Follow Your Heart Wampum (Beaded Keychain or Pendant) - FULL, WAIT LIST ONLY

Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: At Centre
Free of Charge, Ages 18 and up, prior hand sewing experience is an asset.
Registration Required
Naomi Smith

We’re celebrating Indigenous History Month and our 30th Anniversary with artist Naomi Smith! The Follow Your Heart keychain workshop focuses on making a flat beaded heart shaped keychain featuring the wampum colours of white and purple. Participants will create a beaded keychain or pendant using beading techniques with a distinctive Indigenous flair. All materials will be provided, however, participants should bring their own *basic sewing kit, glasses and or magnifier and a lunch. This will be a wonderful opportunity to create a beautiful functional piece. Traditional teachings will also be part of the learning experience. This workshop is suitable for adult over the age of 18.

Note about WAMPUM: Wampum is a distinct white and purple material that comes from the Quahog shell on the east coast of North America. Indigenous people have made wampum beads and other objects from the pretty purple and white shell and have used wampum as a means of trade, for ceremonial purposes and cultural items such as wampum belts for thousands of years. The Follow Your Heart project honours the importance of wampum by using a combination of white and purple beads that represent the actual colour of the interior of the Quahog shell. We thank our community partner, Toronto Pearson, for making this workshop possible.

* Basic sewing kit includes: scissors, a magnifier or reading glasses (if needed), a pair of flat nose jewellery pliers, and a hide thimble (a few hide thimbles will be provided).

Register for this event: SU23AFYH

Thank you to our community partner Toronto Pearson!

Naomi Smith (Artist Bio)

About the Artist, Maker and Educator:

Naomi is an Indigenous Artist, Maker and Educator from the Chippewas of Nawash Nation in Neyaashiinimiing. For over 25 years Naomi has focused on sharing teachings about the Indigenous people of the Woodlands and Northeastern region from a historical and contemporary perspective often through the story of beads. Her work embraces ancestral designs in the form of bags, adornment and traditional accessories. Naomi’s work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally. She has exhibited at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) (Smithsonian) in Washington DC and New York, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives, Art Gallery of Guelph and participated in events throughout the year prior to the pandemic. 
Naomi’s artwork is in permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, MA, The Art Gallery of Guelph, Schneider Haus, and private collections throughout the world.

While many of her lectures and presentations are art themed, she also talks about the historic challenges facing indigenous peoples and how this narrative has affected her life journey. Naomi provides insight into her Indigenous world which is a unique blend of traditional teachings and colonial experiences. 

Artist’s Statement:
“Honouring our traditions is my voice within and beyond my Culture and Community. Traditionally there is no word for “art” in Native languages yet artistry and visual expression are critical in defining who we are as Original people. It is this path I wish to exemplify through my teachings and my work.”

Naomi Smith