Nancy Oakley, a visual and craft artist from Eskasoni First Nation, received the $5,000 Indigenous Artist Recognition Award recently at the Creative Nova Scotia Awards, presented by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council.
The award recognizes Indigenous artists who have emerged from their initial training and development and are active in the Nova Scotia/Mi'kma'ki arts community.
The awards help showcase the recipients’ work to residents of the province and beyond. This visibility will encourage artistic and economic well-being for the recipients and contribute to the health of Nova Scotia’s artistic sector in support of a well-rounded community.
Oakley is a Mi'kmaq/Wampanoag artist. She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM and studied at NSCAD.
She uses softly curved pottery forms created by hand or by the wheel to create culturally significant pieces that imbue her spiritual and traditional knowledge and honour her role as a mother. Her pots are adorned with traditional Mi'kmaq embellishments such as black ash, beadwork and/or braided sweetgrass.