip carving around doors and windows, decorative stitching graced his moccasins, and subtle lines touched his pipes. He would tell me stories of my grandfather who made miniature horsehair baskets, woodcarvings and would cast miniature animals out of bronze. I absorbed as much knowledge and wisdom as I could from my father and cannot thank him enough for preparing me with the skills and love needed to continue our Abenaki traditions before he passed on to the spirit world.

I have only recently started carrying on my family traditions as well as creating my own style. I try to experiment with many mediums but am focusing on horsehair baskets and soapstone pipes and sculptures for the moment, with moccasins shortly.  I feel a deep connection to both the plant and animal worlds, and try to incorporate them as much as possible in my art, honoring all they provide for us.

 With the knowledge that has been passed to me from previous generations, I have been blessed with the gift of a child on the way. Now there is another generation to carry on our cultural traditions, and another art form for me all-together.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Image of Cranberry and maple cured duck breast, wild rice, Vermont cranberry bran & butternut ragout, boiled cornbread, and house blueberry and vinegar reduction.
Cranberry and maple cured duck breast, wild rice, Vermont cranberry bran & butternut ragout, boiled cornbread, and house blueberry and vinegar reduction
Image of Jacobs cattle beans, cured duck breast ham, and maple syrup baked in Blue Hubbard Squash.
Jacobs cattle beans, cured duck breast ham, and maple syrup baked in Blue Hubbard Squash
Image of Salt and smoked maple glazed bear jerky.
Salt and smoked maple glazed bear jerky

Exhibits

2016

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

2015

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

2014     

  • Eastern Woodland Fiber Arts (permanent exhibit), Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • “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.

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, Committee Member since 2013

Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Jeanne Morningstar Kent.
Jeanne Morningstar Kent

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 citizen of the  Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation 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.”

Image of Morningstar's studio.

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 Bachelor 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.

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)


Image of gourd artwork by Jeanne Morningstar Kent
Gourd artwork
Gourd rattle with double curve designs.
Gourd rattle
Image of gourd with double curve design and butterfly.
Gourd with double curve design and butterfly
Image of gourd with dreamcatcher.
Image of gourd with dreamcatcher and deer antlers

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: Fine Wabanaki Art by Morningstar


MUSEUMS AND PERMANENT COLLECTIONS

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

  • Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian Studies, imagiNATIONS 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
  • 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

2017

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

2016

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

2015

Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy 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. Institute 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 Group Shows

  • Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden, NH Group Show, Artworks Gallery, CT Group Show, Arlene
  • McDaniels Gallery, CT
  • Bushnell Theater Gallery, CT
  • Gallows Book Store and Gallery at Trinity College, CT
  • “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

Other Accomplishments

  • 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

  • Chimney Point Museum, VT
  • ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center , Burlington, VT
  • 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.  Gourds: 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
  • Institute for American Indian Studies, Native Advisory Board, Committee Member
  • American Gourd Society
  • Northwest Connecticut Arts Council

Frederick M. Wiseman, P.h.D.

Enrolled Citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Juried Artist since 2013
Dr. Fred Wiseman smiling.

Fred Wiseman teaches Wabanaki decorative arts, ceremonial oratory, dance and song based on historical precedent, but adapted for modern venues and audience.

His most recent (2010-) work focuses on the choreography, stagecraft, regalia and ceremonial accoutrements for dances and ceremonies associated with the agricultural and ceremonial calendar, from Winter solstice observances through spring planting ceremonies, to the various sun dances through the green corn and harvest supper observances. However, in the past, he has worked in other media and formats from “fashion shows” to ceremonial gaming, to the crafting of arms and armor.

Fred uses whatever is necessary to accomplish the goal, from set (stage) design to rock and shell carving to clothing to video and printed word.


Artist Statement

I am a scholar and artist whose purpose is to connect the Indigenous Peoples of Vermont and their environs to their stylistic heritage by all means necessary, whether it be through film/graphic arts, the performing arts or the decorative arts.  Professional goals and objectives revolve first around repatriation, the converting of written data, or archival music artifacts and imagery held by Euroamerican institutions into formats and systems of knowing usable by Indigenous people and organizations for cultural reclamation and revitalization.  Second, it incorporates tradition and revelation as guideposts in this work.  Third it incorporates going beyond recaptured tradition to synthesize antique materials and motifs with the contemporary, to envision an alternative, syncretic stylistic world that could answer –“what if Genocide of Northeastern Natives had been less complete?”  Southwestern and Plains Native styles rooted in deep time arts tradition flourish in the West, why not allow this to happen in Indigenous Vermont? 

My work is not available for sale to the Euroamerican public, it exclusively produced for tribal governments, organizations and citizens and lent or given at no cost to the recipient.  The artist’s designs and productions, ranging from regalia to wampum belts and collars belong to the Pleasant Point and Indian Township Governors (ME), The Citizens of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs (ME), the Grand Chief of the Seven Nations at Akwesasne (NY), and the Chiefs and Tribal Councils of Missisquoi, Nulhegan and Koasek (VT). 

However, my work has been exhibited and studied over the years at the various venues listed below.


Contact

Email: [email protected]

Image of graphic design by Dr. Wiseman.
Frederick Wiseman, Graphic Designer, 2013

Exhibit, event  and performance history: 

1994    “The Spirit of the Abenaki.”  Chimney Point Historic Site. Jewelry and sculpture.

1994-1995  “The Light Of the Dawn.”  Chimney Point Historic Site. Jewelry and wood sculpture

1995 

  • “Shamans, Magicians and the Busy Spider”  Rochester Museum of Art. Rochester, NY. Jewelry and wood sculpture.
  • “Abenaki Dawn”  American Indian Institute.  Washington, CT. Jewelry and wood sculpture.

1996 

  • “Light from the Dawnland”  San Diego Museum of Man.  San Diego, CA. Jewelry and wood

       sculpture.

