“A Glimpse of Noella” Art Exhibit

About the Artist

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Noella Moore is a multi-media artist that can’t remember a time in life where her creative side was not making itself known. Her creativity first came out as a small child through her drawings. By the age of sixteen she had created her first oil painting, which through adult eyes she still describes as “gorgeous.”

Ross Pritchard, a foot and mouth painter from Ontario was Moore’s second formal painting teacher. He never held back from expressing his expectations for development in the young artist.  He would tell Moore to put her mind to it, and use her two hands to create limitless possibilities on the canvas.

The Mi’kmaq artist would recover a part of her lost heritage through the arts. In 2003, now an adult woman, she was invited to a basket weaving workshop offered by Mi’kmaq Elders. When her hands made contact with the wood and she began to bend and weave in the creative process of basket weaving it felt entirely natural and healing. Her very first basket was a difficult fancy comb basket requiring a high level of skill. She was no struggling beginner. Her hands contained the knowledge.

Moore continued to learn from the Elders and now teaches basket weaving. Moore says about teaching, “It feels so good to see people creating because of the skills I have taught them. I want to keep the knowledge going.”

In 2016, Moore had the opportunity to learn Quill Art, a heritage Mi’kmaq art form that uses the quills of the porcupine, along with birch bark and sweet grass, to create unique complex works of art. Quill Art was not known on Prince Edward Island as the porcupine is not native to the province.  However, in 2015 Cheryl Simon, a Nova Scotia artist, taught a course on Lennox Island, and once again Moore found herself a natural in the art.

Moore says, “My art is who and what I am. I want it to tell the story of what I enjoy creating and giving life to. It has both healed me and enabled me to break the cycle of trauma created in my family by the legacy of residential schools. Through my art I have discovered my heritage and who I am. It is most comforting. I am very proud to say my family, are my biggest supporters, especially my daughter Ashley, who helps me prepare for workshops. It feels good to know my artistic culture is being passed down.”

Moore is just beginning to explore the marketing side of her art. Her jewellery is sourced mainly to one client in London, Ontario.  Her quill art is sold through the Lennox Island Cultural Centre and has made its way around the world.

 It gives her great pride to sell her work, but she doesn’t want it to become the focus so that the joy is no longer there in the creating. Teaching is her preference. As for her paintings, many which now portray her native heritage, have been given as gifts. But that too is changing.

“A Glimpse of Noella” exhibit at MacNaught History Centre and Archives is Moore’s first solo exhibit. She has done a number of group exhibits.

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