Cheryl Simon, Mi'kmaq Quill Artist in Residence

From July 10th to 14th, Sherbrooke Village will host Mi’kmaq quill artist Cheryl Simon as part of our Artist in Residence program. Simon will continue her practice from the Goldmining Office with demonstrations open to the public 1 to 3PM during the dates of her stay.

Cheryl Simon is a Mi’kmaq woman from Epekwitk, currently residing in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She fell in love with Mi’kmaq quillwork as a little girl studying her mother’s collection of quill boxes. Upon moving back to Mi’kma’ki in 2007, she spent years meeting and learning from Mi’kmaw knowledge keepers, as well as studying the insertion technique and design through available publications, museums and accessing quillwork collections across the country.

Cheryl launched her business, Mi’kmaq Quill Art in 2011 and took on her first apprentice in 2015. The focus of the apprenticeship was not merely Mi’kmaw porcupine quillwork, but also learning the natural cycles of porcupines, birchbark, spruce root and sweetgrass and how to process the raw materials. Cheryl is committed to community education of the artform and has been teaching quillwork workshops for over fifteen years. She has taught workshops for the general public, in schools at all levels, as wells as both federal and provincial government departments. She opened a short-term studio in Epekwitk in 2016 to begin a program of instruction for three more apprentices.

While Cheryl focuses on traditional quillwork and construction, she also developed a process for accurately depicting the petroglyphs (rock carvings) after visiting the petroglyph sites throughout Nova Scotia. She now incorporates both traditional designs, the petroglyph technique, and black ash splint basketry into her work.