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Nadema Agard

Lakota/Powhatan

“My artwork has an individualistic style that draws upon cosmic subject matter. It has a global agenda from an Indigenous perspective and reflects the interconnection of myself as woman, mother, Indigenous world citizen, Native North American, spiritual being and warrior.”

Nadema Agard  Ghighaghe Shuwat (Red Earth) December 23, 2021
Nadema Agard Winyan Luta Woman Holy Red
Cherokee/Lakota/Powhatan

Nadema Agard Winyan Luta/Woman Holy Red (Cherokee/Lakota/Powhatan), (b.1948), lives and works in New York City.  She was educated at New York University and Columbia University, Teacher’s College, where she received a Master of Arts Degree in Art and Education.

Her watercolors, pastels acrylic on canvas pieces, incorporate soft sculptural forms and mixed media. Her work as an artist has an individual style and a cosmic subject with a global agenda from an Indigenous perspective.  Her work also combines traditional Indigenous sacred feminine iconography and spirituality with traditional Western European media.  Part of the New York City contemporary Native art scene for more than 35 years, she has shown her work at the Gallery of the American Indian Community House and has been part of Native artists groups like Riders With No Horse and American Indian Artists, Inc. (AMERINDA).  Nadema has shown in over 60 group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally since 1979.

Agard’s pieces are in the collections of Amerindian Circle, Native American Contemporary Art Collection of the University of Wisconsin, American Indian College Fund, Locus Media Gallery, and those of private collectors throughout the world.

She was profiled as an artist in the publication entitled, No Reservations: New York Contemporary Native American Arts Movement by David Bunn Martine.


Artist Statement:

My artwork has an individualistic style that draws upon cosmic subject matter. It has a global agenda from an Indigenous perspective and reflects the interconnection of myself as woman, mother, Indigenous world citizen, Native North American, spiritual being and warrior. My work has been influenced by the ceremonies of the Onondaga Longhouse, the Hopi Kiva on Second Mesa, the Full Moon and Sweat Lodge ceremonies of the Ojibwe, the Sundance of the Lakota, a pilgrimage to Medicine Wheel, Wyoming, Nanih Waiya Mound of the Choctaw, the Mayan Pyramid in Chichen Itza and Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, home of goddess Pele.

As a person who is intertribal, my diverse work reflects my Cherokee (Iroquoian), Powhatan (Algonquian) and Lakota (Siouan) traditions. I am focusing on work that reflects both my Iroquoian and Algonquian ancestry who have roots in Appalachia. My Cherokee ancestry is reflected in my works entitled, CORN MOTHER, CORN MOONS OF THE FOUR DIRECTIONS and VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE IS THE CORN MOTHER.  My Algonquian ancestry is reflected in my work entitled GRANDMOTHER MOON AND HER CORN MOON DAUGHTERS and WAMPUM MOONS OF CHANGE.

There are many connections between Pre-Columbian Meso America and Indigenous Appalachia since the ‘milpa’ style of planting corn, beans and squash travelled north from the land of the Maya to become the Three Sisters, a staple for the Algonquian Nation relatives, the Cherokee and Hodenosaunee, the Iroquoian relatives of the north.

My works connect the Cherokee Corn Mother Selu and the Guadalupe of Mexico who is originally the Pre-Columbian Mother of all the Gods called Tonantzin in the Nahuatl language of the Aztec.

In my work MOON BREAST MOTHERS, I depict the Moon Goddess Coyolxauhqui of the Aztec tradition who had 400 brothers who are stars, a story that they share with the Cherokee.

wrote and illustrated the children’s book entitled, SELU AND KANA’TI: CHEROKEE CORN MOTHER AND LUCKY HUNTER ©1998. It describes how hunting and agriculture came to the people and the responsibility that comes with knowledge. Another of my publications entitled, SHANE ©2006 revolves around the activities of an Algonquian Nation boy with braids.