Native Artists, Northeast Futures
IPD intro text
In this weekend series developed with Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes, artists from Northeastern Indigenous nations share their varied artistic practices, which include photography, landscape art, digital media, painting, beadwork, fashion, and performance. In dialogue, they will reflect on their lands and waters, narrative and memory, and how their work counteracts injustice to forge new regional futures.
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Collage of headshots of artists: Elizabeth James-Perry (Wampanoag), David L. Haff (Lenape), and Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock)
Artist Conversation

Saturday, October 9, 2021, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

Virtual Event | Free

With Elizabeth James-Perry (Wampanoag), David L. Haff (Lenape), and Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock)

Moderated by Laura J. Allen, MAM Curator of Native American Art

Register online ➜

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Artist and her work
Sunday Studio

Sunday, October 10, 1–3 p.m.

In-person Event for Families

Learn to make beaded friendship bracelets with guest artist Iakowi:he'ne' Oakes, who will bring an array of beautiful beads and her own specialized tools and knowledge.

Register online ➜

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Collage of headshots of artists: With Kawesoton Light (Mohawk), Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe), and Skawennati (Mohawk)
Artist Conversation

Monday, October 11, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

Virtual Event | Free

With Kawesoton Light (Mohawk), Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe), and Skawennati (Mohawk)

Moderated by Iakowi:he'ne' Oakes (Mohawk), Cultural Curator, Advocate, and Artist

Register online ➜

Ty Defoe (Giizhig)
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Head shot of Ty Defoe next to a photo of him dancing a hoop dance.

Ty Defoe (Giizhig), Oneida and Ojibwe Nations, is a writer and interdisciplinary artist, and a Grammy Award winner. Ty aspires to an interweaving approach to artistic projects with social justice, Indigi-Queering, and environmentalism. Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence, Jonathan Larson Award, TransLab Fellow, and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat-er! Works created and authored include River of Stone, Red Pine, The Way They Lived, Ajijaak on Turtle Island, Hear Me Say My Name, and more. Ty is core member of All My Relations Collective, GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG | Revolving Sky (Under the Radar Incoming!, The Public Theater). Movement Direction: Mother Road, Dir. Bill Rauch (OSF), Manahatta, Dir. Laurie Woolery (OSF + Yale Rep), and Choreographer for Tracy Lett’s The Minutes (Broadway). Netflix show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, Dir. Anna Shapiro (Broadway). Degrees from CalArts, Goddard College, + NYU Tisch. Lives in NYC + loves the color clear. He|We, www.allmyrelations.earth, tydefoe.com

Ty Defoe Hoop Dance

Jeremy Dennis
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Jeremy Dennis' headshot next to his photograph titled 'Monolith'

Jeremy Dennis is a contemporary fine art photographer and a tribal member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton, NY. In his work, he explores indigenous identity, culture, and assimilation. Dennis holds an MFA from Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, and a BA in Studio Art from Stony Brook University, NY. He currently lives and works in Southampton, New York on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. www.jeremynative.com

Jeremy Dennis, Monolith, 2019

David L. Haff
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David Haff's headshot in profile next to the Night Walk in Central Park painting.

David L. Haff is a proud graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he majored in industrial design. Prior to Pratt, Haff had an extensive career in mechanical and construction processes, and his love for form and interaction grew while in college. In 2019, he moved from the industrial landscapes of New York to the bright desertscapes of Arizona. Pulling from his Lenape heritage, he has always been fascinated with the power of oral tradition.  His abstract painting and mixed media work embrace storytelling through illusionary memories. Find him on Instagram @david_l_haff

David L. Haff, Night Walk Central Park, 2020

Elizabeth James-Perry
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Photo of Elizabeth James Perry above a close up of corn plants planted in the ground.

