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Erica Deitz artwork graces cover of Indian Gaming magazine

“Ghost Horse Guardian,” an acrylic painting by Seminole artist Erica Deitz, appears on the June 2021 cover of Indian Gaming magazine. (Courtesy photo)

The June issue of Indian Gaming magazine features artwork by a familiar Seminole artist, Erica Deitz.

The 24-by-27 inch acrylic painting “Ghost Horse Guardian” was created in 2002 and remains in Deitz’s personal collection. Inspiration for the painting came to her from various tribes’ love of horses and how they honor the animals.

“They saw the horse as a symbol of motility, strength, power and as a blessing and had deep respect for it,” Deitz wrote in an email to the Tribune. “They honored the horse with its own regalia. Some of the regalia were commonly utilized by Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people for a giveaway in honor or in remembrance of a relative, identification of a warrior society, in ceremonies such as a horse dance or simply to parade in celebration.”

Deitz, who is Seminole, Winnebago and Ojibway, has been drawing since she was 3 years old and has been creating art ever since. Deitz comes by her talent naturally; her parents, Jo Motlow North and Robert North, met as students at the Institute of American Indian Arts and both of her grandmothers were artists.

Dietz’s first one-person show was in elementary school at age 10. She continues to show her work around the world in solo and group exhibitions. She works in various mediums and offers an Indigenous perspective that is accessible to a wide range of audiences.

“Many tribes also saw the horse as a spiritual guide who would bring the fallen warrior to the afterlife when they died in battle,” Deitz wrote. “This was known as the Ghost Horse, a beautiful horse that was a spiritual being and a conduit to the Spirit World. In my painting I honor the love, appreciation, and respect that all Indigenous Peoples have with their horses.”

Deitz believes in teaching tribal children the knowledge, wisdom and lessons of the ancestors. She said her artwork is her way of keeping the spirits of her ancestors alive.

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) recently chose another of Deitz’s paintings as the theme for the April 3-6, 2022, conference in Orlando (See page 9A). She is also a finalist for an art installation at Florida State University’s new student union.

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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