BETHEL — The 10th annual Artirondack Auction will be held during MollyOckett Days at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20. It will feature a ground-breaking work of art that will be auctioned to benefit two worthy causes.

The collaborative art work between James E. Francis, Penobscot artist and Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation for the Penobscot Nation, and Arla Patch, artist, teacher and member of the Communications Subcommittee of the Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has resulted in a stunning painting on a chair crafted by Reggie Brown of Bethel.

The proceeds of the chair will be split between the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Mahoosuc Arts Council. A reserve is set at $1,000. Left bids and phone bids will be accepted.

The theme of MollyOckett Days this year is the “Stewardship of the Earth.” The chair’s images convey the theme through native and western cultural imagery. Francis created the central image of the tree that becomes the earth. Patch created the context based on the European American tradition of quilts. Francis provided the symbols, which represent one of each of the four remaining tribes in the Wabanki Confederacy: the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, the Maliseet and the Micmac.

A theme of the four directions, which comes from both Native American spirituality and ancient Celtic tradition, is depicted as the night sky for the north, the sun rising over “second island” next to the tribal land of Sipayik, the midday sky for the south and the sun setting over the White Mountains for the west. “Agiocochook” (home of the Great Spirit) also known as Mt. Washington, is included in the western sky. Blueberries are included for the role they have played in sustaining Maine native peoples historically and to this day. Maple leaves are in the upper corners to honor the development of maple syrup by the Wabanaki.

What the Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation is in the words of Passamaquoddy tribal member Esther Attean: “This process is one of taking the issue and passion for justice from the mind to the heart. It is a spiritual and emotional process which requires a real love for each other as humans… We need to tap into our humanity.”

“We hope this chair and the work performed by Ms. Patch and Mr. Francis represents a much larger context for our community in the important movement toward illuminating the truth and reconciliation project,” said Aranka Matolcsy, executive director of the Mahoosuc Arts Council. “We also hope that our collaborative spirit to share proceeds to make our mission impacts greater will encourage collectors of fine and unique art to take a chance on this amazing piece.”

Chairs painted by Jewel Clark, Troy Jordan, Tera Ingraham, Lauren Head, Seneca Corriveau and Aranka Matolcsy will also be auctioned. For more information visit www.mahoosucarts.org/artirondack.html or call 207-890-6386.


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