Virtual Curator Talk: Art, Culture, and Adaptation with Elizabeth James-Perry

October 15, 2020
6 – 7 p.m.
Free, Registration was required 

three images of Perry jewelry

An exhibition by artist Elizabeth James-Perry titled Ripples. Through a Wampanoag Lens is currently on view at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Through local, indigenous, contemporary art, the exhibition highlights native community connections to the living environment and ocean (especially around the New Bedford and Martha’s Vineyard areas), and it emphasizes changes that indigenous and non-indigenous New Englanders adapted to and are adapting to. From a native perspective, this exhibition conceptualizes the significance of the 2020 quadricentennial of the arrival of the Pilgrims in Plymouth.

A virtual discussion was held with artist Elizabeth James-Perry, an Aquinnah Wampanoag whaling descendant and marine scientist, about the connections between her exhibition at the Whaling Museum and her family history, Wampanoag culture, and 400 years of environmental change and adaptation. Elizabeth was joined by Whaling Museum Curator of Social History Akeia de Barros Gomes and panelists during this hour-long interactive event. Participants discussed why exploring history and community can strengthen awareness of, and capacity for cultural adaptation to regional environment change. Elizabeth provided a Native American perspective on the past. Panelists and attendees were invited to contribute diverse perspectives on what the future looks like for the environment upon which we all depend for sustenance, art, culture and recreation.

Ripples. Through a Wampanoag Lens was funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ripples. Through a Wampanoag Lens is part of Common Ground: A Community Mosaic, which is an initiative of the New Bedford Whaling Museum aimed at gathering stories, told through the voices of the community, that illustrate the many shared experiences of the people of Greater New Bedford – illuminating our common ground.