1998- 2008 Abenaki Tribal museum, Swanton, VT (All museum installations)

1999 The Great Council Fire Performance. The Akwesasne Cultural Center (NY)

2001 

  • “Wabanaki Wampum”  Old York (ME)  Historical Society. Wampum belts
  •  “Notes from the Underground”  Shelburne Museum.  Stone wampum, wood

2001 Kanien’kehaka Raotitionhkwa Culture Centre (Kahnawake QC) “Seven and Six (Nations) Exhibit.

2001-2003 New Hampshire Historical Society Museum, various exhibits and event)

2004     “Wabanaki Memories.  Missisquoi Valley HS Stone, Wampum, wood.

2004 Museé des Abénakis (QC) (my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)

2005   

  • Great Council Fire Exhibition Museé des Abénakis.  Wampum and stonework.
  •  “Against the Darkness” Screened at the Museé des Abénakis (Odanak, QC), March 22, 2005
  • “Against the Darkness” Screened at Mashentucket Pequot Museum. Mashentucket, CT.  Oct. 16, 2005
  •   “Against the Darkness” (35 Minute digital video) Screened at the Vermont Archaeological Society, Oct. 1, 2005

2007 

  • “The Material Heritage of 17th Century Vermont.  Lake Champlain Quadricentennial “Workshop” St. Michael’s College, June 13, 2007

2007-2013 The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, June, Indigenous Heritage Celebration (also           my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)

2008 Passamaquoddy Section of the Downeast Heritage Museum, (ME) (my materials are on            permanent exhibit there)

2010  ECHO Science Center and Lake Aquarium, Materials of Culture: 10,000 years of Abenaki             Attire (also my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)

2010

  • Indian Township Museum (ME), (my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)
  • Wapohnaki Museum (ME) “Language and Object” Exhibit and Discussion.

2011    “Before the Lake Was Champlain” Screened at the New England Antiquities Research             Association Conference, Burlington, VT. October 2011

2013   

  • “1609:the other side of history.” Screened at the Swanton 250th Anniversary
  •  “Dinner and a Movie” Program. Swanton, VT, April 28, 2013

2014     

  • Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • All My Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH.

2015

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

2016

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


Publications 

1987  

  • Mapping antiques.  Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro ME. Feb. 14-15C.
  • Folk art and antiques: a different view.  Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro, ME
  • The case of the peripatetic candleholder.  Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro, ME July 34-35 B.

1990   Some Queen Anne furniture of the Federal Period.  Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro ME

Jan.1991  

  • “The Colchester Jar” pp. 98-99; “Quillwork trinket box; thimble cover, notions basket and pincushion”; “Beaded reticule” pp. 178-183; “Rectangular bark container”, pp. 204-205; and “Tipi and canoe”, pp. 216-217.  In Graff, N.P.
  •  Celebrating Vermont: Myths and Realities.University Press of New England.Hanover
  • American Indian Art and Native Americans. Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro, ME

1994  

  • Bapwoganal Alnobaiwi: The Games of Wôbanakik  Cedarwood Press.  Underhill, VT.  3 figures. 10 pp.
  • Ngwegigaden, an Abenaki year.(11″ X 17″ Three-color poster and accompanying handbook). Cedarwood Press.  Underhill, VT
  • Wôbanakik(11″ X 17″ Three-color poster map and accompanying handbook) Cedarwood Press.  Underhill, VT
  • We were always here. (9″ X 17″ Two-color poster and accompanying handbook) Cedarwood Press.  Underhill, VT 

1995   

  • The Gift of the Forest. Ethan Allen Homestead Abenaki Handbook Series # 1. Lane Press.  Burlington, VT. 10 figures. 12pp.
  • Wôbanakik, the Ancient Land of the Dawn. (18″ X 24″ Four-color map and accompanying handbook)  Cartography by Kevin Ruelle.  Horseman Press.  Burlington, VT  
  •  Wild Plant Foods of the Abenaki.  Ethan Allen Homestead Abenaki Handbook  Series # 2. Lane Press. Burlington, VT. 12 pp.
  •  Abenaki Clothing  Ethan Allen Homestead Abenaki Handbook Series  # 3. Lane Press.  Burlington, VT. 7 figures. 12pp.
  • An Annotated bibliography and resources list for Abenaki studies.  Cedarwood Press. Underhill, VT.  22 pp.
  •   “New Abenaki Booklets available.”  in The Oracle.  Summer, 1995.  Ethan Allen Homestead.            Burlington VT.  p. 3.
  • “A view from within”  Vermont Humanities.  Winter 1994-95.  Vt. Council on the Humanities, Hyde Park, VT. p. 6.

1996     History in beads.  Historic Roots. Pp. 25-30  Montpelier, VT.

1997     

  • Linda Pearo, Frederick Wiseman, Madeline Young and Jeff Benay.   New Dawn: The Western Abenaki, a Curricular Framework for the Middle Level. Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union Title IX Indian Education Program, 14 First St. Swanton, VT 05488

1997      Wobobial. (18X26 pictorial poster and accompanying handbook)  Abenaki Tribal Museum.      Lane Press, Burlington

2000     The Abenaki and the Winooski.  In  L. Krawitt.  The Mills at Winooski Falls. Onion  River Press.              Pp. 7-10 Winooski

2001     The Voice of the Dawn University Press of New England.  Hanover, NH.

2003    

  • “Abenaki”, “Abenaki Heritage Days” p. 31; “Mahicans” pp. 194-195;
  • “Missisquoi Village” p. 207; 
  • “Winoskik” 327  in  Duffy, J, S. hand and R. Orth.  Vermont Encyclopedia  University Press of New England, Hanover
  •  “Truthless”.  Seven Days, Sept. 10-17, 2003. p. 4A
2005   
  • The Wabanaki World Vol. I : Decolonizing a taken prehistory of the Far Northeast   University Press of New England
  • Blom, Deborah, James Petersen and —–  “Repatriation and Monument Road:            
  • Abenaki and archaeologists efforts to find a solution.”  In Jordan Kerber.  Cross Cultural              Collaboration. University of Nebraska Press

