Collections Spotlight with Elizabeth James-Perry

by | Jun 10, 2020 | America Meredith, Coe Collaborations, Collections Programming

Elizabeth is an enrolled member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe on the island of Noepe (Martha’s Vineyard). Her fine artwork focuses on Northeastern Woodlands Algonquian artistic expressions: Wampum carving, weaving, and natural dyeing.

As a member of a nation that has long lived on and harvested from the sea, Elizabeth holds a perspective that combines art and an appreciation for Native storytelling and traditional environmental knowledge in her ways of relating to coastal North Atlantic life. With a degree in Marine Science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (2001), she has off-shore commercial fisheries research experience, and published independent Native research projects.

Elizabeth was honored to be onboard the 38th voyage of the historic Charles W. Morgan whaling vessel, as a descendant of the Gay Head crewmembers. Her artwork has appeared in Native People’s Magazine, Native Fashion Now, and First American Art Magazine. The Massachusetts Cultural Council named her their 2014 Traditional Arts Fellow, and she served as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of her community.  She resides in South Coast Massachusetts and now divides her time between art, native plant cultivation, and digital archive work.

This interactive, online discussion brings together scholars and Native artists who select artworks from the Coe’s collection to interpret and discuss. The free virtual Zoom format brings together attendees from diverse regions, and who are encouraged to engage with the artist through the questions asked.

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