The Shiawassee Arts Center opens a new exhibit featuring Indigenous artwork by Monica Rickert Bolt, Kelly Church, Stephanie Jackson, Wanesia Misquadace, Cherish Parrish and Monia Raphael. The exhibit, which runs Wednesday, Jan. 3 through Sunday, Jan. 28, is sponsored by The Cook Family Foundation. The public is welcome to attend the ‘Meet the Artists’ reception Sunday, Jan. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Help us kick off the Statewide Community Reads, Firekeepers Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Copies of the book will be available.
Monica Rickert-Bolter is a Chicago-based visual artist of Potawatomi and Black heritage. Her artwork uses traditional mediums, such as charcoal and pastels, graphic design and digital coloring to create expressive characters and tell diverse stories.
Stephanie Jackson is an artist, activist and educator from Mt. Pleasant. She explores the relationship between her Anishinaabe and settler ancestry and the unique experience of being a first-generation descendent through her practice of both contemporary and traditional Anishinaabe arts.
Monica Jo Raphael, Anishinaabe-Lakota from the village of Peshawbestown on the Grand Traverse Band Reservation, is a culture bearer, grandmother and fifth generation quill worker who comes from a long line of woodland quill artists. She feels as if she’s having a dialogue with her ancestors when creating her interpretation of an art that predates European contact and the introduction of glass seed beads.
Kelly Church is a Pottawatomi/Ottawa/Ojibwe black ash basket maker, fiber artist, educator, activist and culture keeper. A member of the Gun Lake Band in Michigan and a Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Ojibwe descendent, she comes from an unbroken line of black ash basket makers and from the largest black ash weaving family in the Great Lakes region.
Wanesia Spry Misquadace is a member of the Fond Du Lac’s Band of the Ojlbway in Minnesota. Highly adept at the traditional Ojlbway practice of making wigwas mamacenawejegam, otherwise known as “transparencies” or “chews” Misquadace utilizes the eye tooth to firmly bite designs into birch bark.
Cherish Parrish is a sixth-generation, black ash basket weaver, having learned the craft from her mother, artist Kelly Church. Using the pliable bark of black ash trees that she harvests from the swamps of the Michigan wetlands, Parrish weaves tightly woven baskets.
The Shiawassee Arts Center, celebrating its 52nd anniversary in 2024, is located at 206 Curwood Castle Drive, Owosso and is open to the public free of charge, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekends 12 to 3 p.m. The Arts Center features the artwork of local and statewide artists in eight galleries including the Frieseke Gallery and a specialty Gift Shop. SAC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage participation and appreciation of the arts. For more information, call (989) 723-8354 or visit www.shiawasseearts.org.