2008    

  • “Changeling” Video, Miraclegirl Productions.  1522 Harvard Street Apartment 5, Santa Monica, CA (Producer)
  • “Calumet to crisis and back.” (Video) Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union Office of Indian Education (Producer/Director/Filmographer)

2009     

  • At Lake Between.  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, VT, Champlain Tech Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, VT
  • “1609: The other side of history. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT  (Producer/Director)

2009     “1609: Quadricentennial Curriculum”  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum lcmm.org/navigating

2010     

  • Baseline 1609.  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, VT
  • “Before the Lake Was Champlain” Hidden Landscapes Productions  1 Hewins  Farm Rd.,              Wellesley, MA  (Co-Producer)
  • “The New Antiquarians” Hidden Landscapes Productions  1 Hewins Farm Rd., Wellesley, MA 02481 (Co-Producer) 

2011   

  • ____ and Melody Walker. The Abenakis and their Neighbors: Teachers and Interpreters resources. Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. Montpelier, VT.

2012   

  •  Reclaiming Western Wabanaki Ceremony: A Handbook for Cultural Revitalization.  Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT  Indigenous Vermont  Series 2012:8. 313pp.2013
  • Theo Panadis sings Wabanaki songs. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:4. CD
  •  Wabanaki Confederacy political and ceremonial songs. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT  Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:5.
  •  Wabanaki Songs: Fun, Dance and Ceremony. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT  Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:6
  • Lets Learn Abenaki Songs I. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:8.n.d.        P
  • Proposed K-12 Curriculum on Indigenous Vermont Studies Manuscript housed in the Wôbanakik Heritage Center archives

Awards:

1998        Highest ceremonial honors, Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi

2001        Great Peace of Montreal Honor Ceremony and Honor Inscription Museé de Montreal, Montreal, QC

2002        Keynote Speaker, Native American Studies in New England, University of  New Hampshire

2005        Wampum Carrier, Seven Fires Alliance, Akwesasne Reserve, NY

2007        Keynote address.  Vermont Alliance for Social Studies, Burlington, VT December, 7, 2007

2009        “Governor’s Award”  Vermont Lake Champlain International Ceremony  July 11, 2009

2010       

  • Appreciation Ceremony. Missisquoi Abenaki Swanton, VT
  • Silver Astrolabe Award Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission

2011       Appreciation Ceremony. Missisquoi Abenaki Swanton, VT.

2012      

  • Elnu Tribe Honor Ceremony Recipient of Gratitude. Basin Harbor, VT
  • Nulhegan Band Honor Ceremony. Basin Harbor VT

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Francine Poitras Jones

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Francine Poitras Jones

Francine Poitras Jones has been an artist from the time she held her first crayon. She was never satisfied with just staying within the lines; she enjoyed shading and blending colors. Francine started painting with oils at the age of 21. She took a short course in art through a program offered by the city. From there, she discovered acrylic paints and enjoys adding bark, sand, twigs, shells, and other “found” items to her paintings.

Francine is also the illustrator of two children’s books. She collaborated with Brian Chenevert to illustrate a coloring book, Abenaki Animals and most recently, they have collaborated again on the storybook  Swift Deer’s Spirit Game, which is available on Amazon.

She retired from a career in marketing and copy editing to pursue a second career substitute teaching grades K through 5. She also presents Abenaki educational programs. Her artwork is featured in Abenaki curriculum materials, exhibitions, and is used for illustrating books. As well, Francine is currently an educator for the Abenaki Arts & Education Center.

Artist Statement

Like so many other native artists, my favorite subjects are from nature, and my paintings show my passion for Mother Earth. I have drawn and painted almost as long as I can remember. Being able to express my heritage through art is a real gift from Creator.

I especially enjoy painting on wood. I like to frame my work using twigs and other items from nature, including leather. I enjoy working with leather and make pouches, fashioning them from the way the piece of leather looks and letting my imagination run wild.

Image of Doris Mayne in her regalia.
Doris Mayne in her regalia.

In addition to painting and making leather pouches, I make regalia. In 2014, I made my mother’s first regalia from her head (headband) to her toes (beaded moccasins), including her dance fan, dress, and shawl. She was 86 years old at the time and had never danced in the circle because she had never been allowed to express her identity as an Abenaki woman. She crossed over in 2021 just two days before her 94th birthday. I am so happy that she had a chance to dance in the circle and show the world who she was. It will always be one of my fondest memories.

 Contact

Email: [email protected]

Etsy Store: BlueWolfCrafts

Acrylic painting of a water scene with many shades of blues and greens.
Water is Life
Image of wave painted with pastels by Francine Poitras Jones.
Crashing Wave
Image of beaded moccasins and peaked cap made by Francine Poitras Jones
Beaded Moccasins and peaked cap
Image of beaded Possibles Bag by Francine Poitras Jones.
Beaded Possibles Bag
Image of 18th Century Abenaki Couple painted by Francine Poitras Jones.
18th Century Abenaki Couple
Image of wall hanging by Francine Poitras Jones.
Great Blue Heron wall hanging

 


Exhibits

2021

  • “Abenaki People Emerging From the Ashes”, show and sale, Two Villages Art Society: Gallery, Contoocook, NH
  • Group Show, Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT
  • Nebizun: Water is Life, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT
  • Perquiman Art League Gallery, Hertford, NC

2017-2020

  • Burlington International Airport – Abenaki Exhibit
  • Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
  • Perquiman Art League Gallery, Hertford, NC

2019

  • Group show office of Bernie Sanders, Washington, DC
  • Nebizun: Water is Life, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT
  • Babaskwahomwôgan: The Spirit Game. Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT

2016

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

2015

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

2014

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

2010 – 2011

Friday Night at the Arts, Petersburg Regional Art Center, Petersburg, VA

Available for Purchase

Etsy Shop: BlueWolfCrafts

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Abenaki Arts and Education Center
  • Perquimans Art League in North Carolina

Diane Stevens

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist
Image of Diane Stevens

My Love for nature photography was a natural progression of my love for travel.  A friend of mine joined the Peace Corps and encouraged me to join her for a two-week adventure in Namibia and Zambia, Africa.  Thus began an incredible photographic journey.  Vermont’s abundant wild life and beauty have enable me to hone my craft. 

