Turtle Clan Art, Mark Fischer Artist (Oneida)

MARK A. FISCHER
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I am a contemporary sculptor and member of the Oneida Nation of Green Bay, Turtle Clan. I was involved in Native American education at an administrative level for 12 years, and was instrumental in establishing several Native American scholarships for Wisconsin colleges. I continue to be an advocate of education by promoting the importance of Native American awareness through my sculpture, and by my interactive storytelling-style with perspective customers and young audiences.

Many of my designs are inspired by ancient Woodland petroglyphs and pictographs celebrating nature, gender and Native art and culture. The sculptures are created from copper as were decorative and functional items from the Great Lakes area tribes. Each sculpture is hand cut, welded in silver and then air brushed with a patina finish to enhance the copper’s natural aging process. To give some pieces even more life and a three dimensional form, I utilize an old expanded welding technique taught to me by my grandfather. Traditional Iroquois border designs, quill and beaded symbols and patterns created in copper complement my sculptures while visually teaching Native art history. Select sculptures are embellished with deer hide, antlers, traditionally wrapped antique trade beads and horsehair. Each sculpture’s descriptive tag includes a name written in English and in the Oneida language. A second tag tells an Oneida/Iroquois story, prayer, poem or cultural statement. I’ve recently added a line of functional art including tables, chairs, benches and tree lamps adorned with traditional Iroquois floral designs and ancient patterns.

It is said that the ancient nations did not have a written language, but if you look, you will see they have left messages all over our nation. It is an honor to share these non-verbal messages through my art. I am proud of my Native American heritage.

An Oneida Pronunciation System Guide can be found here.


HONORS AND AWARDS

  • 1998 Best of Show - Channel 10 Auction (PBS)
  • 1998 Smithsonian Christmas Catalog purchase/order: "Moose Man"
  • 1998 Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian purchased 3 pieces- "Friends", "Cedar", "Three Sisters"
  • 1999 Best of Show : Metal "29th Outdoor Arts Festival" John Michael Kohler Art Center (Kohler, WI)
  • 1999 Wisconsin Art Board's "Percent for the Arts" purchase and permanent installation at University of Madison of "Mother Earth"sculpture
  • 1999 Wisconsin Art Board's "Percent for the Arts" purchase and permanent installation at the University of LaCrosse of "Thank You" sculpture
  • 2000 "Gallery Artist" for PBS "Channel 10 Great TV Auction" in Milwaukee, WI
  • 2000 TV expose on PBS "Outdoor Wisconsin" - interviewed by Jim Denomie
  • 2000 Purchase Award "Spring Green Art Show," Spring Green, WI
  • 2001 Best of Show: Metal "Art Fair On the Square" Madison Art Center, WI
  • 2001 Honorable Mention "Art in the Park" Appleton Art Center, WI
  • 2001 Award of Excellence "National Craft Festival" Northshore Women's Art league Northbrook, IL
  • 2001 Second Place "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis, IN
  • 2001 Third Place "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis, In
  • 2001 Honorable Mention "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis,IN
  • 2001 Honorable Mention "Lawrence Indian Arts Show" University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology, Lawrence Art Center, Haskell Indian Nations University
  • 2001 Second Place- Fine Crafts "Holy Hill Arts and Crafts Fair" WI
  • 2002 Award of Excellence "Excelsior 22nd Annual Art on the Lake" Excelsior, MN
  • 2002 Honorable Mention "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis, IN
  • 2002 Dept. of Interior purchase of several pieces: new gallery-Washington D.C.
  • 2002 Second Place- 3DNF Sculpture "West End Art Festival" LaGrange, IL
  • 2002 First Place- Sculpture "Council for Indigenous Arts & Crafts Expo", IN
  • 2002 First Place-Sculpture "Indigenous Peoples Art Market" Mt.Pleasant, MI
  • 2003 Second Place-3D Art "Cahokia Mounds Contemporary Indian Art Show" Collinsville, IL
  • 2003 Merit Award - "Cantigny Sculpture & Fine Art Festival" Cantigny, IL
  • 2003 Best of Show - "Wausau Festival of Arts" Wausau, WI
  • 2003 "Turtle Man" & "Grandmother Moon" photos featured in Native Peoples
  • 2004 Honorable Mention "Deerfield Festival of the Arts" Deerfield, IL
  • 2004 Dept. of Interior gallery exhibition of Contemporary Iroquois Art-WashingtonD.C.
  • 2004 Second Place "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis, IN
  • 2004 Artists' Choice Award "Indigenous Peoples Art Show," Mt.Pleasant, MI
  • 2004 Purchase Award "National Museum of the American Indian", Washington DC
  • 2004 Ziibiwing Cultural Center outdoor sculpture garden purchase
  • 2005 National Museum of the American Indian gallery purchase
  • 2005 Honorable Mention - "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis, IN
  • 2007 First Place - "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis, IN
  • 2007 Third Place - Sculpture- Other Metals "Santa Fe Indian Market" Santa Fe, NM
  • 2008 Third Place - "Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market" Indianapolis, IN
  • 2008 Second Place - "Woodland Indian Art Show" Green Bay, WI
  • 2008 Second Place - "Indigenous Peoples Art Market" Mt.Pleasant, MI
  • 2008 First Place - Sculpture-Other Metals "Santa Fe Indian Market" Santa Fe, NM
  • 2009 Commissioned to design a Turtle for the Eiteljorg Museum 20th anniversary. Indianapolis, IN
  • 2010 Award of Excellence, Riverwalk Art Show, Eagle River, WI
  • 2011 First Place Award for Sculpture - "Off the Square" Madison, WI
  • 2012 Second Place Ribbon- Sculpture Division B (Bronze and Other Metals) Heard Museum Guild 2012 Indian Fair & Market
  • 2012 Second Place 3-D Fine Art at Woodland Indian Art Show (Green Bay, WI)
  • 2012 Award of Excellence, Riverwalk Art Show, Eagle River, WI
  • 2013 Award of Excellence, Deerfield Festival of the Arts, Deerfield, IL
  • 2013 First Place Ribbon - Sculpture - Metals, Eiteljorg Indian Market,Indianapolis, IN
  • 2013 Woodland Indian Art Market for "People's Choice"
  • 2013 Award of Excellence, Winterfair, Coloumbus, OH
  • 2014 Second Place Ribbon- Sculpture Division B (Bronze and Other Metals) Heard Museum Guild 2014 Indian Fair & Market
  • 2014 First Place- Sculpture, Deerfield Festival of the Arts, Deerfield, IL
  • 2014 Award of Excellence, Deerfield Festival of the Arts, Deerfield, IL
  • 2014 First Place Ribbon- Sculpture , Woodland Indian Art Market, Green Bay,WI
  • 2014 People's Choice Award, Woodland Indian Art Market, Green Bay, WI
  • 2014 First Place Ribbon-Sculpture/Metals, Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market, Indianapolis, IN
  • 2014 Second Place Ribbon-Sculpture/Metals,Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market,Indianapolis, IN

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