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NAME: Diane Schenandoah  
NATION: Wolf Clan Oneida  
DISCIPLINE: Sculptor  


Diane was born into a large Haudenosaunee family on her ancestral Oneida Nation Territory in upstate Oneida, New York. Diane's father, Clifford (now deceased) was an Onondaga Chief and her mother Maisie is an Oneida Wolf Clan Mother. Her parents encouraged all of her siblings to pursue their talents and gifts in the arts. Clifford was a Jazz musician and singer and their Mother Maisie is an artist, painter, and pianist. Diane is also a back up singer and percussionist for her sister the internationally renowned Grammy winner, singer/songwriter Joanne Shenandoah.

In the early 80's Diane moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute where she earned a "Certificate of Completion in the Arts", and then moved to Santa Fe to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts where she earned two degrees in 3-Dimensional Arts" and "Creative Writing" . Diane fell in love with sculpture while working with clay and stone, creating images of her culture. She was further encouraged when her works won numerous awards and were featured in exhibits and galleries throughout the United States. Diane stayed in Santa Fe for a number of years raising her daughter and first of her four sons. As her career progressed, she began to realize how blessed, in that she could share her culture through her work while further supporting her family.

Diane has recently been honored with receiving two grants from the First Peoples Fund in South Dakota. She then created a series of Lady stick pin/necklaces in honor of woman, called the "Life Giver" series and a line of Jewelry with babies called "Angel Babies Network" a non-profit series to help children organizations, which were originally carved from Buffalo bone then cast in Sterling Silver and 18k gold. Both series will soon be available on her web site. She now works in several mediums, which includes numerous woods, bone, and some welding. She designs traditional items with contemporary flair. This work includes; Cradle boards, Rattles, furniture and custom work, utilizing local Black Walnut, Oak, shell and various materials.

Diane also teaches sculpting, carving and hand building techniques. She has continued her studies with classes photography and welding. She plans to acquire her Bachelors Degree from the Syracuse University this fall. Diane is most honored to be in the permanent collections of the New York State Museum, Albany, N.Y. The Fennimore Museum , Cooperstown, N.Y., The Rancocus Nation Museum, Mt. Holly, N.J. and numerous Private collections.

Artist Statement

My style has been evolving with every new piece I create. I have seen the energy of my work change before my very eyes. I stare in awe of some of my pieces, knowing that this work didn't come from me but through me. What an awesome gift I have been given from which I am so very honored and grateful. My work moves me in a way that is hard to describe and it brings forth an energy that is overwhelming. The mother and babies pieces bring me to tears; I acknowledge the great gift I have been given-of being a woman. I have been so blessed to give birth to five beautiful children. All of whom were forced to be my models since birth!

The paths I have taken since I was a young child have always been influenced by my mother. She has always encouraged me and my five siblings to be creative with our hands. This was our means of supporting such a large family; we traveled to numerous Native gatherings throughout my upbringing. She is an amazing woman and artist. I have always felt the sun rise and set on her presence.

In 1979 I moved to New Mexico and attended Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute and then The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. It was there that I found the love of carving. I had the honor of meeting and showing my work to the renowned master sculptor, Allan Houser. I was hoping to be his apprentice. He said to me "I have never had a woman apprentice but if I were to have one, you would be it' Which gave me the much need confidence to continue exploring my passion. While at IAIA. I received two degrees, one in 3-dimentional arts and creative writing. I moved back "home' in the late 80's, right next door to my mother. She is the Oneida Wolf Clan Mother, and due to her influence I also became involved in the Wolf Clan as a Faith Keeper, a title that represents the "helper of the Clan Mother.'

There is beauty in knowing who I am, finally realizing my gifts and how healing it is me to just know there is a plan greater than you or I, it is a relief to let my faith lead me and know of the pure love and strength that flows through my art. I hope you get the same energy as you view and experience my work. Thank you for taking the time to share this with me and I truly pray for many, many blessings to you and yours.

Notable Exhibitions:
Woman's Dance, Buffalo, NY
Heard Museum Opening, Phoenix, AZ
Pow wow Cruise, Bahamas
Where We Stand, Cooperstown, NY
She Walks with Traditions, One woman show, Greensboro, NC
14th Annual WCNY Televised Art Invitational 
Traveling Exhibition, Everson Museum of Art, Barnes and Noble, Syracuse, NY
Munson Williams Proctor School of Art, Utica, NY Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY
Six Nations - Six Artists, San Francisco, CA
Shadow of the Eagle, Castellani Art Museum, Niagara, NY
New York State Museum - Iroquois Artists, Albany, NY
American Indian Museum, Minneapolis, MN
Dance of Life, Institute for AIS, Washington, CT
Life of Potters, First Peoples Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
Earth Visions-Arts of the Woodlands People, Old Forge Arts Center, Old Forge, NY
The Indolent Boys (N. Scott Momaday), Private Show, Syracuse Stage, NY
Silent Art Auction, Landmark Theater, Syracuse, NY
Iroquois Artists of Today, St. Marie Among the Iroquois Museum, Liverpool, NY
She Walks With Traditions, Shako:wi Culture Center, Oneida, NY
Iroquois Museum Schoharie, NY
Contemporary Iroquois Artists of Today, American Indian Community House, NYC
New York State Museum - Iroquois Artists, Albany, NY
Miccosukee Indian Art Festival, Everglades, FL
Mountain Eagle Indian Arts Festival, Hunter Mountain, Catskills, NY
Eight Northern Pueblos 13th Annual Arts and Crafts Show, San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM
Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM Indian Market, Demonstrating Artists, Santa Fe, NM
The Silver Phoenix, One Woman Show, Oakton, VA
Upper Hudson Regional Library System Exhibit Series, Albany, NY
Stables Art Center New Mexico Color and Light Invitational Exhibitions, Taos, NM
United World College, Encounter New Mexico Juried Exhibit, Las Vegas, NM
EL FAROL, One Woman Show: New Blood, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM
Bird Library, Syracuse University, Iroquois Art, Syracuse, NY
Berkshire Museum, Womenspirit; Focus on Women Regional, Pittsfield, MA,
Chicago's Navy Pier, Native Arts Conference
New York State Museum, Thanksgiving Show, Iroquois Artist Today, 1983, Albany, NY
I.A.I.A., Graduates Show 1982

Current Exhibitions:
Fennimore Museum, gift shop, Cooperstown, NY
Heard Museum Opening, Phoenix, AZ
Shell and Stone Gallery, Fayetteville, NY
Art Port Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Iroquois Indian Museum, Howe's Cave, NY
Grant Jewelers, Skaneateles, NY
Six Directions Gallery, Sterling, VA
The Creative Native, Chester, NJ
Ziibiwing Center, Mt. Pleasant, MI
The Ace of Diamonds Jewelers, Oneida, NY
Sage Spirit, Sarasota, FL


Best of Shows:

Oneida Area Arts Guild, Oneida, NY

Best of Class:

1st Place:
Area of Arts Guild, Oneida, NY
Rancocus Fine Arts Show, Rancocus, NJ
Hunter Mountain Eagle Festival, NY
Shield Museum's Indian Arts Festival, NY
Arts Festival, Gastonia, NC

2nd Place:
Haddam Meadows, CT, Paumanauke Arts Festival, Copiague Long Island, NY
Indian Market, South Western Indian Associate of Arts, Santa Fe, NM

3RD Place:
Eight Northern Pueblos Annual Arts Exhibit, NM
Indian Market South Western Indian Association of Arts, Santa Fe, NM

First Peoples Fund "Business and Leadership Grant", Rapid City, SD
First Peoples Fund "Community Spirit Award", Rapid City, SD