Monson Arts is pleased to present Always Home: Traditional Wabanaki Arts at the Monson Arts Gallery this summer. The exhibit featuring work by 17 artists from the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Micmac Nations was curated by Kathleen Mundell (Cultural Resources, Inc.) with curatorial guidance from Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot Nation Museum).

Over a hundred and fifty years ago, Penobscot guide Joseph Polis introduced Henry David Thoreau to Wabanaki woods and waterways. At the end of their journey together, Thoreau asked Polis if he was glad to be home. According to Thoreau, Polis replied. “It makes no difference to me where I am.”

In reflecting on Polis’ words, Jennifer Neptune, one of the Penobscot artists featured in this exhibit, suggests: “I’m always home. It doesn’t matter if it’s Indian Island or at  Moosehead Lake. We’re home when we are down at the coast picking sweet grass. We’re always home because we belong to this land, it doesn’t belong to us. We are part of it, like the salmon and the eagles and the deer and the moose, which makes it all home, which makes us responsible to all those things.”

Featured Artists:

Barry Dana

Joe “Hugga” Dana

Ganessa Bryant Frey

Gabriel Frey

Jeremy Frey

Jennifer Neptune

Peter Neptune

Stan Neptune

Niskapisuwin (Geo Neptune Parker)

Molly Neptune Parker

Reuben “Butch” Phillips

Senabeh (Roland Francis)

Donna Sanipass

Mary Sanipass

Erik Sappier

Theresa Secord

Sarah Sockbeson

Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy), Red and Black Ash and Sweetgrass Basket, courtesy of Judy McCaskey

 Gallery Programs and Events:

June 24, 7PM – Virtual conversation with artist Barry Dana and daughter Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador. Click below to watch a recording of their talk:

July 17, 11-4PM – Ash basket demonstration with artist Gabriel Frey live at the Monson Arts Gallery.

All programs in conjunction with the exhibit are free and open to the public.

Barry Dana (Penobscot), Birch Bark & Spruce Root Basket, courtesy of Judy McCaskey

Always Home will be on view through October 31at the Monson Arts Gallery located at 8 Greenville Road in Monson. Gallery hours are Wed – Sun, 10-5. Funding for the exhibition was provided in part by a grant from the Maine Bicentennial Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.