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Alice Olsen Williams


Alice was born in Trout Lake, in the traditional territory of her mother’s people. She received her teaching certificate from Lakehead Teacher’s College, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Having taught in Thunder Bay and at Pic Mobert First Nation, Alice and Doug, moved to Curve Lake First Nation. While looking after their four children and their home, Alice completed her B.A. from Trent University as well as developing her skills in beadwork and sewing. In 1980 she discovered quilting, mastering the techniques which allow her to create the meticulous hand-quilting in her bed coverings and wall hangings. Gradually Alice formed the concepts which would be the basis for her distinctive style and work. Blending her cultural heritage into a unified whole, she envisions the central motif to depict the symbols and themes of Anishinaabe culture, surrounded by the conventional North American quilting blocks and patterns which were developed and continue to be evolved by those women and their descendants who came to this Land from Europe, the legacy of her father’s people. Through her understanding of the teachings of the Elders, Alice has created her own Life symbol. She continues to grow as an artist, searching for new ways to express the Spirit of Creation in the images of her designs.

In Alice's words: "The way I live my Life is a memory project and intergenerational work, from raising my children to the social justice work and art in the quilt making that I do."

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