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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards


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Kelly Church and Gegek, Tobias and Waasamo Pamp
2012 master artist and apprentice
Hopkins (Allegan County) & Mt. Pleasant (Isabella County)
black ash baskets


Kelly Church is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa and a fifth-generation black ash basketmaker, an art form she learned from her father, Bill Church, and her cousin, John Pigeon. Kelly demonstrates and teaches basketweaving to a variety of audiences. With support from the National Museum of the American Indian, Kelly coordinated a symposium in 2006 to teach other black ash basketweavers about the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that is destroying thousands of black ash trees. She advocates for the collection of ash seeds to ensure the future of black ash basketmaking. Kelly also works with birch bark biting. With this apprenticeship she is teaching three Anishinaabe boys from the Pamp Family of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe.  The boys are from a family where basketmaking has always been valued and they want to learn all they can about the craft. They are proud to be the only ones of their age to be learning black ash basketmaking in their community.


-Lynne Swanson

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