Hiking and back water kayaking have led to incredible, yet at times challenging, photographic opportunities. Continued travels in New England, Florida, and Peru have expanded my appreciation of all nature has to offer. I recently won best in color at the Seaba Artists Exhibit.


Contact

Email: [email protected]

Store: Diane Stevens Photography

Image of Camels Hump.
Camel’s Hump
Peruvian love birds in vibrant colors by Diane Stevens.
Love Birds in Peru
Monkey staring at the camera - taken by Diane Stevens.
Peruvian Monkey

Exhibits

2016 to present

Indefinite Exhibit at Trinity Church in Shelburne, Vermont 

2017

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

2016

Solo photography show at Charlotte Senior Center . Charlotte, VT.

SEABA (Arts Alive) photography exhibit at One Main Street, Burlington, Vt

Documentary

2015

Photos utilized in Wabanaki Confederacy Documentary

Awards

 2017

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Best in Color for Nature’s Pallet. Annual Open Photography Exhibit . Arts Alive.

Billie Jo Garfield

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki

Juried Artist since 2016

Image of Billie Jo Garfield

Billie Jo is an avid seamstress who enjoys making regalia. She is known in her community as a seamstress who makes dresses and skirts, ribbon shirts, shawls, leggings, and even traditional coats.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected] 


Image of Ribbon Dress, Shawl and Leggings.
Ribbon Dress, Shawl, and Leggings
Image of ribbon shirt.
Ribbon shirt
Image of Cherokee-style tear dress.
Cherokee-style tear dress

Art Markets

2016

Annual Native American Weekend/Abenaki Heritage Celebration, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes,  VT

2015

Wabanaki Confederacy Conference, Shelburne, VT.

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Bill Gould

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014

Image of Bill and Sherry Gould
Bill and Sherry Gould

Bill Gould lives in Warner, NH with his wife Sherry. They were both born and raised in New Hampshire. Together they raised their two daughters in Warner. Bill is a lumberman by trade. They celebrate their Abenaki heritage and love making beautiful baskets.

Together Sherry and Bill studied utilitarian Abenaki basket-making in 2006 under master artist Newt Washburn of Bethlehem, NH. Bill has taught Steve Lewko Abenaki utility basket making for two years through an award from the NH Arts Council, Traditional Arts program.

In 2011 Bill, together with Jesse Lacquer started the NH/VT Abenaki Basketmakers Alliance. Bill and his wife, Sherry, work to maintain basketmaking as part of Abenaki culture through teaching other Abenaki through the traditional arts programs in New Hampshire and Vermont.

 Artist Statement

I like to make baskets. My life and livelihood revolves around wood. Basket making ties my love of wood to my Native American heritage. I got started back when my wife needed molds and tools to make her baskets. Eventually, I worked with Newt Washburn; I learned to identify brown ash trees, cut them, pound them and prepare the wood into strips for splints and weavers or handles or rims.

I love working with a crooked knife; it allows me to feel the wood. Newt taught me to try different methods and do what works best for me. I like a certain method of joining my swing handles; instead of using a small brass nail, I weave a tail of the wood through itself. I think that works good. It is especially rewarding for me to hold a finished basket in my hands, knowing that I have made good choices about using the right pieces of wood and preparing them with skill.

In my daily work, I harvest trees, saw them into boards, provide slabs for boiling sap to syrup, provide lumber to build things like houses or furniture, renovate my home and heat my house with it. Basket making requires no modern technology to create something visually pleasing that is as functional today as it was 200 years ago. I want to do my part to preserve this timeless culture. When people see my basket, I’d like them to see its art form and to see themselves using it.

Contact Info

Note: The Goulds do not have a store; however, they will accept custom orders.

Email:  [email protected]

Image of Toboggan made of Ash, Cherry, & Birdseye Maple
Toboggan made of Ash, Cherry, & Birdseye Maple by Bill Gould
Image of Lamp Shade Basket made by Bill Gould.
Lamp Shade Basket
Image of Fish Creel with Leather Straps made by Bill Gould.
Fish Creel with Leather Straps
Image of bicycle basket made by Bill Gould.
Bicycle basket

 


Demonstrations

 2013

  • Discovering Your Native American Roots, Franklin Pierce Homestead, Hillsboro, NH
  • Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Harvest Moon Festival,  Warner, NH
  •  Lee Farm Fiber Festival  

2012     

  • Nulheganaki. Island Pond, VT
  • Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Harvest Moon Festival,  Warner, NH

 2011 

  • “New Hampshire Open Doors”
  •  Harvest Moon Festival,  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Town of Holderness 250th Celebration, Holderness, NH
  • The Hillsboro Historical Society., Hilsboro, NH
  • Franklin Pierce Homestead,  ,NH

2010   

Cornish Fair, Cornish, NH

2009    

League Of NH Craftsmen Fair

2008

Saratoga Native American Festival, Saratoga, NY


Exhibits

2014     

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

2011     

Basket Trail, Warner Historical Society, Warner, NH.

2010     

  • Baskets and Boxes, Gallery 205, LNHC, Concord, NH
  • New England-Based Indigenous Artists, Diamond Library, UNH, Durham, NH
  • Walking with Us – Honoring the Northeast Native American Heritage, Mill Brook 

Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH.

2009     

  • Tomorrow’s Masters, Hopkinton Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH
  • First People of the Northeast, Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH

2007

Gallery 205, League of New Hampshire Craftsman (LNHC), Concord, NH.

