Contemporary Art Wetu Installation

Visit the Native American WETU at Cape Ann Museum Green in Gloucester Massachusetts

This summer, the Cape Ann Museum is proud to unveil a Contemporary Art Wetu at the Cape Ann Museum Green. Join the Museum to see the installation in process on Friday, June 21 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.  

This installation is the next phase of an ongoing partnership with SmokeSygnals, a Native production company. SmokeSygnals will add a large-scale print of new original artwork to the wetu frame which they built at the Cape Ann Museum Green in May 2023 as part of Native Waters; Native Lands. 

The artist, Robert Peters, is a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and is well known for his art that blends historical and modern life of indigenous people of the Northeast. Peters’ artwork created for the Contemporary Art Wetu shows the continuation and evolution of cultural tradition through a round dance. Round dances encourage community participation and are often used to connect tribal communities to the land and ancestors. 

Visitors are welcome to join for the installation of the artwork from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm on Friday, June 21 or to sign up for Panel Discussion: Creating the Contemporary Art Wetu at 1:00 pm on Friday, June 21. 

Both Native Waters; Native Lands and the culminating Contemporary Art Wetu are presented as part of the CAM Native Initiative, an ongoing series of programs, installations, and exhibitions at the Cape Ann Museum dedicated to centering and expanding the histories and contemporary stories of Native people across Eastern Massachusetts. Visitors to CAM Green are invited to enter the Contemporary Art Wetu to experience the conversation between traditional building methods and contemporary creativity of Native partners in Eastern Massachusetts. 

The Contemporary Art Wetu is funded in part by the Institute for Museum & Library Services. Native Waters; Water Lands was a partnership between the Cape Ann Museum, Discover Gloucester, the Gloucester 400+ Anniversary, SmokeSygnals, and the City of Gloucester. The project was funded in part by the Essex County Community Foundation’s Creative County Initiative. 

About Robert Peters 

Robert Peters is a Mashpee Wampanoag artist, poet, and author. He published his first book “Da Goodie Monsta” in the fall of 2009. Peters released “Thirteen Moons Calendar: A Meditation on Indigenous Life” in 2015 and again in 2020. “Thirteen Moons” is accompanied by poetry, essays and thoughts – written over a span of twenty years. It was created to promote understanding and healing among indigenous people everywhere. 

Peters’ family moved to the Wampanoag homeland of Mashpee when he was ten. His father Russell entered a life-long battle to regain land and sovereignty for the Mashpee Wampanoag People. As a child, Peters witnessed the 1976 Wampanoag Indian land claim trial and the tribe’s quest for Federal Recognition. He retired from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority after 24 years of service. During this period, Peters observed the culture of Boston’s subway system working as a motorman, union steward and at times a civil rights activist on the MBTA’s Orange Line. He drew pictures, took notes, and made commentary. 

Today, Peters continues writing, painting, and working with youth. He is a fire keeper and a keeper of oral tradition. 

When: 
Friday, June 21, 2024 10am-Noon
Prices: 
FREE | Registration Required
Phone: 
978.283.0455
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