These images are from Downeast Maine. "Fish Weir" depicts an ancient device, basically sticks in mud that channel fish into nets where they are gathered, salted, and shipped to market. Like so many heritage industries, fishing here is in decline.
"Always" came about when the local Walmart expanded. I wandered in with my camera, expecting to get tossed out, but nobody said anything, so I walked through aisles of empty displays taking pictures.
"Canoe Blessing" was taken at the Catholic Church on Pleasant Point (Sipayik), Passamaquoddy lands. For the previous two weeks, there had been a community birch bark canoe building workshop led by renowned Native artisan, David Moses Bridges. (David built a canoe for Andrew Wyeth, who in return painted a portrait of David and his son.) The dual blessing by the Native Elders and the Catholic priests was extraordinary.
Valerie Lawson’s photographs are in the collection of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, and have appeared in: Freebird Times, Irish Times, Journal of Modern Writing, DIAGRAM, Quoddy Tides, Calais Advertiser, Machias Valley News Observer, and Downeast Coastal Press. Her work has appeared in group and juried shows. Lawson participated as both a poet and artist in the Culture of Peace exhibit and cultural exchange between artists and writers from Ireland and Massachusetts. Lawson lives in the last downeast town in Maine with her partner and two retired sled dogs. She is the Program Manager at Cobscook Community Learning Center, edits a quarterly literary journal, Off the Coast, and is studying Book Arts at the University of Maine.