Members from the Aroostook Band of Micmac community hosted a month of events  beginning in February 2019.  Community members volunteered to offer free Friday night demonstrations and tutorials of traditional art forms. This culminated in an art exhibit on display at HardScrabble Solutions throughout the month of March.

On February 8, HardScrabble Solutions welcomed a full-house of community members present for an oil painting demonstration. Attendees ranged in age from elementary school through seniority.

All enjoyed witnessing the talent of community members and trying to paint for themselves. Their art work was the placed on display to be featured in March 2019’s First Friday Downtown Art Walks.

On February 15, community members braved harsh winter conditions to attend a beading demonstration offered by Waupi Paul. She instructed those in attendance on creating a modern, functional piece using traditional methods. Attendees created popsockets used on mobile phones. “A popsocket is a circular disc attached to the back of a cell phone with a flexible, accordion-like stem that pops out and allows the user to hold the phone more easily or prop it up to watch videos.”

The Star Herald’s Melissa Lizotte covered the event and published a great article.

“Paul has been beading since she was 11 years old after learning from older family members. She is originally from the Narrangansett Indian Tribe in Rhode Island and has lived in the Micmac community for over a decade now. She has often held demonstrations on Native American beading, traditional regalia and dancing for both the Micmac community and the general public.

“Once people master the basics of flat stitching, Paul said, they could easily move on to more complex forms of beading such as peyote stitching and tubular stitching and create other accessories such as necklaces, earrings or beaded decorations to go with traditional Native American regalia, including belts, dance sticks and feathers. Beading techniques are fun crafts that people of all ages can easily learn and practice and traditions that Paul has been passing down to her children.”

On February 22, community members again attended in great numbers for a weaving demonstration. Using hemp twine, attendees witnessed how to use natural substance to create refined textiles. 

First Friday Downtown Art Walks was treated to an exhibit featuring art works by multiple community members from the Aroostook Band of Micmac. 

Portraits of youth from the Boys & Girls Club were a real treat. Children were captured wearing mixtures of traditional regalia and accessories and modern t-shirts in local summery, woodlands. The juxtaposition of earthy tones with their brightly hued accessories invoke ideas over the dual roles peoples from First Nations today must embody.

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