do Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe's very own Charmaine Shawana, Louanna
Bruner and Judy Pamp have in common with Madonna? They are all featured
in the art exhibit "Great Lakes Bay Women" by Edwina Jaques on display
at the Saginaw Art Museum.
While Jaques currently resides in the United Kingdom, she is
originally from Saginaw, Mich. The "Great Lakes Bay Women" exhibit
features art that is of and about Michigan women.
Jaques is an artist, sculptor, painter and author who honors
nearly 100 "Great Lakes Bay Women" in the exhibit. Jaques described
the women she selected as those who have "made an impact on the
community and sometimes globally," and "who have contributed to
making life better or more interesting by just being themselves."
Jaques contacted Pamp to hear her story and feature Saginaw
Chippewa Indian Tribal Members in her exhibit.
"I knew right from the beginning that the Anishinabe were out
there, and I wanted them to be a part of this," Jaques said. "And
so from searching online in England, I found Judy Pamp's name
and got in touch with her."
Jaques interviewed Pamp, she knew she wanted to speak with more
women from the Tribe. Shortly after, Jaques interviewed Shawana
and Bruner over the phone.
"With Great Lakes Bay Women', I am hoping to make visible
some of the inner workings of each woman so that it is a portrait
of the soul' rather an exacting replication," Jaques said.
Pamp's piece was inspired by the story of her moving to Germany
with her four-week old baby when her husband was in the military.
Every day workmen would show up at her apartment, Pamp automatically
thought her place was unsafe or could cause some harm to her or
her baby. She was ready to move back to America. Finally, one day
a workman that spoke English came into her apartment and told her
why the workmen were showing up at her apartment daily. It turns
out, whichever room Pamp was working in, she had her baby in the
cradleboard hanging on the wall.In amazement, the workers came to
see the "baby hanging on the wall." They had never seen anything
like it and asked in which country babies are hung on the wall.
Shawana's piece was inspired after sharing her historical background
with Jaques. The detailing on her hat stands out in Shawana's piece.
Jaques found a copper covered maple leaf off eBay to add to the
hat. Jaques told the seller the leaf was for an art piece.
seller told me he picked the leaves in Michigan, brought them back
to England and then treated them so they would have the copper coating,
"So I thought that's for Charmaine, that is just meant to be,"
Shawana's painting is meant to show she connects to Earth and
is in residence with her environment.
"The other side is marbling, usually done on paper
I've never used it before on an oil painting," Jaques said. "I just
see that she (Charmaine) is in a wonderful spiritual zone and that's
what I wanted."
Bruner's piece is focused on obstacles she overcame in her life.
interviewed Louanna through phone and email," Jaques said. "We talked
about difficulties she had and how Charmaine has been her mentor.
One thing I love about the Anishinabe people is they help each other
out on a real level."
"There is genius in every woman that strives to make her life
and those around her a better place just by her existence," Jaques
On Friday, Oct. 11, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal membership
joined Jaques and the Saginaw Art Museum staff for a smudging at
an alternate opening of the exhibit.
"It is an honor to be a part of the exhibit," Shawana said.
Pamp showed her appreciation of the exhibit.
"I like the theme of really showcasing the power of women,"
Pamp said. "The uniqueness of us, the uniqueness of our stories
and the ways we lead our families. We are leaders in our community
and even leaders in our nations."
Pamp went on to introduce the Wabanaisee singers and Mae Pego,
song carrier, addressed the singers' history.
The Wabanaisee Singers performed two songs to show their honor
to the exhibit. After the Singers honored Jaques and the exhibit,
Jaques was filled with emotion.
"You have me crying all the way through this," Jaques said.
"I am so grateful and honored that you have come
I am very
The relationship between Jaques and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian
Tribe seems to be an everlasting one. On Thursday, Oct. 17, Jaques
visited SCIT, was given a tour of the Reservation by Shawana and
was presented with a SCIT blanket with the Tribal logo.
Jacques' art will be displayed at the Saginaw Art Museum 1126
N. Michigan until Dec. 31, 2013 and half of her exhibit is also
displayed at the Castle Museum at 500 Federal in Saginaw, Mich.