jewelry

Celebrated Wabanaki designers dropped jewelry for a new art form

More than 20 years after Penobscot Nation artists Jason Brown and Donna Decontie Brown first began making and selling jewelry as Decontie & Brown, the pair have hung up their pliers for now in favor of a more expansive, interdisciplinary way of making art.

Shortly after the pandemic started, Jason Brown threw his passion behind Firefly, a multimedia performance art project that for the past two years has transformed his artistic life. Through music, video, dance and fashion, Brown creates an immersive live experience, drawing on ancestral Wabanaki music and imagery, but with a futuristic twist.

“It’s Indigenous futurism,” he said. “Many people think of Indigenous people as something ancient, or from the past. They don’t see us as current, and they sure as heck don’t see us as futuristic. But we are here, and we will be here. One of the reasons why I do this is to show that.”