The “First Light Tile Project” is inspired by the Wampanoag people, who call themselves the People of the First Light. The name reflects their location on the eastern seaboard, where the sun first rises. This season the Highland House Museum will install a new permanent exhibition, Wampanoag Nation: People of the First Light, examining the history and culture of the Indigenous people who have lived on the Cape for more than 12,000 years.
Purpose of Project:
The goal of the project is for artists and the general public to paint handcrafted ceramic tiles that express personal reflections on the history and culture of the Wampanoag people. The tiles will be donated by the participants and installed in the lobby of the Highland House Museum in mid-July. Visitors will be able to see the tiles by appointment. All of the tiles will be available for sale at a silent auction fundraiser to benefit the Truro Historical Society. The auction will end in early August.
We’re seeking a wide range of imagery on the tiles, including, but not limited to, arrowheads, pottery, and wetus (not teepees!), wampum, and the three sisters—corn, beans, and maize. The Wampanoag connection to the earth and spiritual practices—pow wows with celebratory singing and dancing—might also be considered. Please avoid depicting Native people wearing feathers, loincloths, and other inaccurate motifs that perpetuate stereotypes and false notions about the Wampanoag people.
Participants may pick up their tiles and glazes from JOBI Pottery. Starting on April 24th, Susan Kurtzman will be at JOBI Pottery on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-2 PM to distribute materials, for which there will be no charge. Please bring a shoe box or sturdy bag to take home your tile and supplies. Susan will offer a couple of Zoom sessions for anyone interested in learning more about pottery painting techniques. Participants may drop off their painted tiles anytime before June 20th. Please check the JOBI Pottery website for their hours, www.jobipottery.com. If you have any questions, please email Susan Kurtzman at [email protected].
The “First Light Tile Project” is sponsored by Jobi Pottery. Thank you, Susan Kurtzman, for creating this inspiring project!