The Art Spot: Melissa Sue Labrador
“Doah Aye Nibi” is the Mi’kmaq name of Melissa Sue Labrador. From the Wildcat Community in South Brookfield, Nova Scotia, Melissa’s art is currently on display at the Wolfville Memorial Library at 21 Elm Avenue. Check valleylibrary.ca for open hours
WHO: I am an eighth-generation Mi’kmaq from the Kejimkujik area, a mother of 6-year-old twins whom I home-school, and an assistant birch bark canoe builder to my father, Mi’kmaq birch bark canoe builder Todd Labrador. I am a voice for Mother Earth on environmental issues, practices, and traditional ecological knowledge.
WHAT: I use primarily acrylic on canvas, and have for as long as I can recall, probably more than twenty years. More recently I’ve been working with birch bark, creating art using it and on it.
WHERE: I work mainly from my home. My work can be found at the Millbrook Culture & Heritage Centre, in various private collections throughout the world, and on occasion in a group or solo art show throughout Nova Scotia. It can also Facebook under Seven Directions Mi’kmaq Art or on Twitter under @Mel7Labrador
WHEN: I have never known myself not to be an artist. I have very artistic parents to thank for that. I work on my art as the visions arrive, sometimes during the day, sometimes in the evening or late at night. I’m always thinking and creating, however sometimes the pictures in my mind become stronger and I simply have to get to work!
WHY: Art is something that stems from my rich cultural upbringing. I am able to teach others through art.