By Andrea Richard
Mark Fischer, a contemporary sculptor, is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Green Bay, Turtle Clan. He began sculpting on his Oneida reservation in Wisconsin at an early age, and today he pursues his artmaking fulltime. Before turning to exploring a career in the arts, Fischer worked in administration in Native American education and served as the president of the Indian Community School in Milwaukee. Education remains dear to him. He uses his art to educate on Native American sacred traditions.
His sculptures are hand-cut from copper, welded with silver. He later air brushes them with a finish, enhancing the copper. He comes from four generations of a blacksmith family, which his father encouraged him to learn. Sometimes, for details, he adds deer hide, beads and horsehair. His subjects feature forms of deer heads, porcupines, quill textures, and North American bison such as “Ancient Dignity,” a 1,200-pound copper sculpture that stands nearly 5 feet.
Each piece portrays a story passed down from the ancient nations of Oneida and Iroquois. His art is also inspired by his mother’s storytelling.
He’s won numerous accolades throughout his artistic career, including a First Peoples Fund’s grant fellow Artist in Business, first place in sculpture at both the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Woodland Indian Arts & Culture Festival in Wisconsin, and counting.
For more information about artist Mark Fischer, visit turtleclan.com. ♦