Ashley Shenandoah

Nation/Clan: Seneca Nation/Beaver Clan

Artist Statement
I learned simple stitch beading from my mother when I was twelve. I lost her at an early age so a lot of what I do now has been self-taught by trial and error throughout the years. I’ve been beading for thirty-five years and I’m still inspired to this day by my mothers’ ideas and techniques. I also find motivation through the work I see from generations long ago. The older beadwork and what was accomplished with materials available at that time is inspirational. I try to incorporate our traditional symbols and culture into my designs. My thoughts, feelings, traditions, and beliefs can be expressed in my pieces to commemorate something important in our culture or in my personal life. I try to create something that resonates with others and makes them feel good when they view it. Beading is a major part of who we are as Haudenosaunee. It connects us as a people and gives us a sense of identity so it’s important for me to continue to bead, to share my work and encourage others to be creative in any form of art.