June 2008. Painting by Lois Beardslee.
Header image: Painting by Lois Beardslee

Featured Artist: Lois Beardslee

Lois Beardslee to Appear at Bayliss Library and Alberta House

Lois Beardslee grew up in the Traverse City area. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College in 1976; her MA from the University of New Mexico in 1984 and her Educational Certification from the University of New Mexico in 1988. She is currently an adjunct instructor in communications at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. She lives in Maple City, with her husband and twelve-year-old son. Her daughter, Maria, a graduate of Michigan Tech, is working and living in Washington.

The arts are connected and people in the arts often are not limited to one field—sometimes the creativity bubbles forth in all directions. We first knew Lois Beardslee as a painter of sweeping dramatic works, into which were woven myriad details. The paintings pulled the viewer in and held him there, absorbed in the intricacy, the emotion, the stories told. When we knew her a little better we learned that she was a story teller, an interpreter of Native American lore, who traveled as part of the Michigan Council of Humanities summer presentations and sold her stories on tape (Leelanau Earth Tales, I, II and III). In addition to her stories, she brought her crafts—exquisite birch bark, sweet grass and porcupine quill work—baskets, cutouts, jewelry and more, now in museums and private collections nation wide. Lois has told her stories and demonstrated her craft work at the Detroit Institute of Art and the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, among other places.

Her first book, Lies to Live By, published by Michigan State University Press, came out in May of 2003. It was followed in August of 2004 by Rachel’s Children: Stories of a Contemporary Native American Woman and in September of 2007 by Not Far Away: The Real Life Adventures of Ima Pipiig, both published by Alta Mira Press. Her latest book, The Women’s Warrior Society, came out in March, published by the University of Arizona Press. (All are available from Barnes and Noble. Paperback editions are priced at $19.95 for Lies to Live By; $22.95 for Rachel’s Children, $27.95 for Not Far Away, and $15.25 for The Women’s Warrior Society.)

Many of you saw Lois when she demonstrated at Alberta House with Anny Hubbard or told stories at the Iroquois Point Lighthouse or Monocle Lake. She will be here again on Tuesday, June 24. You can meet her at Alberta House between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. where she and Anny Hubbard will show you how to make crafts using available natural forest products. She will speak at the Bayliss Library that evening at 6:30 p.m. on “Straddling the Border,” read from her books of Ojibwa stories and from her unpublished work, and discuss publishing. She will also share her traditional Ojibwa art, including birch bark cutouts, bitings and sweet grass and quill baskets. Her books and artwork will be available for purchase during the afternoon at Alberta House and during the evening at the Bayliss. Both events are free to the public.

Works by Lois Beardslee
Click on a thumbnail to see a larger version.

Sweetgrass hat with beadwork, lidded pot with birch bark and quill work and basket with birch bark and quill work—all by Lois Beardslee

Sweetgrass hat with beadwork, lidded pot with birch bark and quill work and basket with birch bark and quill work—all by Lois Beardslee

Painting by Lois Beardslee

Painting by Lois Beardslee

This is the cover of The Women’s Warrior Society, and, unlike her other books, the cover art is not hers.

This is the cover of The Women’s Warrior Society, and,
unlike her other books, the cover art is not hers.

Last updated: June 1, 2008


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