(Re) Awakening Ancestral Memory


Join us for an afternoon with Joe (wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr. who will be present at Stonington for a Drum Painting Demonstration.

When: Saturday, February 17th from 1-4 pm.

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet this incredible artist and watch him create in person!


(Re)Awakening Ancestral Memory / Joe (wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr.

“I always wanted to create work that my ancestors would recognize. That’s why I studied Coast Salish arts, songs, and stories. When I started to create work for my Studio Arts Master of Fine Arts program at the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA), I was challenged to create work that moved beyond the boundaries of Coast Salish art and to think about issues that Natives face in today’s world, issues like living in diaspora, language loss, and loss of Indigenous lands.

The works in this exhibit reflect some of those issues. The “Postcard Paintings” address issues of language loss and loss of traditional place names. In these paintings I want to make the viewer aware that the lands that have been given colonized names already had names before they were erased. The traditional place names reflected characteristics of the land or of the natural world. With these paintings I wanted to acknowledge the ancestral knowledge that went into the name for a specific place. By using the language that my ancestors spoke, I am reawakening the knowledge of my ancestors and am passing it along to a new generation of language speakers.

The weavings in this exhibition reflect that no matter how you change the land or what you call it, Indigenous cultures will always be a part of the land. Through these weavings, I am interlacing the land, art and people that make up Indigenous cultures, visually depicting how these elements woven together create the beauty of Coast Salish culture.

I cannot forget that my roots are cemented in the teachings of my ancestors.”

Artist Statement by Joe (wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr.


Exhibition Dates:

February 1, 2024 - March 2, 2024

Involved Artists:

Joe (wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr.

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