Denise “Weetahmoe” Silva-Dennis (American, b. 1960) with Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground.  

Photo: Tom Kochie 


WATER MILL, 10/18/2022—Shinnecock artist Denise “Weetahmoe” Silva-Dennis (American, b. 1960) will discuss her 2022 Parrish Road Show installation Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground, a mural depicting the ancestral history of Shinnecock Bay, at the Museum on Friday, November 4, 6PM.  Corinne Erni, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects, will moderate the talk. The program requires proof of full vaccination. Mask-wearing is not required but recommended when not eating or drinking.

On view at the Sisters of St. Joseph Villa in Hampton Bays, Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground continues the artist’s life-long practice of inter-generational education and storytelling through the arts. The mural and public programming with the artist’s Shinnecock research collaborators will provide insight into how these ancestral places came to be, how they’ve changed, and what they mean to the Shinnecock people today.

Wunne Ohke is Algonquin for “Good Ground”—the original placename of the Hampton Bays area given by the Shinnecock who first inhabited the region as a residential area. The name describes the smooth “good ground” that allowed ease of launching canoes for whaling. In her mural, Silva-Dennis combines a vibrant re-imagination of the land from pre-colonial times with more recent, significant landmarks in the Shinnecock Nation’s history. Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground considers how Shinnecock efforts to regain ancestral lands and revitalize traditional practices for future generations are implemented and celebrated through art. The installation, organized by Corinne Erni with support from Brianna Hernández, Curatorial Fellow, and in collaboration with the Sisters of St. Joseph, is on view daily.

Silva-Dennis is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator based in the Shinnecock Nation. A graduate of Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art, she works primarily in acrylic for her figurative paintings and murals and is an accomplished beadwork craftswoman. The traditional Eastern Woodland style of beadwork was handed down to her from her mother and elder women of the Shinnecock and Hassanamisco-Nipmuc Nations. Silva-Dennis’s work has exhibited at art galleries, museums, libraries, schools, and colleges throughout Long Island and Upstate New York, including at Hamilton College’s Bundy Center and Library.

Parrish Road Show 2022 | Wunne Ohke–The Return to Good Ground, is made possible, in part, by the generous support of Eastern Scaffolding & Shoring, Inc., Jane Wesman and Donald Savelson, and the Dorothy Lichtenstein ArtsReach Fund established by Agnes Gund. We are also grateful to Citarella for their in-kind support.

Friday Nights at the Parrish are made possible, in part, by Presenting Sponsor: Bank of America.

Additional support provided by Weill Cornell Medicine – Southampton and The Corcoran Group


Parrish Road Show

Parrish Road Show is the Museum’s off-site project designed to encourage engagement and interaction between artists and the communities outside the Museum’s walls. Each year, selected artists work with the Parrish and partner venues to create new work and to provide unique opportunities for visitors to see and experience art in unexpected places, from public parks and highways to historical sites and community centers.


Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in-residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.


Parrish Art Museum construction photographs © Jeff Heatley.


AAQ / Resource: Westhampton Architectural Glass