Diane Schenandoah

Profile  |  Artworks  |  Comments
Beholding Beauty, 2010 Clay 18" X 24"
Flight, 2008 Driftwood 5ft To 7 Inches
From Earth to Skywoman, 2012 Mixed Media~ Clay/Stone/Driftwood/Feathers 5' X 14"
From Earth to Sky woman we are one, 2012 Mixed Media 5ft X 14"
Quick Facts
Syracuse, NY
Birth year
Lives in
Works in
Syracuse University School of V.P.A., 2011, BFA
The Institute of American Indian Arts, 1982, AFA
The Institute of American Indian Arts, 1982, AFA
Native American Artist, mixed media, contemporary-traditional, mixed-media, installation, modern, traditional, figurative, sculpture
Diane Schenandoah

Professional Experience:

Director, Art Classes with Elementary, Jr., and Sr. High School, University level programs

New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania Massachusetts, and Connecticut Educational Systems

January 1990 to Current


Art instruction,

Communicate, inspire trust and confidence, and motivate students, as well as understand students’ educational and emotional needs. Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more mediums. Clay elements, process of Hand Building techniques, with reference to the spiritual connection to our earth.  Hands on demonstrations with direction in design elements, natural elements and various firing techniques. Sketching of the human form, skeletal foundation and muscle elements.  Private instruction in the basic process of sculpting, both wood and stone. Instruction of tool types, the use of and the care, maintenance, and safety rules. Special instruction in Diamond tools for Shell, Marble, glass cutting. Wood type, sanding elements, oils and finishes.  Work with students to draw out their individual vision, Give students the tools to discover their own talent. Help them focus by offering instruction on the basics of creative expression, expand their interpretive and critical faculties.  Develop the aesthetic and technical skills to emerge as a professional artist. Their work forms a portfolio if this is the career path chosen.  Classmates form a community of artists pulsing with creativity. 


Artist in Residence programs 

Worked with museums and Universities ~ demonstrating my work, primarily sculpture, in clay and stone, Lectured on my inspirations, motivations and technique. Focus on the influence of my culture pertaining to my artwork, and how I incorporate these elements in to design or meaning with in my style. Developed one person exhibits with my art and included exhibits of my students.


Children’s Creative writing workshops

Lectures and samples of creative writing, short stories, plays, and poetry. Help children develop their creative ideas and turning them into fluent story structures, encourages and guide children with ideas and direction when needed; but not to write or illustrate a story for them. Children will have complete creative control while properly setting expectations about the work ethic needed to succeed, improve literacy skills, experience a sense of accomplishment in creating, planning and executing a project with confidence and self esteem. Encourage children turn ideas into piece of creative work, seek publications, and if engaged seek fully illustrated books.


Lecture Series on Traditional teachings and culture of the Haudenosaunee

The basic principals of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the inner workings are about being grateful for all things. We believe we are put here on this earth as caretakers of our Mother Earth. We are responsible for each other and ourselves. There must be peace with a good and clear mind and we must know how to love and forgive on another. It is part of our instructions as Haudenosaunee to pass this information along. We are to have compassion and help on another, be grateful for all of the lessons put before us, these are here for us to become as one, in mind and spirit.  We are to treat one another and ourselves with respect; we are simply caretakers of our Mother Earth













Syracuse University ~ Bachelor of Fine Arts  

Institute of American Indian Arts~ Associates of Fine Arts ~ Three Dimensional Arts

Associate of Fine Arts ~ Creative Writing

Certificate of Completion ~ Computer Graphics, layout and paste up Artist

Certificate of Completion ~ Welding 1 & 2


>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 (now deceased). 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 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
> 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’s required her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from
> Syracuse University  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
> my five siblings and I 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 was 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 needed 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 was the Oneida Wolf Clan Mother,
> and due to her influence I also became involved in our longhouse and was asked >by the Wolf Clan to become a Wolf Clan Faith Keeper, a title that represents the >"Keeper of our belief systems, ceremonies in assistance to the Clan Mothers.'
> 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,
> She Walks With Traditions, Shako:wi Culture Center, Oneida, NY
> Iroquois Museum Schoharie, NY
> Contemporary Iroquois Artists of Today, American Indian Community House,
> 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, Women spirit; 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

>The Seneca/Niagara Casino,  Niagara Falls, NY

>Mashentucket/Pequot Museum, Ledyard, CT


Permanent Collections


>Rancocus Nation Museum, Rancocus, NJ

>New York State Museum, Albany, NY

>“Thaw Collection” Fennimore Museum, Cooperstown, NY

>Mashentucket/Pequot Museum, Ledyard CT









Best of Shows:

> Oneida Area Arts Guild, Oneida, NY

>Ridgefield Fine Arts Exhibit, Ridgefield, CT
> Best of Class:

>Ridgefield Fine Arts , Ridgefield CT 2 yrs

> Rancocus Fine Arts Show, Rancocus, NJ 3 yrs
 1st Place:
> Area of Arts Guild, Oneida, NY
> Rancocus Fine Arts Show, Rancocus, NJ  4 yrs
 > Hunter Mountain Eagle Festival, NY  3 yrs
> Shield Museum's Indian Arts Festival, NY
> Arts Festival, Gastonia, NC

>Paumanauke Arts festival, Copauge, NY 3 yrs
 2nd Place:
> Haddam Meadows, CT,

>Paumanauke Arts Festival, Copiague Long Island, NY
> Miniatures:
> 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