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Erica Deitz painting chosen to represent NICWA at Orlando conference

Seminole artist Erica Deitz’s “Homecoming” painting. (Courtesy NICWA)

A watercolor painting by Seminole artist Erica Deitz was chosen to be the visual centerpiece at the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) conference April 3-8, 2022, in Orlando.

Deitz’s “Homecoming” painting depicts a Seminole camp scene complete with chickees, women cooking over the fire, grinding corn and living camp life as it used to be.

Deitz described the painting when she submitted it to NICWA’s call for artists.

“Before cars, Seminole families would travel by foot from camp to camp, while canoes were used for longer travels and hunting. Because of this, it was a blessing to have a family member visit you because they made the time. This Seminole Indian camp scene shows how it would have been in the past. The art depicts an elder Seminole woman on the left forefront of the painting. She is just returning from visiting another camp. Walking was our form of transportation prior to the introduction of vehicles. Now, vehicles take us everywhere. We still have Seminole craftsmen who make canoes and camps remain that are visited by families today. I enjoy capturing my Seminole past, culture, and traditions through my art, while sharing it with my children in the present. My watercolor is an appreciation piece for our ancestors’ way of living and their dedication to family,” her submission read.

An accomplished artist, Deitz’s artwork offers an Indigenous perspective through a variety of mediums. The award-winning artist’s work has been showcased in exhibitions around the world. The National Museum of the American Indian and the Lowe Art Museum have her paintings on permanent display.

As NICWA’s selected artist, Deitz will be awarded a cash prize of $1,500 for the use of her work in promotional materials for the conference. The image will be published on the NICWA website and in printed materials.

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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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