Consultations

  •  “Abenaki Basket Trail” Organizing consultant, sponsored by Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Hopkinton Historical Society, Newbury Historical Society, Warner Historical Society, New Hampshire Historical Society (2009-2011)
  •  “Hillsboro, NH Living History Event” Implementing a Native American component to this annual event. For 2011 funding from the NH Council on the Arts paid three Native American artists to present. For 2012 historic presentation of an early 19th century Abenaki basket maker tourist camp with sales will be integrated to the program on Jones Road. (2010 – present)
  • “Holderness 250th Anniversary” Arranged Native American artisians to demonstrate beadwork, basketmaking and flute making. Also a woods walk, “The Feast at our Feet” (2011)

 Awards

  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Steve Lewko intern, Warner, NH, 2012
  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Steve Lewko intern, Warner, NH, 2013

Affiliations

  • NH/VT Abenaki Basketmakers Alliance
  • League of New Hampshire Craftsman (2009-present)
  • Northeast Basket Makers Guild (2010-present)
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Amy Hook-Therrien

Enrolled Citizen of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Amy Hook-Therrien

Amy Hook-Therrien has a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maine. She has been painting for almost ten years. She specializes in water colors and is inspired by nature. Amy is also a Traditional Abenaki singer.

Artist Statement

I love to paint natural things, it could be a flower, a landscape, or a topographical map. I try to segment my pieces, painting and focusing on small areas at a time. I love to mix my colors in a way that they tend to separate slightly, giving the paintings texture.


Contact Email: [email protected]
Individual Exhibition
2020 – Art, Etc. – Northfield, VT – June Exhibit – June

2020 – Barre Opera House – Barre, VT – March

2020 – New London Hospital – Chapel Hallway – New London, NH – January -March

2019 – Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center – Fifth Floor Rotunda – Lebanon, NH – October – December

2019 – Yester House Solo Shows – Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT

2019 – Emerging Artist Show – Littles – Long River Gallery, White River Jct., VT

2019 – Solo Exhibition – Vermont Institute of Natural Science – Quechee, VT


Awards

2020 Overall Favorite & Most Technically Accomplished – Spring No. 3 “Wild About Watercolor” Exhibition – Matt Brown Fine Art

2019 Vermont Artists Association – Artist of the Year

Image of magazine cover with Amy Hook-Therrien

Publications

  • 2021 – Image Magazine – “Inspired by Nature – Artist Amy Hook-Therrien – Mountainview Publishers – Spring 2021
  • 2021 – No. 2 Homebound Still – Korongo Books
  • 2020 – Vermont Almanac – Volume 1 – Corn Sketch
  • 2019 – My Parents Told Me to Study Art – Korongo Books – October, 2019


Group Exhibitions

2021 – “Let Us Introduce You” – Bryan Memorial Art Gallery, Jeffersonville, VT – Sept – Nov

2021 – “Exploring Earth” – Spruce Peak Arts – Stowe, VT – June – October

2021 – “Alnobak Moskijik Maahlakwsikok – Abenaki People Emerging from the Ashes – Two Villages Art Society – Contoocook, NH – May 7 – May 28

2020-2021 – Matt Brown Fine Art Holiday Exhibition – Lyme, NH – November – January

2020 – AVA Holiday Exhibition – AVA Gallery – Lebanon, NH – November – December

2020 – “Wild About Watercolor” – Matt Brown Fine Art – Lyme, NH – October 16 – November 21

2020 – “Pushing The Envelope” – Pulp Gallery – Holyoke, MA – May – June

2019 – “I AM…” – Vermont Arts Council – Spotlight Gallery – Montpelier, VT – November 8th

2019 – “Colors of Life” – Vermont Watercolor Society – Tunbridge Library, Tunbridge, VT – Sept – Nov

2019 – I AM... Vermont Arts Council. Montpelier, VT

2016 – Nebizun: Water is Life, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT.

2017 – 2018Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage (traveling exhibit). Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

2016 – Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.

2015 – Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy 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 My Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World – Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

2010 – You Are Here Senior Show – University of Maine, Maine 2009    

Juried Student Show, Lord Hall – University of Maine, Maine

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Aaron York

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2017
Image of Aaron York.
Aaron York

Aaron York is an internationally celebrated  traditional artist, educator, public speaker and mentor.  He is the owner and founder of the Red Child Studio of Fine Wabanaki Arts.  Although best known for his skills as a birchbark canoe artisan, he has also revived several other rare Wabanaki art forms such as brides boxes and highly embellished crooked knives. His pieces are of equal complexity to the ancestral examples known in museums and private collections. 

Image of Birchbark Moose Call.
Birchbark Moose Call

As a result, his arts can be found in museums and high-end private collections resting aside pieces of Wabanaki greats such as Tomah Joseph and Eugene Francis of the 1800s. Aaron’s arts have earned many prestigious publications as well placement Hollywood films, commercials, documentaries and radio worldwide.

In 2005, Aaron was asked by the Ministikwan Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan to go west and help them rediscover their traditional canoe forms.  Since then, he has worked extensively with several western First nations in Canada to revive their aboriginal watercraft.  In return for his teaching out west, he was immersed in all other aspects of Algonquian culture that he had been longing to learn.  Aaron attributes being well rounded culturally to traveling to cousin nations where he found missing pieces of his nation’s traditions that were lost to colonization.  Aaron now has strong family ties in the treaty 6 and treaty 7 regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta.  In short, his time and bond with his western Cree cousins was life altering, and the quality of his art is what he attributes to making that relationship possible.

Artist Statement

“Culture is not inherited, it is learned.”  We do not arrive from the womb with the ability to speak our ancestral language or know our culture.  It takes only one generation of failing to teach our children their culture for devastating cultural erosion to occur.  As an eastern Native I know this all too well!  This is what drives me to work so hard to create art that is “over the top” but well within the parameters of regionally specific, traditional Wabanaki art forms.  Such art forms that are rare, labor intensive and have a life-long learning curve.  I am trying to do my part to heal the toxic affect that cultural erosion has caused our people.

