Women and Water Exhibit

Mary’s newest exhibit will feature women who have been, or who are now, instrumental in recognizing the sacredness of water: water walkers, scientists, advocates, farmers, sailors, explorers, et al. This will be an international exhibit that Mary hopes/dreams to complete by late 2021 or early 2022 with 20 or more portraits. Here are the first three she has completed:

Grandmother Josephine accepting her portrait from Mary, summer, 2018.
Portrait of Autumn Peltier
Portrait of Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring”

Photos Connecting People to the Weavings

Harriet Balbur and granddaughter
granddaughter Serena with the portrait of Harriet Balber

Harriet Balbur, MB, and Susan Crazy Thunder
Susan Crazy Thunder with the portrait of her mother Harriet Balber

Marie Estelle Gilane with her portrait

Arlene Alloway with the portrait of her mother Mary Waubiness George

Tinker Schuman with Mary Burns

Tinker Schuman with her portrait along with Marie Estelle Gilane with her portrait

Tinker and Mary
Tinker Schuman with her portrait


Pointcarre Pro Weave

People often ask what software I use to create my weavings. I use Pointcarre Pro Weave, which is a professional program used for the creation and development of almost any technical Dobby & Jacquard fabric. Cloth can be created from my ideas and designs, or developed from a scan or other digital image, then I can edit colors, edit the design, work in Layers, and export the design as a PSD file and easily match colors to Pantone® Textile Libraries. I can then save or export the file as a TIFF, TGA, BMP, PSD, PNG, and JPEG to send it directly to my printer or if I was in a production studio, I could send the file to a mill for production. Pointcarre is native software on Mac and PC.



Ancestral Women Current and Future Venues

As of 1/28/20, the Ancestral Women Exhibit is not scheduled for viewing – they’re taking a break! If you have suggestions for exhibit sites, and/or contacts for people who might be interested in the exhibit, we would appreciate your thoughts.

Previous Venues Include:

Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

Holy Trinity Church, Woodruff, WI

Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI

Indian Community School, Milwaukee, WI

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland, WI

Center for Visual Arts, Wausau, WI

Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums National Conference

Madeline Island Historical Museum

Wisconsin Indian Education Association State Conference

Wisconsin State Capital, Madison, WI (portraits only)



Ancestral Women Exhibit Cultural Practices and Landscapes


Ancestral Women Exhibit Clan Symbols


Ancestral Women Portraits



AWE in Milwaukee, 11/1/2019

The Ancestral Women Exhibit is at the Milwaukee Public Museum! It will be on display from November 1-17, 2019, 10:00-2:00. (Note: Exhibit is closed November 3 & 10. On November 16-17, the hours will be 11:00-3:00.)

Events on Saturday, November 16:

  • A free, special talk with exhibit artist Mary Burns (11:00).
  • The Ancestral Women performance art piece (1:00 PM) on the Milwaukee Public Museum’s 2nd floor. General admission required.

We hope to see you there!

Mary and her husband John at the Milwaukee Public Museum.


AWE in Olympia,WA, 7/30/2019

The Ancestral Women Exhibit was on display at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington, from July 30—October 10, 2019.



AWE in Woodruff, WI, 2/23/2019

The Ancestral Women Exhibit will be at Holy Family Catholic Church, Woodruff, WI February 23 – March 3rd 2019. There will be an opening reception on Saturday February 23rd at 5:00. The reception will feature a performance by the Strawberry Moon Women Singers and Lac du Flambeau elder Tinker Schuman and Mary Burns will be speaking.Final.JPG.AWE.Holy Family 11x17.