Top News

Mi'kmaq artist Scott Butt continues to celebrate Indigenous arts

Indigenous artist Scott Butt poses for a photo with his drum at the People of the Dawn Friendship Centre in Stephenville, where he will be participating in an Indigenous Arts and Crafts Showcase on Saturday.
Indigenous artist Scott Butt poses for a photo with his drum at the People of the Dawn Friendship Centre in Stephenville, where he will be participating in an Indigenous Arts and Crafts Showcase on Saturday. - Frank Gale

Fresh home from participating in a section of “Identify – a celebration of Indigenous Arts and Culture,” Scott Butt will be participating in a local Indigenous Arts and Crafts Showcase on Saturday.

The goal of Saturday’s showcase starting a 1 p.m. in the People of the Dawn Friendship Centre at 90 Main Street in Stephenville is to provide an opportunity for people to witness amazing Indigenous local talent.

Most of the art will be traditionally inspired – such as beadwork, drums, moccasins and paintings featuring Petroglyphs.

While some items may be available for sale, others will be just for show.

Butt will be bringing his drum and likely one piece of art entitled “The Final Purge.” Most of his art sells as he makes it and often it’s commissioned even before he starts it.

Identify

At the Identify Festival in St. John’s, a collaboration of Eastern Edge Gallery and The Rooms, which started on April 8 and continues to this Saturday, Butt taught a workshop in drum making.

Prior to going to the east coast, he scraped all the hides in the traditional way and built the rims all by hand at home in Flat Bay Brook.

At the workshop he demonstrated to the 10 people involved how to tie up the drums and provided them with the traditional teachings on the drum itself, the spiritual connection and how it the drum is used for prayer.

“I had a really good crew, who were very interactive and we built 11 really beautiful drums,” he said.

All participants took their creations home with them.

Butt took in a workshop on screening of Indigo ink (tattooing) put off by Jordan Bennett and Jerry Evans of St. Michael’s Printshop.

On Saturday he sat on a four-artist panel, discussing their artwork and the creative process that’s involved with coming up with ideas in their different mediums. He said there was quite the representation of Indigenous artists from Western Newfoundland in the festival.

Best part of trip

Butt said hands down, the best part of the trip for him was getting to spend time with his daughter Kasandra Perrier, who helped tie a drum and met a lot of his artistic friends.

“You have some really cool friends,” was her comment to him after meeting them on the weekend.

Future plans

This spring, Butt plans to build another war canoe, this time to the full scale of 18-feet.

While he built an 11-foot model back in 2016, he will take what he learned from the last one and improve on it.

It will be made of all harvested materials and have a birch bark skin.

“This one I want to put out in the saltwater,” he said. “I want to build something that was used before the English showed up on our shores.”

He said the war canoe will carry two to six warriors and move through the water as quickly as possible.

He will take his researched historical information and use his own experience canoeing for the design.

Indigenous artists’ panel:

Scott Butt, a multi-disciplinary artist from Stephenville Crossing who specializes in carvings but does everything from drum making, beadwork, moccasins, woven baskets to canoe making

Jenelle Duval, an Indigenous drummer/singer and member of all-female Indigenous drumming circle Eastern Owl

Jordan Bennett, a multi-disciplinary artist from Stephenville Crossing who does painting, sculpture, performances, installation and digital media

Meghan Musseau, an interdisciplinary visual artist of Mi’kmaq, French, and Irish ancestry from Corner Brook

Recent Stories