Suzanne ChouteauLeaving a Trace - Making A Mark
I am a member of the Shawnee Tribe who lives on ancestral lands in south-central Ohio on the 20,000-acre Edge of Appalachia Preserve System in Adams County, Ohio. The hills, valleys and cliffs that surround my home are where ancestral Shawnee hunted for game, grew crops, left their trace and made their marks.
The ancestral Shawnee had a deep connection to the eastern woods where they lived in the middle Ohio Valley. They left behind clay pots, bone tools and pipes made for everyday living and their spiritual life. Some of these objects, especially pipes, were carved with an effigy: the likeness of an animal or person.
My Shawnee father, Thomas Francis Chouteau (1923-2018), and I are printmakers, or mark-makers. We make marks in (or on) wood, metal, or stone to make a print. Like our Shawnee ancestors we make marks to create the likeness of an animal or object in nature that captures our imagination. These prints tell the story of our contemporary life just as our ancestor's artifacts tell the story of the Shawnee.
Suzanne Chouteau photograph to the left taken by Michael Wilson