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


Amy Hook-Therrien drawing.

Sylvan Linck ‘24.5 – Middlebury College

FYSE 1570: Native Presence and Performance – 13 May 2021

Due to the length of this narrative, it will be introduced in two parts over a period of two weeks. This is part two.

Therrien also illustrated the book My Bring Up, which was a memoir written by her mother Shirly Hook and published in 2019. Therrien worked closely with her mother in order to create from memory the most accurate portrayals of different aspects of Hook

Melody (Walker Brook) Mackin: Weaving Core Values Through Time – Part 2

Melody Walker with hand drum.

In spring 2021, Vera Longtoe Sheehan (Elnu Abenaki) met with the students of “Native Presence and Performance: Reclaiming the Indigenous Narrative,” a first-year seminar offered by Middlebury College. After the meeting, Longtoe Sheehan recommended the students interview and write about VAAA affiliated artists. This blog post is one of a series that were created for that project, respectfully submitted by a student who self-identifies as non-Native.

Due to the length of this narrative, it will be introduced in two parts over a period of two weeks. This is part two.

Annabelle Wyman 24.5 – Middlebury College

Native Presence and Performance – 1 June 2021

Melody also uses cultural weaving to move forward from the injustices of the past. When I asked her about the Abenaki history with colonization, she shared the advice of her Chief, Roger Longtoe Sheehan, on rebuilding traditions through the analogy of a broken puzzle. Their community is still trying to piece the puzzle together today, but the painting is different so you can never piece the original one together. However, the ancestors knew that life was going to change, so it is okay for the picture to change, because some traditions no longer fit into the current native culture. Melody thinks that the important thing to ask is

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.

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

NH Art Educator of the Year

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.


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




  • “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


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


  • 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


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


Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. 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, NH

2010 – 2011

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

Available for Purchase

Etsy Shop: BlueWolfCrafts


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