Welcome to the home of the Ramapo Munsee Museum Gallery.
Our new foci located in Stony Point NY, is an onsite (by appointment) and Virtually accessible space that is home to our Lenape Artists and Exhibitions. As part of the Ramapo-Munsee network, the Museum features tribal Artists (living & departed), and also serves to showcase Premier Indigenous Guest Artisans who would otherwise go uncelebrated.
To establish & preserve the narrative of Native American Art as a medium for lifeways, that in turn elicits visual impact, while also documenting the trajectory of Social Justice within our communities.
Featured Ramapo Munsee Artist:
June Lee VanDunk
“Faces are my favorite subjects to draw. While all faces are different, they’re structurally the same- one nose, two nostrils, two eyes, two eyebrows, one set of lips, teeth & two ears…some features are more pronounced, but the structure is basically uniform.
What makes an eyebrow different, and how, just by changing the direction of the eyebrow…I can change the whole attitude of the subject to either sad, pensive, happy or shocked. The same goes for the other elements of someone’s face, including skin tone and relative positioning of facial parts. Faces mean everything to me and I’ve spent many years studying and drawing hundreds of them.
Like many people, I’m my own worst enemy and harshest critic. I’m always challenging myself when it comes to my art so I don’t bore myself with subject or performance. I challenge myself so I don’t bore people who engage with what I create. I try and change things up a bit every so often.
If I’m commissioned to paint wine glasses, I might add a few accent Swarovski crystals after I’m finished painting it. That can take a wine glass from “pretty” to “classy.” Another favorite of mine is sketching a portrait in charcoal, on a wooden canvas and adding a 14kg leaf, before or after I resin the piece. It creates such a different look and elicits a very different mood or feeling. There is a presentation of quality and style when something has a gold, metallic look.
I’m very fortunate that most people I encounter feel very positive about my work. Some people even think that I use an app, which is a gratifying compliment but inaccurate. I don’t. In order to dispel that, I record time lapse videos of me drawing, so there would be no questioning my artistic abilities. Its all right there in the video. The best compliment I ever get, though, is when a client cries when they see a portrait that I’ve drawn of their loved one.”
Featured Ramapough Munsee Artist:
Jack Crying Raven Anderson
“My life has been an overwhelming, but fantastic journey. I have documented this journey through my art. Since the beginning I have loved color. I have been using color to create since I was old enough to pick up a crayon. In the early 60’s I went on a class trip to the Met. I was attracted to a painting by Demuth entitled, “The Figure 5 in Gold.” The painting was inspired by a William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Great Figure.” Since then I have used color and paint to express my loves, my fears, my sorrows and my joys.
I am a self-taught artist. I have shown in group and solo shows over the past 25 years in the NYC and NJ area. One of my most recent accomplishments in 2015 was to have two of my works selected for the permanent collection at Museo MAAM in Rome , Italy. Credits and appreciation go to Cynthia, my best friend, wife, lover, muse and confidant. My jazz and blues paintings are my interpositions of my love for the art of jazz and blues. Some of these paintings are portraits of my favorite artists. However there are others that are quite personal.
What I paint comes from my heart and soul. I want the viewer to use their imagination. Look at everything that is going on and, then, from the title feel the emotions and draw their own conclusion. Love, color, passion, music and desire are all words that should be said in the same breathe. These words leave me breathless…without these I cannot paint!.”
Women of the Ramapo Lenape Nation by Award winning Photographer Lisa Levart
A Day in our Moccasins by Portrait Photographer Angie LMV
Red Ocean of Red Dresses on Red Land
Her Red Dress Remembers
is an artistic display of multifarious red dresses designed to memorialize Murdered, Missing, Indigenous Women (MMIW) as exemplified by the artistic flair that was initially conceptualized in Canada as a way to bring awareness to the loss of Indigenous life.
Wandering Spirit Woman and Child:
The Ancient Ones
Several years ago I was on sacred land here in the Northeast, and it was a night much like tonight. Thunderstorms and a very foggy night; the light of the stars barely showing thru the fog. As my cousin and I were driving the long tree lined road across the reservation. I couldn’t believe my eyes I stopped dead in the middle of the road… A great light emitted from the trees.
Ever since I was a child I would see our Ancestors as they made their way through the spirit world crossing into our realm. But this time was different. The Ancestors were a steady stream of Spirits moving across the road their were hundreds. So beautiful and emitting their light into the fog. I could see the shape of their previous bodies as they crossed over the road. It was the most beautiful site I had ever seen. It brought to my mind the Lenape Trail of Tears.
Being I wasn’t alone, I asked my cousin if she saw what I saw and she exclaimed what an Awesome sight.
Not believing my eyes I prayed Creator if I really saw what I thought I saw send me a deer. As we started down the road again after the last spirit faded into the tree line a doe walked out of the trees and stood in the middle of the road in the mist and just looked at us and slowly crossed into the trees. Still not believing I asked Creator to send a hawk and further down the road as the fog lifted a magnificent Redtail swooped down in front of the car carrying his prey.
Allanque the Star Goddess. Keeper of the night sky…
Portrayed by Wandering Spirit Woman (Carla Alexander).
The myth of Allanque portrays her as the personification of a star. She resides in the northern sky, offering her light to those journeying on dark and lonely roads.
There once was a young Lunaape woman name Allanque who was very different from all the other young girls in her village. She would sleep all day and do her work at night. Her parents would always try and wake her every morning, but she would not get up.
When evening came she would get up from her bed and go out into the night to do her work. Everyone in the village found her strange. As she worked she emitted a very bright and beautiful light. She had a beautiful voice and sang while she worked.
One night as she was working she heard some strangers approaching her village, she stopped sing and ran quietly back to the village to wake her father. After she told her father that strangers were approaching the village he woke up all the villagers. Knowing they would have to journey away from the village to safety Allanque took a piece of her heart that glowed the brightest and left it in the sky marking her tribes homeland.
Then Allanque being the only one knowing her way in the dark lead all the villagers to safety away from the village. As she lead her people she left foot prints all across the sky that twinkle every night after the sun goes down. When the villagers were safe and finally stopped, in this place they built a new village. Allanque was so exhausted she laid down and never arose again, having left her lighted tracks all across the sky. But the lighted piece of her heart she left in the sky marking her homeland never moved, it stays stationary in the sky showing the Lunaape people back to their homeland. If you follow the beautiful trail of stars that Allanque left in the sky you will always find your way back to her heart which is now called “ALLANQUE the NORTH STAR”.
The debut of our Permanent Exhibition features Ramapo tribal members, and was brilliantly photographed by Becky Yee photography, and Curated by Linda BJork.
Keeper of Cultural Lifeways:
Oleana Whispering Dove (Tsalagi/Algonquian), is a Lenape Cultural Preservationist and Curator of Native American Exhibitions & Public Programming within the New York, New Jersey region. She continues to establish new partnerships and relations concentrating on Inter-tribal Outreach, Land Acknowledgments, Adult Educational & Cultural Programs.