Elizabeth James-Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag) is an internationally known traditional and contemporary artist. She was awarded a Traditional Arts Fellowship in Textiles and Wampum by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Elizabeth’s approach highlights the link between Wampanoag sovereignty, land and visual expression. Her Beyond 1620: Wampanoag Voices recording about King Philips Sash connected the rare textile to the colonization of eastern tribal territory, was later played to the Massachusetts State Legislature as part of the initiative to replace the state seal. She designs authentic materials, most recently for Tashtego in Moby Dick at A.R.T. and for Manahatta at Yale Repertory Theatre. She documented the beauty of tribal homelands as a producer of background scenery for As Nutayunean, the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Program documentary film. Elizabeth holds a degree in Marine Science from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and a certificate for Digital Tribal Stewardship from Washington State University. She spent over a decade engaged in Historic Preservation for her tribal nation and was a member of USET’s Culture and Heritage Committee, and was the Federal Tribal Co-Lead of the Northeast Ocean Planning Body. She is currently an artist in Residence at Amherst College. See her recent works at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. www.elizabethjamesperry.com

Elizabeth James-Perry, Raven Reshapes Boston: A Native Corn Garden at the MFA, 2021

Kawesoton (Mark) Light
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Headshot of Kawesoton Light (Mohawk) next to his digital artwork titled 'Resilience"

Kawesoton (Mark) Light belongs to the Snipe Clan of the Mohawk Nation. He resides on the Mohawk territory at Akwesasne. At 64 years old, he has been painting most of his life and has traveled to many places across Turtle Island. Light’s work incorporates many teachings and traditions of his people as well as those of other indigenous nations. His digital work at right won the 2020 national poster contest for the National Indian Child Welfare Association. It represents how resilient his people are through the atrocities they have endured: The background silhouettes represent the broken spirits of the abused, raped, and murdered children from residential school. The children in the middle are residential children, and the kids on the sides show his people’s resilience.

Kawesoton Light, Resilience, 2017

Skawennati
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Photo of Skawennati next to her work titled 'Resistance is Fertile'

Skawennati was born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory. She holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she resides. She makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from an Indigenous perspective. She is known for her machinimas – movies made i n virtual environments – and also her still images called Machinimagraphs, sculptures and textiles. Her pioneering new media projects include the online gallery/chat - space and mixed - reality event, CyberPowWow (1997 - 2004); a paper doll/time - travel journal, Imagining Indians in the 25th Century (2001); and the machinimas TimeTraveller™ (2007 - 2013), She Falls For Ages (2017), The Peacemaker Returns (2017) and Words Before All Else (2018 - 2021). These have been widely presented in major exhibitions across the gl obe, including at the 57th Venice Biennale, the B3 Biennale of the Moving Image, the Biennale of the Americas; the Montreal Biennale, and the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. Her award - winning work is included in both public and private collectio ns. She is Co - Director, with Jason E. Lewis, of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Indigenous virtual environments. www.skawennati.com

Skawennati, Resistance is Fertile, 2020

Iakowi:he'ne' Oakes
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Photo of Iakowi:he'ne' Oakes (Mohawk) above the logo for the NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS CENTER OF NEW YORK.

Iakowi:he'ne' Oakes is a Kanien:ke’ha’/Mohawk woman, mother, cultural curator, leader, advocate, producer, coach, artist, designer, and athlete. She was born and raised in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, a reservation that straddles the border of New York, Ontario and Quebec. She is Kaneinkehake: the Keepers of the Eastern Door in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Her experience and intentions are focused on nation-building, maintaining and strengthening sovereignty, the right to self-determination, land stewardship, economic development, social justice, culture, and the arts. She is the founder and director of the North American Indigenous Center of New York for Culture, Equity and Economic Development and the Chief Executive Officer of Mohawk Coterie at Mohawkcoterie.com. From the Oka Crisis, International Bridge shutdowns, Idle No More, Two Row Wampum Renewal, NODAPL, the Climate March, and the Land Back movement, she has been progressively organizing, advocating and cultivating change. www.naicny.org, www.mohawkcoterie.com

Laura J. Allen
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Laura Allen headshot in front of a wood panel background.

Laura J. Allen is the Curator of Native American Art at the Montclair Art Museum. Previously, she held curatorial and interpretive roles at the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Alaska Museum of the North, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, and other organizations, and has an interdisciplinary background in anthropology, design, and the natural sciences. Her research and advocacy address intercultural exchange, colonialism, and Indigenous agency; the use of animal materials; and the production, collection, circulation, and display of cultural objects and designs, especially dress and textiles. Invested in collaborative, critical museological practice that centers Indigenous perspectives, she strives to activate museum collections through (re)connection with communities of origin and inspire critically engaged audiences. www.laura-allen.com