Fadden standing between two of his paintings on display, to
the right is his most recent painting.
Wampum Visions, an exhibit currently on display at The Native
North American Traveling College held its opening night on April
29, 2015. The Wampum Visions exhibit demonstrates the importance
of wampum to the Haudenosaunee.
In its simplest form, wampum are beads made from various purple
and white mollusk shells, usually referred to as the quahog shell
that is found on the coastal waters of northeastern Untied States.
All belts in the exhibit are replicas, except two belts made of
real quahog shells wampum. Making wampum from real quahog
shells is a time consuming and intensive process and in as much,
it presents the true meaning and importance of each belt in our
culture, in our history and in even now our contemporary times.
Darren Bonaparte, local historical journalist gave a presentation
on wampum during the opening. The presentation gave breath and meaning
to the exhibit, making the belts, the painting, the intent of the
exhibit closer to heart and mind.
Several artists using various media and a wide range of styles
to express themselves artistically have their works on display.
Ryan Hill, Dave Fadden, Don Fadden Phillip White Cree, John Thomas,
Dan White, Kit Thomas, Jade Thompson, Bruce Boots, Charlotte King,
Niio Perkins, and Victoria Ransom have artwork on display until
the end of July.
The most prominent artist with work on display is Dave Fadden
with several paintings depicting Mohawk men, women and children
in both contemporary and historical times. Fadden's paintings reflect
a side often not portrayed in our people contentment and
happiness. Charlotte King and John Thomas, both established and
well known artist have their painting in this collection adding
Kit Thomas's vibrant and eclectic painting is worth crossing the
bridge for and the intensity of Bruce Boots' painting is not lost
on anyone. The exquisite beadwork by Niio Perkins and Dan White
are well, quite exquisite.
The most striking is the visual display of the wampum belts
itself. By the creativity of Victoria Ransom and Amanda Tarbell
the visual impact of the hanging wampum belts in the center of the
room not only generates the meaning of every piece of artwork on
display it gives each piece of artwork its meaning and depths.
the NNATC gallery, the Wampum Visions Exhibit.
"I wanted to amalgamate culture and art together. I wanted
to utilize this museum space and combine that. So I thought that
would be a good idea was to have a wampum themed art show, which
will incorporate a lot of the artist talent, we have here in Akwesasne.
Displays at lot of the talent we have here in Akwesasne and at the
same time use this as an educational tour. When we are brainstorming,
we wanted to display them in a way that the wampum would actually
be used. We have some from Phillip White, the NNATC and many of
these are Darren Bonaparte replicas. Ryan Hill and Darren Bonaparte
helped with the display of wampum belts. There are so many wampum
belts out there. This is only a fraction of the number of wampum
belts. Most of the old belts are lost; however, some have found
their way into museums, and as the story goes, some are still hidden
away, stated Victoria Ransom, curator of the Wampum Visions Exhibit.
The Wampum Visions exhibit will run until June 2015. The North
Native American Traveling College is located at 1 Ronathahon:ni
Lane, ON K6H 5R7.
a variety jeweler's mediums to make earrings, choker and rings
by Dan White. In the upper left hand corner you can see pieces
of the quahog shell and its distinctive purple and white color.
Each piece and color of wampum had meaning or significance
in where it was placed on the belt or string of wampum.
necklace incorporating wampum and beads into an elaborate
beadwork design by Niio Perkins.e 2015. The North Native American
Traveling College is located at 1 Ronathahon:ni Lane, ON K6H
Thomas with her painting, unfortunately, this photo does not
translate the vibrancy of life of this painting. Seeing her
and other paintings in real time is worth the visit.
painting has a meaning or message and Bruce Boots' paintings