Material culture is a language! Its a non-verbal language that transcends the limits of what we can convey through speech or written word.  Material cultural crosses racial divides, political boundaries, and time itself.  Material culture gives us a direct form of connection to our ancestors, other living beings, and the Aki (earth) itself.  When I give thanks to a beautiful canoe birch for the materials it provides me I make a promise to turn its skin into a timeless piece of beauty.  The quality of my art is my greatest giving of thanks to the plants, animals and Aki that give to me.  I am bound through an ancient traditional agreement with my plant, animal and human relations to do my absolute best with their gifts.  This is what I offer the world, my nation, my family.  

This is the non-verbal I message I encapsulate in my art to be understood by my descendants hundreds of years from now:  “Do your very best.  Always stay humble enough to improve your skill! Your hands are speaking for your people!  You are telling the world what our values are!  You are Wabanaskiya!   You are a human representative of Aki’s beauty, health, and a celebration of life itself!  This is the only thing you inherit! The rest is up to you to show just how much beauty you can convey through good hands, just as we did, and my grandmothers and grandfathers did before me.  Love your culture.  Love yourself as much as we love you grandchild and pass this message on through your art the way we passed this on to you!” 

Mkwe Awasis (Red Child)

Aaron York

Contact Info

Address: 120 Elmwood Drive, Barre VT 05641

Email: [email protected]


Exhibits

2005

Fawn Skin quiver, Permanent Collection, Odanak Museum, Odanak FN, QC

2008

Bride Box (bent wood box elaborate chip carved), Flemming Museum, permanent collections Burlington, VT.

2007-present

Birchbark Canoe on permanent exhibit, Abbe Museum, Acadia National Park Location, Acadia National Park, ME.


Events and Workshops

2003  

  • Canadian Canoe Museum, prep assistance on 36′ fur trade canoe, Peterborough ON
  • Odanak Homecoming, canoe build demo, QC, Canada

2004

Onsite build for “Gifts of the Forest,” McCord Museum, , 2004 Montreal, QC, Canada.

2004-2005

Birchbark canoe class, Wooden Boat School, Brooklin, ME.

?2005

Birchbark canoe class, Ministikwan First Nation, 2005 and 2016, Saskatchewan, Canada.

2006

  • Birchbark canoe class, Cold Lake First Nations,Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
  • Onsite Build of Ocean canoe, Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, ME.

2007

  • Birchbark canoe class, Cold Lake First Nations,Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
  • “Champlain Canoe Build,” Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2008

  • Birchbark canoe class, Cold Lake First Nations,Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
  • Birchbark canoe class, Blue Quills First Nations University, St Paul, Alberta Canada

2009

Take A Kid Trapping Program, Youth Birchbark Canoe Class, Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, Canada

2016

Birchbark canoe class, Ministikwan First Nation, 2005 and 2016, Saskatchewan

Featured in Publications

  • American Indian Arts Magazine, 2006
  • Encyclopedia of American Indians, 2007
  • Kent, Jeanne Morningstar. Wabanaki Interviews. The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art, History Press. 2014. p 87-97
  • Montreal Gazette, 2001
  • Mocotaugan, The art and history of the crooked knife, 2005
  • Men at War Series, Northeastern American Indians 2004
  • Wabanaki Artists, 2012
  • National Film Board of Canada, Alanis Obomsawin, 2006
  • BBC, 2001

Film and Media

Reger, Deborah. Moccasin Tracks . Recorded March 2017. WGDR 91.1 FM

List Awards: 

Significant Cultural Benefit Status, Government of Canada, achieved 2006


Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Blue Quills First Nations University, St Paul, Alberta Canada
  • Ministikwan Cree First Nation, Island Lake, Treaty 6, Saskatchewan Canada
  • Cold Lake First Nation, Cold Lake, Treaty 6, First Nation Canada
  • Kujjuuaq Inuit, Makivik Corporation, JBNQA Treaty, Nunavik Canada
  • ᑳᓂᔮᓯᕁ kâniyâsihk Culture Camps, Island Lake Cree First Nation

Aaron Wood

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2018
Image of Aaron Wood making a basket.
Aaron Wood making a basket

Aaron Wood descends from a line of Abenaki basket makers. Both he and his mother Kerry Wood did traditional basket making apprenticeships under the renowned basket maker Jeanne Brink. Aaron is familiar with all phases of basketmaking from the initial harvest, through pounding the Ash log to produce long thin splints that will ultimately be wove into a lovely basket.


Artist Statement

Building on a three year apprenticeship with Abenaki master basket maker Jeanne Brink, I weave fancy designs from the 1800s to 1940s styles, as well as less processed work baskets for traditional gathering and household tasks. I also apply traditional techniques to modern recycled materials at times, my ancestors adapted what was available to them, and so do I.

I demonstrate material preparation in exhibit settings to give people a better appreciation for the effort that goes into traditional work.

Image of ash basket.
Ash basket
Image of inside of ash basket.
Inside of ash basket

Contact

Email: [email protected]


Events

2017- present.  Abenaki Heritage Weekend, Vergennes, VT.

2013 – present

Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

2014, 2016 Vermont History Expo, Turnbridge, VT

2013 – present. Saratoga Native American Festival, Saratoga, NY

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Elnu Abenaki Singers

All are Enrolled Citizens of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe

Elnu Abenaki Singers

Elnu Abenaki Singers

For more over two decades, the Elnu Abenaki Singers have performed across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. They are invited to sing at events, museums, school, and historic sites They echo the voices of their ancestors, who have lived in N’dakinna (the land) for thousands of years.

The public has come to know the Elnu Singers through their repertoire of Wabanaki songs and chants; their signature Eastern style hand drums and rattles. With each new song comes an explanation of what it means and any historic information with may be related.

