Potawatomi Traveling Times (PTT) held its annual Native American Heritage Month Art Reception on Jan. 15, 2015. In honoring Native American Heritage Month (November), PTT invited local Native American youth to show off their talents and pride in their culture in artwork that they have either done in school or on their own free time.
Schools that were involved this year with the artwork were Crandon and Wabeno. There were also youth who entered their own pieces of artwork. Mark Mackowski, Crandon High School art teacher, helps each student by deciding which piece or pieces they would like to enter. Gail Spaniol, Crandon Elementary art teacher, does the same. Though she added this year, “Students would work on these projects during their own time, such as recess, and I would help them along in this process.”
Participation this year with art pieces was much higher than last year, which was something everyone was happy to see. There is an incredible amount of talent in the community, and it needs to be showcased. With that being said, the students who participated this year were: Aaleyah Alloway, Aaliyah Frank, Albert Jacobson, Alyza Ford, Austin Polar, Autumn Lyons, Brevin Boyd, Colleen Shepard, Genevieve McGeshick, Holly Spaude, Isabella Daniels, Isaiah Alloway, Janiece Brown, Jennifer Daniels, Kaylee McGeshick, Lynzee McGeshick, Macy Polar, Maskwankot Daniels, Mikiya Alloway, Monique Tuckwab, Navada Peterson, Nellie Soldier, Reddmen Lemieux, Sage Dalton, Selena Alloway, Serena Alloway, Shaina Shepard, Shania Pamonicutt, Shavonn Tuckwab, Taylor Smith and Tehya VanZile.
Artwork was on display at the PTT offices from Dec. 8, 2014, to Jan. 15, 2015. As mentioned, the reception was held on Jan. 15, and this was attended by students with their families, school teachers, school administrative personnel and administrative personnel here from the FCP Community.
FCP elder Billy Daniels Jr. opened with a prayer for the event followed by FCP Tribal Administrator Eugene Shawano Jr. In his presentation, Shawano spoke of the significance of and the reasons behind each individual’s artwork. He stated, “Never underestimate what they (youth) draw and the reason they draw it. Who knows what they are thinking about when they do this work? It is a great form of expression and meaning for them and thank God for the creativity that is given to them.”
Crandon School District Administrator Jim Asher was next in line to share his thoughts. He said, “Without the arts we have no school. Appreciate what these youth do though their artwork.”
Mr. Mackowski followed with his energetic thoughts about what these youth do in his classroom each year and said, “I have a lot of pride in these students for doing these projects in my classroom. Let’s not forget how hard it is to put our pieces out there for the public to see. We are putting our souls out there for people to look at. It is a very hard thing for an artist to do at times, and I am very proud for all of these students for letting us see these pieces of art.”
In closing, Winda Collins, managing editor of PTT, said, “I give you students all the respect in the world for taking the time to do these pieces of work and for sharing them with us and the public. Thank you!”
PTT thanks everyone who attended the reception and everyone who was involved with coordinating it. Huge thanks go to all the youth who were brave enough to show the public your work and we hope to see more in the years to come!
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