SUNDAY, August 18th, 2024 | 10:30 AM



General Ticket: $10
Member Ticket: FREE, RSVP Required



Denise Silva-Dennis knew the moment she picked up a pencil and paper that she had an innate talent.

“As for finding my voice,” she told the National Woman’s History Museum “I never felt like I lost it. Growing up immersed in two different Native American nations, I always knew what I wanted to do.”

Join us this Insight Sunday as we explore Denise’s poignant painting Land Back Butter, peering into how humor is woven into her work. This work is included in our exhibition, Are You Joking? Women & Humor. Following the discussion, Denise will field questions from the audience.

Known for her impressive beadwork, the artist, mother, retired teacher, and registered Shinnecock woman will speak to her love of painting, and how the brush and canvas allowed her another avenue of expression. We will learn how drawing inspiration from the landscape, the seascape, the people, and her culture, Denise’s voice as a painter is connected to the community she serves, the land she acknowledges, and the culture she honors.

“You never know what doors will be opened or how your life will be enhanced by just sticking to your art and working with other people,” Denise says, urging us all to flip the script to see the alchemy in our lives by taking “something sour and making it into something sweet.”

Denise’s work can be viewed as part of the exhibition during our gallery hours, Thursday through Sunday, 11 AM – 5 PM. 



Denise Silva Dennis, Weetahmoe, (1960) (Shinnecock/ Hassanamisco-Nipmuc) is a multidisciplinary artist and educator based at the Shinnecock Nation in Southampton, New York. Denise graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y. with a BA Degree in studio art and a minor in sociology. Permanently certified as a New York State teacher in both special education and art, her Special Education Master’s Degree is from Dowling College. Denise is currently the workshop coordinator/ beadwork instructor at Ma’s House, a BIPOC art center founded by her son Jeremy Dennis located at Shinnecock. Denise also presents her Shinnecock/Hassanamisco culture through her artwork which includes lifesize figurative paintings, outside historical murals, beadwork, regalia, talking sticks, dreamcatchers, and other artifacts when she visits schools, museums, and libraries. Denise’s artwork has been shown at Southampton Arts Center, Ma’s House ( February 2022 Artist-in Residence, Solo Show), Southampton African American Museum BIPOC Show, Long Island Museum at Stony Brook and The Long Island Children’s Museum at Garden City.In addition, Denise painted “Wunne Ohke-The Return to Good Ground,” a 2-story mural as a Parrish Art Museum, 2022 Road Show Artist. Two of Denise’s paintings, A Hole in the Sky and Medicine Woman at Shinnecock Hills, great visitors as they enter Gracie Mansion in Celebration of 2024 Women’s History Month.

(View the events calendar here) The Church was established in 2019 by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th-century church, its doors were opened in April 2021. Our mission is to foster creativity and to honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. The East End represents an exceptional artistic legacy, spanning the practices of Indigenous art of several centuries ago, Abstract Expressionists of the mid-20th Century, and the many celebrated writers, makers, musicians, and visual artists of the recent past and current moment.  Core programming includes visual art exhibitions, concerts and events, educational programming, workshops, lectures, and an artist’s residency.


The Church



AAQ / Resource: Araiys Design Landscape Architecture 


AAQ / Resource: Ben Krupinski Builder