Shinnecock artist Denise “Weetahmoe” Silva-Dennis (American, b. 1960) will discuss her 2022 Parrish Road Show installation Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground, a mural depicting the ancestral history of Shinnecock Bay, at the Museum on Friday, November 4, 6PM. Corinne Erni, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects, will moderate the talk.
On view at the Sisters of St. Joseph Villa in Hampton Bays, Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground continues the artist’s life-long practice of inter-generational education and storytelling through the arts. The mural and public programming with the artist’s Shinnecock research collaborators will provide insight into how these ancestral places came to be, how they’ve changed, and what they mean to the Shinnecock people today.
Wunne Ohke is Algonquin for “Good Ground”—the original placename of the Hampton Bays area given by the Shinnecock who first inhabited the region as a residential area. The name describes the smooth “good ground” that allowed ease of launching canoes for whaling. In her mural, Silva-Dennis combines a vibrant re-imagination of the land from pre-colonial times with more recent, significant landmarks in the Shinnecock Nation’s history. Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground considers how Shinnecock efforts to regain ancestral lands and revitalize traditional practices for future generations are implemented and celebrated through art. The installation, organized by Corinne Erni with support from Brianna Hernández, Curatorial Fellow, and in collaboration with the Sisters of St. Joseph, is on view daily.
Silva-Dennis is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator based in the Shinnecock Nation. A graduate of Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art, she works primarily in acrylic for her figurative paintings and murals and is an accomplished beadwork craftswoman. The traditional Eastern Woodland style of beadwork was handed down to her from her mother and elder women of the Shinnecock and Hassanamisco-Nipmuc Nations. Silva-Dennis’s work has exhibited at art galleries, museums, libraries, schools, and colleges throughout Long Island and Upstate New York, including at Hamilton College’s Bundy Center and Library.