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Senator Moran Organizes Local Wampanoag Art Featured in Senate Gallery Exhibit


January 26, 2023


Ben Kaplan, Communications Director

Office of Senator Susan L. Moran

Senator Moran Organizes Local Wampanoag Art Featured in Senate Gallery Exhibit

Senator Moran Hosts Honored Indigenous Guests to the State House

(01/26/2023 - BOSTON) Most visitors to the State House do not expect to hear the steady rhythm of a drumbeat emanate from the depths of the Senate Chamber, but those within earshot on Wednesday afternoon had the treat of listening to a performance of the Red Hawk Singers, a Mashpee-based collective of Wampanoag musicians, perform as part of a reception Organized by Senator Moran for a collection of contemporary indigenous art currently on display in the Senate Gallery.

The installation “We Are Still Here” was curated by Mashpee Wampanoag Artist Robert Peters and features the work of Natasha Frye; Nelson Andrews, Jr.; Hartman Deetz, and Robert Peters. All three artists are from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and their work celebrates their tribal heritage among reflecting on a variety of larger themes.

It is Mr. Peters hope that by placing the work at the State House, legislators will have a deeper understanding of the issues facing indigenous people in the region. “The contemporary art of Wampanoag artists reflects and makes a note of the continuum of our culture, ideas, ideals, and spirituality,” said Robert.

The exhibition and coinciding reception, which was open to tribal members, friends, and family, as well as members of the Legislature, was sponsored and organized by Sen. Susan Moran (D – Plymouth & Barnstable).

“In receiving this generous opportunity from the Senate President’s Office, I felt there was an opportunity to not just highlight a local artist, but highlight an underserved community,” said Senator Moran. “By placing these powerful works of art in the Senate Gallery, we will encourage senators from all over the state to gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing indigenous people in the region and across the state.”

“This year Mass Cultural Council has deliberately focused on staff outreach to underserved communities in the cultural sector across the Commonwealth, including Native American and Indigenous People,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council.

“To inform and shape our efforts we hired outreach coordinators with established relationships in these communities, including the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. "It was my pleasure to meet with tribal leaders late last year, I am excited about continued engagement with this community, and I am thrilled to join Senator Moran today as she celebrates the work of these three Indigenous artists now on display in the Gallery of the Massachusetts Senate.”

“Art is meant to provoke emotion, cause the viewer to think, and hopefully instill enough curiosity so that one is inspired to continue learning about the subject matter. This exhibit celebrates and spotlights tribal heritage in Massachusetts and it is wonderful to see it here on Beacon Hill,” Bobbitt continued.

The art will be available for viewing through mid-February 15th inside the Senate Gallery hallway.


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