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September 25, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Oh, Let Me Be Free! is a one day virtual workshop led by Indigenous artist Naomi Smith, who will guide you through the creation of a beaded dragonfly. The dragonfly pin is a scaled down miniature version of the dragonfly mask currently on view at the Art Gallery of Guelph in the exhibition Breathe. Designed and created by Smith, the dragonfly motif is connected to both her childhood recollections and her respect for these beautiful winged beings. Traditional teaching will be part of the learning experience.

While this workshop is for adults of all skill levels, experience with hand sewing is recommended. Participants will learn various beading techniques often featured in Woodlands beadwork, including double needle appliqué, single bead edging and a variation of a two needle weave used to create the dragonfly’s charming little tail.

The kit provided will include all the materials you will require to complete the project including beading needles, thread and sinew. Additional supplies and tools list will be provided prior to the workshop.

Naomi Smith is an Indigenous artist and educator who has shared traditional teachings with various communities and groups for over 25 years. Her work focuses on the ways of the Indigenous people of the Great Lakes region from a historical and contemporary perspective, often through the story of beads. Naomi’s artwork embraces ancestral designs using quillwork, beadwork and other indigenous methods and materials. She has exhibited her work across Canada and internationally.

Artist statement

“Honouring our traditions is my voice within and beyond my Culture and Community. Traditionally there is no word for ‘art’ in Native languages yet artistry and visual expression are critical in defining who we are as Indigenous people. It is this path I wish to exemplify through my teachings and my work.”

Register now!

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