Award-winning Mohawk beadwork artist Niio Perkins at Kennebunkport gallery May 28 - 30 | Arts & Culture

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Award-winning Mohawk beadwork artist Niio Perkins at Kennebunkport gallery May 28 - 30
Award-winning Mohawk beadwork artist Niio Perkins at Kennebunkport gallery May 28 - 30

Niio Perkins, award-winning Mohawk beadwork artist, will visit Home & Away Gallery from May 28 to 30, 11 AM to 5 PM. Perkins, who works in the traditional Iroquois raised bead style, incorporates contemporary materials and colors, creating vibrant, timeless pieces that will endure through the generations.

Born in 1980, Perkins began to create beadwork in 2005. With no mentor in her family or community, she taught herself the painstaking techniques that have established her reputation as one of the best Native American bead workers in the Northeast. Researching historic beadwork through museums and publications, she was able to adapt traditional techniques and designs to suit her personal creative style. Much of Perkins’ work is inspired by nature (primarily birds and flowers), as was that of her ancestors in the upstate New York area.

Iroquois beadwork may have reached its peak in the early 20th century, as visitors to Niagara Falls purchased Iroquois purses and whimseys to bring home as mementos.

As ubiquitous as these items were one hundred years ago, the tradition lives on today through the hands of a small number of artists.

Gallery director David Shultz says: "Niio Perkins’ work represents an important link between the 20th and 21st centuries. As one of the few practitioners of Iroquois-style raised beadwork, she is keeping alive a cultural tradition that has its roots in quill-decorated objects going back many centuries. The awards she has won at national Native American art shows are a testament to her high level of achievement. She is a young artist with a very promising career ahead of her."

Perkins has won ribbons at a number of nationally recognized Native American art fairs, including the Eiteljorg Museum, the Autry Museum, the Heard Museum, the Cherokee Indian Market, and the Woodland Indian Art Show. Home & Away Gallery is honored to promote the work of Niio Perkins, as well as many others who keep the flame of culture alive. Perkins’ work, including beaded purses, whimseys, clothing, and paintings, will be on display at the gallery throughout the weekend.

Perkins was one of fewer than a dozen contemporary Northeast bead artists featured in North by Northeast, a survey of traditional arts of contemporary New York and New England Native American tribes by Kathleen Mundell, Tilsbury Press, Gardiner, Maine, 2008.

About Home and Away Gallery:

Home & Away Gallery of Kennebunkport is known for its remarkable and surprising Arctic and Indian arts collection that is unparalleled in New England. Art work encompasses the cultures of the Inuit (Canada), Eskimo (Alaska) and American Indian (Maine, Southwest and Plains). Home & Away specializes in collector-quality work from around North America for the seasoned collector, as well as for those just beginning to collect.

Owners David and Ann Shultz have admired, collected and lived with various kinds of arts from different countries and cultures for over thirty years. As they travel across North America, they choose art for the gallery using the same buying criteria that they use for their private collection, which focuses on art that "asks for our attention". Thus, each piece represented by the gallery has something to recommend it, whether it be a sophisticated aesthetic sense or an evocative image of distant lands, people and traditions.