The Elnu Singers are of mixed ages. The group includes men, women, and children.  They can perform in either modern or traditional clothing from any era from the early 17th century to contemporary.

Image of the Elnu Abenaki Singers performing.
Elnu Abenaki Singers Performing

Contact Info

Chief Roger Longtoe Sheehan

Email: [email protected] 

Click here to listen to the Elnu Abenaki Singers


Filmed in night vision at the Jamaica State Park archeological dig. The El-Nu Abenaki Tribe Singers led the public through a night of traditional story-telling and songs. Featured here is one of those songs and the protocol that surrounds it.

For more information on the El-Nu Abenaki Tribe please visit:
http://elnuabenakitribe.org/


Film by Lina Longtoe. Featured in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s exhibit, “Contact of Cultures, 1609.” 

Brian Chenevert

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2016
Brian Chenevert in white ribbon shirt.
Brian Chenevert

Brian Chenevert is the Historic Preservation Officer for the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe and a talented artist. He is a storyteller, author, and wood worker.  who was taught wood carving and whittling by his grandfather at a young age.

He is a history buff whose research helped to revive the traditional Abenaki winter game of Snow Snakes which has now been played annually since 2007. Brian’s hand carves snow snakes, war clubs and rattles decorating them by burning in traditional Wabanaki designs.

For almost 20 years Brian has provided traditional Abenaki and Wabanaki stories for multiple Abenaki newsletters and in 2015 published his first book, “Azban’s Great Journey”, which is a compilation of traditional and original tales of the Abenaki trickster – Azban, the raccoon. Azban’s Great Journey is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Image of Brian Chenevert reading to children.
Brian Chenevert reading to children

Brian has developed the coloring book Abenaki Animals with fellow Nulhegan Abenaki artist, Francine Poitras Jones. Most recently, they have collaborated on the storybook  Swift Deer’s Spirit Game (2019) that was just released.

He is also a drummer and singer who performs with the Nulhegan Abenaki Drum.


Artist Statement

I have always loved working with wood, carving and shaping it into a creation of all your own.  I enjoy taking a simple branch and working it into a snow snake which will bring joy to some boy or girl at our annual winter games.

I have been telling and sharing Abenaki stories for many years, providing stories for multiple Abenaki newsletters and culminating in completing my first book about Azban the raccoon.  The tales of Azban, in particular, are ones my children loved to hear over and over throughout the years which is what led to him being the topic of my first book.

In 2015, Brian published his first book, “Azban’s Great Journey”, which is a compilation of traditional and original tales of the Abenaki trickster – Azban, the raccoon.  Azban’s Great Journey is now available for purchase on Amazon.
Brian has developed the coloring book Abenaki Animals with fellow Nulhegan Abenaki artist, Francine Poitras Jones. Most recently, they have collaborated on the storybook  Swift Deer’s Spirit Game that was just released.

In addition to woodworking and carving, I enjoy bead work and crafting and have made many pieces which include porcupine quill earrings and chokers, wampum earrings, belts, bracelets, and necklaces.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]


Image of war clubs made by Brian Chenevert.
War Clubs
Image of rattle made by Brian Chenevert.
Rattle
Image of snow snakes made by Brian Chenevert.
Snow Snakes

Image of book called Azban's Great Journey
Image of book Swift Deer's Spirit Game

Presentations

2016, 2018

Abenaki Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes,  VT

Publications

Radio Interviews

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Lucy Cannon-Neel

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2017
Image of Lucy Cannon-Neel.
.

As the Education Coordinator the Title VI, Indian Education Grant for the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, she provides programs for elementary schools, high schools, and colleges, and she has created the Nulhegan Youth Drummers because she believes that teaching Native American culture to the youth is very important.

Lucy enjoys painting in all mediums, enjoys pottery and many other crafts. She currently has paintings on exhibit at Holland Town office, and her art has been exhibited at T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier, Derby Line Days, and other venues .

As a Certified School Nurse Lucy obtained her nursing degree from the University of South Florida, she has worked in the Emergency Room, Intensive Care Units, dialysis unit, school nurse and served as Mayor of Zolfo Springs Florida.


Artist Statement

I have been painting and studying art over the past decade or so.  I have been fortunate to work with Bea Nelson and other artists over the years.  Painting, I find, softens the soul.  It is a peaceful time for me.  The outside forces just wither away and I’m focused on the project at hand.  It is my happy place.  I find I am in tune to the depths and shapes and colors of the forest, plants and animals and in trying to get their likenesses challenging.

Contact

Email: [email protected]


Image of painting called Canoe Trip by Lucy Cannon-Neel.
Canoe Trip
Image of painting of chickens by Lucy Cannon Neel.
Chickens
Image of painting of Swans by Lucy Cannon Neel.
Swans

Image of painting of squirrel by Lucy Cannon Neel.
Ready for Winter
Image of painting of pottery by Lucy Cannon Neel.
Pottery

Exhibits

  • Derby Lines Day, Derby, VT
  • Holland Town Office
  • T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT
  • Veterans Administration Hospital Infusion Center Display

Affiliations

  • Title VI Education Coordinator
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Vermont Commission of Native American Affairs, Chairperson 2016-2017

Joseph Bruchac

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2018
Image of Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac lives in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in the house where his grandparents raised him. An enrolled citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Abenaki Nation, much of his work draws on his native ancestry.

He and his sons, James and Jesse, work together in projects involving Native language renewal, traditional Native skills, and environmental education at their Ndakinna Education Center (www.ndakinnacenter.org) on their 90 acre nature preserve.

Author of over 180 books for young readers and adults, his experiences include teaching in Ghana, running a college program in a maximum security prison and 40 years of teaching martial arts.A featured storyteller at numerous festivals, including the British Storytelling Festival, Clearwater, Corn Island, and the National Storytelling Festival, his Keepers of the Earth books (co-authored with Michael Caduto), which use traditional Native American stories to teach science, have over a million copies in print.

