Warren artists choose Sowams themes for their paintings

The public was invited to submit original paintings for display at Burr’s Hill Park in September, 2021. The Warren Arts and Culture Commission created this Community Art Project as a way to bring the community together, install some more public art around town, and to honor the history of Warren. “We had 22 participants with the youngest contributor being just 2 years old!” reported organizer Erin DeThomas.

Twenty-two paintings grace the side of the storage shed used by the lifeguards at the town beach. The theme was the history of Warren, and a number of artists chose to depict the Pokanoket village of Sowams, the home of the Massasoit Ousamequin who is buried and memorialized in the Park.

A painting by Juliette Casselman directly refers to the Pauquunaukit (anglicized as Pokanoket, literally, “land at the clearing” in Natick) Tribe/Nation and Sowams, their principal village. One by TC Demers shows a figure who could be Ousamequin, the Massasoit or Chief of the Tribe, and one by Don Betts depicts a colonial ship and the year 1623 when Pilgrims Edward Winslow and John Hampden visited Ousamequin and helped him recover from an illness.

The bottom left painting by Susan Schutzberg includes a depiction of the Massasoit Spring on Baker Street in Warren, and one by Martha Antaya illustrates an ear of corn that was cultivated by members of the Pokanoket Tribe who showed the Pilgrims how to raise it.