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twixt & tween

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September 11, 2015 - October 4, 2015
Historic Northampton

Opening reception: Friday, September 11, 2015, 5-8pm (Arts Night Out)

Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton presents twixt & tween, an exhibition of works by artist Donnabelle Casis. Inspired by specific artifacts from the museum’s collection, these pieces explore the notion of identity through the lens of popular culture past and present, which initiate a dialogue with Casis’ current work. Combining modern digital shorthand with traditional beading techniques to incorporating the concept of clam shell currency to rubber bands, Casis employs methods and ideas from history in context with the issues of today. twixt & tween refers to the act of straddling different time periods and media.

For example, a pair of moccasins from the museum’s collection represents a fusion of native technology and European style. The lining is cotton tape and the ties are silk, both trade goods. The porcupine quill embroidery is executed with traditional techniques, but the design of a meandering vine and flowers probably derives from European embroidery patterns. For Casis, the moccasins are symbolic for the way traditions, interests, patterns and practices often change over time.

twixt & tween also showcases woven bead chains, a short-lived fad popular between 1832-1836 with school-aged girls; wampum, which evoked power struggles between tribes and between various groups of whites interested in controlling them; and mourning dress. Donnabelle Casis’ paintings and drawings will be displayed alongside works woven with glass beads and rubber bands.

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