Wanesia Spry Misquadace
Fond du Lac Band Chippewa Tribe
I see and feel," says Wanesia Misquadace. Like the steamy mist rises off of a Midwestern lake in the dead of winter, so has the career of artist Wanesia Misquadace, risen to new heights. Born into the Fond du Lac band of the Ojibway tribe in Minnesota. Highly adept at the traditional Ojibway practice of making wigwas mamacenawejegam, otherwise known as transparencies or chews, she utilizes the eye tooth to firmly bite designs into birch bark, which she gathers in her native Minnesota. A preserver of traditions and this dying art form, Wanesia believes herself to be one of only a handful of birch bark biting artists in North America. She is honored to be part of bringing awareness of birch bark biting to the forefront in the contemporary art world. A skilled silversmith, Wanesia studied metalworking under Lane Coulter at IAIA (Institute of American Indian Art) as well as advanced jewelry at the Poeh Arts Center with world renowned jeweler Fritz J. Casuse. Her experience with precious metals has culminated in the fusion of birch bark biting design with silver and gold to create canisters, and jewelry.
An award-winning artist and a rising star in the Native American art scene, she garnered ribbons at the SWAIA Indian Market as well as at Cherokee Indian Art Market in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Having earned her Bachelor’s of Art in Museum Studies and Three-Dimensional Art from IAIA, the artist has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the Doug Hyde Scholarship, Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship, the American Indian College Fund, the USDA, and the American Indian Empowerment Program. Additionally, she was chosen to be the first Native American woman intern in the conservation field at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Sensitive to the needs of others, she has a strong vision concerning Indian education, policy, beliefs, and the ability to communicate her vision to a wide variety of audiences. In addition to her birch bark biting, Wanesia is also proud to include baskets, beadwork and photography in her body of work.