Breathe in the Beauty of the Day and the Beauty of the Night
Medium:Birch Bark, Quills, Rit Dye, Thread, Velvet, Beads
Mask made with birch bark. One half on a tan background has strawberries, green leaves and white flowers. The other half is black with a comet and small beads.
This handmade and embellished mask was first on display in 2021 at GVSU as part of the exhibition "The Art of the People: Contemporary Anishinaabe Artists." The Anishinaabeg Peoples have inhabited the Great Lakes area of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and sections of Canada for thousands of years. Anishinaabeg, which translates to “People Whence Lowered” or “the Good Humans,” encompasses several tribes that share similar languages and customs, including the Ojibwe, Bodawatami, Odawa, Salteaux, and Chippewa. Kelly Church was one artist featured in the exhibition, representing current Anishinaabe artists who are still working within traditional methods while tackling contemporary issues. On her work she states, "This work was made in July when the Strawberries were growing and we had the gift of seeing the comet. It is to remind us of the beauty that surrounds us in nature, in the skies, even in the darkness that was 2020. Keep hope in your Heart, Be Kind, make small changes that impact us all positively, and remember someone smiles when they think of you."