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LEWISTON – The Lewiston Council on the Arts was awarded a $3,000 grant for “Tuscarora Beadwork from 1812 to Present” from the New York Council for the Humanities.

Held in November during Native American Month, the exhibit begins with a grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Tuscarora and Friends Gallery, a co-operative of regional artists in the Lewiston Opera Hall, 736 Center St. The exhibit is free to the public.

The grant funds a binational exhibit of Native American beadwork from the Tuscarora Reservation in Lewiston and the Six Nations Reservation in Ontario.

Local artists Rosemary Hill, Simon Brascoupe and Karen Hodge-Russell are the curators of the exhibit, which tells the social history of the Tuscarora and Six Nations people in the Niagara Region through samples of traditional beadwork created between 1812 to the present. Beadwork items are often given as gifts to commemorate important life passages, including births, weddings, graduations and anniversaries, and beaded clothing is worn at community social events, political meetings and during traditional celebrations, as a powerful expression of cultural identity.

Irene Rykaszewski, executive director of the Lewiston Council on the Arts, said she is excited to help with this exhibit and accompanying programs to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month. “Native Americans have a rich culture and dynamic legacy, and the Tuscarora and Friends Gallery, this exhibit, talks and demonstrations, are a wonderful way to engage the community and build bridges between our cultures,” she said.

In addition to the exhibit there will be talks and demonstrations by contemporary bead workers from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 10, 11 and 17. Information about the gallery and upcoming programs is available on www.artcouncil.org or by calling Lewiston Council on the Arts 754-0166.

The New York Council for the Humanities is funded by federal, state and private sources. The council provides financial support for public programs presented by not-for-profit organizations across the state that use the humanities to engage people in analyzing issues and taking part in the meaningful exchange of ideas.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com