Winyan Luta/Red Woman
Nadema Agard is an artist, illustrator, curator, educator, lecturer, storyteller, writer, poet, published author, museum professional and consultant in Repatriation and Multicultural/Native American arts and cultures with a Master Of Arts Degree in Art and Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. As a Cherokee/Lakota/Powhatan who has been educated and traveled internationally, she is a bridge between urban and traditional cultures.
History as Professional
Ms. Agard’s professional career has included numerous years as an Art Educator and Museum Professional for the Museum of the American Indian where she received a SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FELLOWSHIP AWARD, developed the SO THE SPIRITS FLOW Native American Visiting Artists Program, and received another fellowship from the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS (NEA). With this NEA award, she published her SOUTHEASTERN NATIVE ARTS DIRECTORY at Bemidji State University in Minnesota as an adjunct professor of Studio Arts and Art Education. As the former Community Services Outreach Specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) she supervised and further developed their Native Arts Program. She is currently the Director of RED EARTH STUDIO CONSULTING /PRODUCTIONS based in New York City where she advocates for contemporary Native arts and cultures. As such, Red Earth Studio C/P is an NGO to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where she was a former consultant and in recognition of this work, received the INGRID WASHINAWATOK AWARD FOR COMMUNITY ACTIVISM.
History as Artist
Ms. Agard’s artwork is a metaphor for the cosmic relationships between the sacred feminine and sacred masculine. These works are inspired by the images and cosmologies from Native American traditions of the Southeastern and Great Lakes Woodlands, the Southwest, the Plains, Meso-America, Pacifica and elsewhere. These devotional pieces are made in reverence to the earthmother, father sky, grandmother moon, corn mother, and all creative and regenerative forces of the universe.
Some of her most recent exhibitions include:VICARIOUSLY THROUGH YOU (New York, New York), CONTACT 1609 (Staten Island, New York), THE IMPORTANCE OF IN/VISIBILITY (New York, New York), PARFLECHE VISIONS AND MOON BREAST MOTHERS (One Woman Show- New York, New York) NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISTS/SCHOLARS: SPEAKING FOR OURSELVES IN THE 21ST CENTURY, (New York, New York); WHO IS THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE?: WOMEN ARTISTS CROSSING BORDERS (New York, New York), MOTHER LOVE: NATIVE WOMEN AND THE LAND (New York, New York) and METAPHORS: ART INSPIRED BY EVERYDAY OBJECTS AND FOLKLORE (New York, New York). Other important exhibitions were STARBLANKET HEAVEN (Bismarck, North Dakota), COAST-TO-COAST: ANCESTORS KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, (New York, New York); SACRED DOOR (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), AND NATIVE SURVIVAL-RESPONSE TO HIV /AIDS, (New York, New York & Minneapolis, Minnesota). Her artwork was also exhibited widely as part of two national traveling exhibitions, Artrain U.S.A’s, NATIVE VIEWS: INFLUENCE OF MODERN CULTURE and Honor the Earth’s IMPACTED NATIONS. Her work in the Paper Show, VISUAL POWER: 21ST CENTURY NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISTS/INTELLECTUALS organized by the U.S. State Department, is also traveling as an international venue.
History as Curator of Art Exhibitions, Art Panel Chair & Art Symposia Coordinator
As Guest Curator for the exhibition, WHO IS THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE: WOMEN ARTISTS CROSSING BORDERS (2001-2002) she coordinated The NATIVE ARTS SYMPOSIUM 2001: CROSSING SPIRITUAL BORDERS, MAPPING INDIGENOUS BOUNDARIES: EXPLORING THE CULTURAL CONTEXT OF SACRED FEMININE ICONOCRAPHY IN WOMEN’S ART. She also presented her NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY ARTS SERIES at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was Panel Chair of WARRIOR MOTHER SPIRIT: NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN’S PANEL DISCUSSION in connection with the exhibition, LADY LIBERTY AS A NATIVE AMERICAN ICON for which she was Guest Curator and was also Panel Chair of POCAHONTAS’ LEGEND AND REALITY: AN ALGONQUIAN LEGACY. During the time her exhibition renamed An Artistic Perspective: LADY LIBERTY AS A NATIVE AMERICAN ICON traveled to Ellis Island Immigration Museum, she received a Native Arts Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian to coordinate WE’LL TAKE MANHATTAN: NATIVE ARTS SYMPOSIUM 2005 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And she was invited to be Guest Curator for FROM MANHATTAN TO MENATAY, a two-person exhibition to honor the original Algonquin New Yorkers, the Lenape/Delaware and Nadema’s own Algonquin (Powhatan) ancestors. In the last decade, Ms. Agard was invited on the NATIVE IN THE ARTS PANEL at Brown University, interviewed for NATIVE AMERICAN CALLING radio, invited to speak at the University of Massachusetts, Smith College Museum of Art and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center where she also judged an art show.
History of Humanities Lectures & Presentations/ Art Workshops
Ms. Agard continues to lecture as part of the New York Council for the Humanities (NYCH): Speakers in the Humanities Program, Schools in the Humanities Program since 2003. As of 2011, she has also become part of the newly created NYCH Conversation Bureau. She has done storytelling, lectures, slide presentations and art workshops at the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Columbia University, New York University, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, Wave Hill, The City of New York Parks & Recreation Department, Lotus Music and Dance: Drums Along the Hudson, SOHO 20 Gallery, Gallery of the American Indian Community House, Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Art Center, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and has been on the faculty of the New York Open Center. Personal History Nadema Agard was born and raised in New York City and later returned to her maternal ancestral homelands in the Carolinas and her paternal grandmother’s homeland in Virginia after she received her NEA Fellowship to write her DIRECTORY. Almost a decade later as the Repatriation Director of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, she was again re-united with her paternal grandfather’s Lakota relatives in the Dakotas who had, five years earlier, arranged for her to receive her Lakota name Winyan Luta during a naming ceremony officiated by a traditional elder. (Although translated as Red Woman, the word ‘luta’ refers to a holy red and so the true meaning of the name is not translated into English).
History as Author/Illustrator and Of Published Works of Arts
Nadema Agard’s illustrations in the children’s book, CHI HOO HOO BOGEY MAN by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, were a tribute to her Siouan ancestry and relatives. With her Cherokee name translated as Red Earth, she illustrated and authored a children’s book, SELU & KANA’TI: CHEROKEE CORN MOTHER AND LUCKY HUNTER from Mondo Publishing. Another publication, VOICES OF COLOR: ART AND SOCIETY IN THE AMERICAS by Farris-Dufrene, includes her essay entitled “Art as a Vehicle for Empowerment” while her work as an artist is published in Patricia J. Broder’s, EARTH SONGS, MOON DREAMS: PAINTlNGS BY AMERICAN INDIAN WOMEN and Book Art Press in NEW ART INTERNATIONAL As a Powhatan, her contributions to her Algonquin ancestors and relatives has included a strong focus on issues related to Algonquin Nations arts and She wrote and illustrated another children’s book, SHANE, and had her biography and artwork profiled in a FEMINIST STUDIES periodical and NATIVE PEOPLES magazine.
Resources and References
Ms. Agard’s own art portfolio website address for RED EARTH STUDIO is at http://www.NademaAgard.com while her entire professional history is available on the AMERINDA website under the Native American Artists Roster (NAAR) link at: http://www.amerinda.org.
Nadema Agard Winyan Luta/Red Woman Nadema Agard Winyan Luta/Red Woman Director Red Earth Studio Consulting/Productions New York City 212/567-3463 Studio/FAX www.NademaAgard.com