On June 7, 2023

Poultney exhibit celebrates Abenaki arts 


POULTNEY — Stone Valley Arts announces the opening of Celebrating Abenaki Art, Heritage, and Culture art show and events in collaboration with the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association.  The show opens in May and runs through Sunday, July 30. 

 The community is invited to meet some of the artists at a reception on Saturday, June 10, from 5 p,m. to 7 p.m. Prior to the reception on Saturday, VAAA founder and executive director, Vera Longtoe Sheehan, will present a lecture-workshop titled:  “Reflections of Place:  Twist, Tie, Knot: Indigenous Textiles of the Northeast” from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the arts center’s first-floor gallery.

Understanding Place:  Wabanaki Textiles and Fiber Art provides the audience the opportunity to examine samples of twined weaving and learn how it connects to the land and Abenaki history. The lecture will cover Longtoe Sheehan’s family tradition as well as her research into Wabanaki archeology and first-hand studies of surviving material culture.  Additionally, participants can make a hands-on connection to Abenaki culture by making a small textile sample, similar to what has been found at archeological sites of the Northeast.  

Additional outreach events over the course of the show include painting inspired by nature with Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park artist-in-residence Amy Hook-Therrien, storytelling and music with Saratoga Springs poet-laureate Joseph Bruchac, and a workshop with Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation.  The events are free, as it is in gratitude that we announce that Celebrating Abenaki Art, Heritage, & Culture events are supported by Vermont Humanities and the New England Foundation for the Arts.  Donations are alwayswelcome.

 Featured artists include Charlie A., Amy Hook-Therrien, Francine Poitras Jones, Hawk Schulmeisters, Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Diane Stevens, Paul Rene Tamburro, and Kerry Wood.  The work represents a variety of media including basket making, photography, weaving, digital prints, painting, birch bark biting, ink prints, carving, and other traditional work that all connect to the cultural heritage, traditions, and philosophies of a people who have walked this land for over 13,000 years.  

 “As someone who greatly values my own Polish heritage and all it has to offer,” says SVA executive director Diane Bargiel, “I am captivated by what I am learning about the values, philosophies, talents, and traditions of our Abenaki neighbors whose ancestors have been here for over 13,000 years.   Stone Valley Arts is located at 145 E. Main St., Poultney.  For more information visit: stonevalleyarts.org.

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