Diane Schenandoah, Oneida
Executive Assistant & Editor
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 in photography and welding. She earned a Bachelors 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.