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Exhibition of Mi'kmaq Art

Mu'ualujik amal-lukutite'wk L'nuk

We are honouring Mi'kmaq artists

July 21 - August 14, 2022
Wednesday - Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Edwin Benham

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Edwin (Ed) returned to his hometown of Shelburne on Nova Scotia's south shore in 1988. After ten years of working in Ontario, he, his wife Melanie and daughter Stephanie settled iust kilometers from his childhood home. Shortly after, Ed met several local mantle duck carvers, and was fascinated by their level of skill and attention to fine detail. This captured his imagination and took his creativity in a new direction of thinking in the round. Around that same time Ed began to re-explore his indigenous heritage, merging it with his new found fascination with wood carving. He began sculpting wood in 1990, and is from the Mi'kmaw Community of Acadia First Nation. With the exception of several

earlier pieces; most of Ed's work bears his makers mark in either paint or is etched into the work.


Ed's craft is largely self-taught, mixing elements of traditional and contemporary to createtruly unique pieces. The work is done with hand-tools such as knives with interchangeable blades and chisels with profiles ranging in width from 1/8th inch to over an inch. Sanding, shaping and finishing are done by hand except where not practical. Power tools are sometimes used in the roughing out process for some of the larger pieces, but generally this is done by hand with smaller works. Inspiration for Ed flows from many things but is often merely seeing the possibilities within a piece of wood. Ed uses mostly maple saplings for many of his smaller works. Much of this is collected during walks in nature, "a great place to clear the mind and be inspired." He is sometimes moved by the shape or natural features of a select piece of stock before it is cut.

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Sarah Brooks


Sarah is an artist and craftsperson based in Punamu'kwati"k (Dartmouth, NS), and is from the Mi"kmag community of Sikipne 'katik First Nation, Mi'kma'ki (Nova Scotia). She graduated from NSCAD University in 2019, receiving her BFA with a major in textiles and a minor in art history. Since 2019, Sarah has been employed through Confederacy of Mainland Mi kmaq (CMM) and St. Mary's University, contributing to the project titled T'an Weji-sgalia'tiek: Mi' kmaw Place Names. Sarah received her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in 2022 at NSCAD University in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, NS).


As an L'nu (Mi'kmaw) and mixed settler woman, I've been exploring personal narratives in my creative making practices that share my own experiences of disconnection to ways of being with the land; Mi'kma'ki. I focus on embracing these realities of the gaps in my own knowledges while sharing representations of memories, family, connections with ancestors, kinships, and the land. The mediums that I've primarily been working with are textiles, ceramics, and organic materials.

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Crystal Gloade


Millbrook First Nation Artist, Crystal Gloade, has been perfecting her crafts since her early teens. For years, she has shared the knowledge of her crafts by putting on community workshops throughout Mi’kmaw country. Her real passion is working with birch bark, sweet grass, and quills, in the form of quill boxes, broaches, hair clips, pendants, framed quilled artwork, and her latest creation “Birchbark Angel Doll Series.” Her only inspiration is seeing the joy her creations bring to people’s faces.

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Loretta Gould

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Her art is spiritual and its said it’s a dream to see bright, beautiful colors. Her first paintings sold in Finland and Germany. She spent her whole life creating with fabric, photos, and acrylics. She is self-taught and has been creating and exhibiting her work ever since. Loretta’s dream is to share her art around the world. It is a way to get her spiritual feelings on canvas. She was born and raised in Cape Breton, raised in a reservation by her Parents. The Waycobah First Nation is located in Nova Scotia.

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Lorne A Julien

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Lorne Alexander Julien is a proud Mi’kmaw artist and member of Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia. He specializes in contemporary Indigenous acrylic paintings and murals. Although known primarily as a painter, he has diversified to other mediums such as stained glass and photography. His Mi’kmaw name is “Warrior on the Hill”  (Sma’knis) which was given to him in his youth when he learned about the spiritual way of his people. He is a self-taught artist, beginning as a young child. He specializes in rich vibrant colours and believes simplicity is beautiful. Lorne wants to share his artwork, lifting people’s spirits, with ideas taken from his visions and dreams. Lorne creates murals in schools, institutions and public spaces in an effort to Indigenize and create safe spaces that are inclusive, respectful and honour Canada’s Indigenous People. He believes that incorporating Indigenous art in public spaces is a simple act of reconciliation and moving forward in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding. His artwork is a form of prayer, it provides healing for himself and he would like to bring healing to the world. His intention is to inspire hope and balance within the universe. 


