How to Clean a Fish

What does it mean to carry a story? To give one or be given one? To create a space in which they can be exchanged? How to Clean a Fish explores the act of storytelling through layers of community and family, Anishinaabe visual language, and love for the land.
Mariah Meawasige
carrying a story

The Exhibit

Traditions are steeped for decades, even centuries, in the bellies of their respective families and communities. Through every generation comes the addition, subtraction, and tinkering of layers and components. Over the years, their stories morph and shift to fit within the confines of its telling – a recipe, a pattern, a song – but beneath it all, the core remains shielded and unchanged. Traditions are not simply a commemoration of the past, but a celebration and guide to the future. They are the voice of memories, a validation of identity, and the ultimate storytellers. They build communities and reinforce our places within them. To be given a tradition, to be given a story, is an immense privilege.

The present moment is a balancing between the worlds of accessing tradition and proofing its design for the future. The role of a designer is to act as a conduit for stories; to add, subtract, and tinker with their layers and components so that they are legible to the right listeners. The act of cleaning a fish is the moment between worlds, between tradition and future, and the role of these works is to translate it for the next generation. It is a retelling of memory, activation of story, and love letter to the land.

Outreach Programming

November 11 - 16 | 5th - 12th grade

Through this visiting artist experience your students will be exposed to a contemporary Anishinaabe graphic designer and learn more about Mariah’s artistic process of celebrating her heritage through art and storytelling.


Works on Display

These works capture the creative nature of storytelling through generational traditions of the Anishinaabe method of how to clean a fish. All works on display are available for purchase.


Mariah Meawasige

Mariah Meawasige is an Anishinaabe / settler creative and dedicated storyteller from the northern shores of Lake Huron. Her practice specializes in graphic design and illustration but she will follow a story into whichever media they best fit. Mariah has been freelancing since 2017, creating alongside individuals and teams at various companies and institutions across Canada and the US. Her love of storytelling guides exploration through temporalities and place, mapping memories, and building relationships through visual communication.

In Partnership with NEA Big Read Lakeshore

Thank You To Our Sponsor

Perrigo Logo

This Week at the SCA

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts connects people, sparks conversation, and builds community through a bold mix of entertaining, educational, and inspiring creative experiences.

Won’t you join us?

Looking for exhibits?

Entertainment at the SCA