“His novel CODE TALKER, about the Navajo marines in World War II who used their language to create an unbreakable code, was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best books of all time for young adults.”


Contact

Address: PO Box 308, Greenfield Center, NY 12833

Email: [email protected]

Website: Website: josephbruchac.com (A list of his book awards can be viewed here.)


Image of book cover for The Arrow Over the Door.
Book cover for The Arrow Over the Door
Image of cover for Honor Songs by The Dawnland Singers.
Cover for Honor Songs by The Dawnland Singers

Affiliations:

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Ndakinna Education Center

Jean Burbo

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2016
Image of Jean Burbo.

Jean Burbo is an enrolled citizen of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe. She was raised in an atmosphere where art was prevalent. Both her mother and father were artists. Her mother taught arts and crafts to both adults and children. As a result, Jean learned many skills at a very young age.  Jean lives in Connecticut, not far from the ocean, with her husband and her “fur baby.” Because she is now retired, she is able to devote much time to her art. She says, “Making art is so relaxing to me. When I’m touching the shells or stringing the beads, I’m taken away to another world. Sometimes, I feel like I am sitting with my Ancestors and sharing my time with them.”

She makes both traditional and contemporary styles of jewelry. Her favorite making chokers and bracelets with hornpipe. While walking on the beach near the ocean, Jean enjoys finding wampum shells and incorporating those found items in her creations. She also uses leather, as well as glass, wooden, and metal beads to finish her work.


Artist Statement

I was born in Massachusetts but was raised in Vermont. My family was connected to Vermont and had been for centuries. I am a member of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation.

As a child, I spent many hours in the woods riding my horse, Cottontail, or walking with my dad while he told me about the beauty and spiritual connection we have with Mother Earth. He would teach me about the responsibility we have to protect and preserve the land. I have never forgotten those teachings, and now they are part of my life.

My ability for making jewelry and crafting came through the teachings of my mother, who was a very talented artist. It seemed like she was always creating something and she would include me; so I learned, at an early age, to enjoy designing jewelry. My jewelry has evolved over the years, and I now include both traditional and contemporary pieces.

Because I believe that wearing traditional clothing and jewelry is in honor of our Ancestors, I always smudge each piece when it is completed. I ask Creator to bless the item as well as the person who will wear it.

Image of necklace made by Jean Burbo.
Image of quill earrings made by Jean Burbo.
Image of pouch made by Jean Burbo.
Image of tribal bracelet made by Jean Burbo.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Jesse Bowman Bruchac

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2018
Image of Jesse Bowman Bruchac
Jesse Bowman Bruchac

Jesse Bowman Bruchac is an enrolled Nulhegan Abenaki Citizen. He is a traditional storyteller, musician, and Abenaki language instructor.  As one of the last fluent speakers of Western Abenaki, he works vigorously to revitalize the language. His efforts have led to the creation of a Western Abenaki website, YouTube channel, Facebook group, and a number of bilingual publications.

Following in the footsteps of his father Joseph Bruchac, Jesse has been visiting schools and universities to share Northeastern Native American traditional stories, music, language, history and culture for over two decades.

As a musician he has produced several albums of Abenaki music. These include collections of traditional songs using drum and rattle, and Native American flute music. He has opened for such notable acts as The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and at Woodstock ’94. He won the Best Storyteller Competition at Indian Summer in Milwaukee in 1995. In 1996 he toured Europe as a member of the Abenaki Drum from the Odanak reservation in Quebec. Jesse has also acted as consultant, translator, composer, and language coach for programs on AMC, National Geographic, and PBS.

Jesse began learning stories, songs, and language as a child from his father, as well as elders his family would often visit in Vermont, Maine, the Adirondacks, New Hampshire, and Canada. He began studying the language in earnest at the age of 20 from Cecile Wawanolette in 1992. He studied with her, and dozens of other speakers at the Abenaki reservation of Odanak, Quebec for over a decade. He has continued to learn and teach the language with Cecile’s son Joseph Elie Joubert.

In the fall of 2018 he began co-teaching a course in Wabanaki languages alongside renowned Eastern Algonquin linguist Conor Quinn at the University of Southern Maine.


Contact

Email: [email protected]

Artists Statement

Pahakwin8gweziakw! Nd’eliwizi Jesse. Nd’aln8ba8dwa, ni waji toji wlidah8zia. Akwi chigitamokw klawôganowô awskô wagaosao. Tôni kwani aiakw wskitkamigwa, koskitkamigwiba wasanmôganowi! Iolil klozw8ganal kd’achwi kagakim8n8l k’nij8nw8k, k’witamenn8l t8ni adoji abiakw k’wigw8mw8k, t8ni adoji pab8mosaakw, t8ni adoji wlessinakw, ta t8ni adoji wan8giakw. Wlinanawalmezikw, wlipamkannikw, ta s8gnaw8wzikad8wadikw.

Greetings!  My name is Jesse.  When I speak in the Abenaki language I am so happy (my mind and heart are good).  Do not allow your own hearts to be troubled.  For while you are in the world, you are the light of the world. Teach these words to your children, share them when you sit in your homes, when you travel about, when you lay down to sleep, and when you rise.  Take good care of yourselves, travel well, and find peace within yourselves and among each other!

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Ndakinna Education Center

Artists in Alphabetical Order

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Welcome!

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) is a Native American arts organization that serves the public by connecting them to Abenaki educators, artists from the visual and performing arts as well as literary genres.

MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to promote awareness of state-recognized Abenaki artists and their art, to provide an organized central place to share creative ideas, and to have a method for the public to find and engage state-recognized Abenaki artists.

We do this by presenting public programs, cultural events, and museum exhibitions that educate the public in understanding Abenaki art and culture.

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Painting of forget-me-not flowers on birch bark.
Forget Me Nots – Painting by TK Hansell

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