Teresa Marshall


Teresa’s Marshall’s multimedia sculptures and installations address the ellipses and absences in the dominant Euro centric version of North American history. Marshall grew up in a bi-cultural military Reserve and the Millbrook Mi’kmaq Reservation, before studying at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where she won numerous scholarships and academic awards. Since then, she has earned a multitude of project and travel grants from The Canadian Native Arts Foundation, The Canada Council, The Banff Centre for the Arts and various provincial agencies across the country. Since the early 1990’s Marshall has worked extensively as an instructor, juror, visiting artist and exhibiting artist.


Sunset Rose Knockwood Morris


Elder Rose is originally from Sipekne’katik First Nation but is now a member of Acadia First Nation and resides in Gold River First Nation Community. She is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great great grandmother.  She spent several years in the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. After her children were all grown, Elder Rose went back to school. First, Upgrading, Transition Year Program at Dalhousie, and finally she graduated the Dalhousie Maritime School of Social Work when she was 61 years old! Elder Rose has never forgotten the crafts and arts she was taught by her mother and father (Theresa and John Knockwood) out of necessity. Basket making, beadwork, porcupine quill work and her canvas paintings are her passion. In her basketry, she loves using bright colors and sweetgrass as it adds a unique touch to the baskets. She says “ Painting comes naturally to me, and I love painting woods, oceans because it helps me get away from everything and everyone.” Although her art work is her passion, she has the most passion for her family, and how important the culture is to future generations. She is a National Treasure!

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Nancy Oakley


Nancy E. Oakley is a first nation artist of Mi’kmaq and Wampanoag descent. She was raised in Mashpee, Massachuttes, where her father was Supreme Sachem (grand chief )of the Wampanoag Nation and after art school decided to move to her mother’s reserve the Eskasoni First Nation reserve in Cape Breton Nova Scotia to better understand her Mi’kmaq heritage. She has always been involved in art her whole life, beginning as a small child, traditional dancing and making her own regalia and beadwork. She eventually went to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico to study photography and tried her hand at traditional pottery. After graduating she moved to Nova Scotia and studied for a year at the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, taking courses in weaving, jewelery, photography and pottery.


As an artist she creates culturally significant vessels that imbue her spiritual and traditional knowledge and honour her role as a mother. She creates her pieces by using the wheel or hand building larger sculptural vessels and finds inspiration in nature and the creation of life. She incorporates traditional practices in her creations, such as stone polishing and smokefiring. She has also begun to recreate the traditional pottery techniques of the Mi’kmaq, by harvesting and processing local clay and traditionally firing pieces in an open fire. These pieces are later embellishes with traditional Mi’kmaq black ash basketry, intricate beadwork and/or the spiritual element of sweetgrass.


Sheila Porter


She was born in beautiful Annapolis Royal, NS and is am a member of Bear River First Nation. She grew up in Lequille, Molega and South Brookfield with her parents and six siblings. She presently resides just outside of the UNESCO Town of Lunenburg with her husband. In making her hand made porcupine quill jewelry and embroidery, she harvests the porcupine quills as well as the antlers that she uses. These products are used in their natural state, giving each piece its own uniqueness. With the addition of Swarovski crystals, glass beads, semi-precious stones, and metal feathers, the piece gets color and bling! Her designs are self-creations, which she would describe as “contemporary with a traditional feel”. She has styles that you would wear every day or others that you would wear to a celebration.

Her interest in jewelry making began as a young girl and she recalls taking apart her mother’s beaded shawl to make necklaces for the women in their community. As an adult, when she creates her designs, she finds herself thinking about the ancestors and how they would have used the porcupine quills and antlers in the making of traditional regalia. She is passionate about her work and takes great satisfaction when a customer immediately wears a piece of her jewelry.   


Her work has been juried by Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council and can be found and purchased in shops across Mi’kma’ki extending all across Canada to as far as the Yukon. In keeping with her Mi’kmaq tradition, she loves to share her knowledge with the children. She instructs various workshops in schools and in community. These hands on sessions allow her to promote awareness and an environment of self-creativeness for each participant. She is proud to share her Mi’kmaq culture and for her, it is like she is sharing her mom and her mother’s teachings with them.

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