Nancy Oakley

A multidisciplinary Mi’kmaq and Wampanoag artist, Nancy Oakley found in pottery a way to make reverence and to connect to Mother Earth, expressing traditional knowledge, feelings, experiences and impressions, Oakley’s work focus on femininity and motherhood. She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and studied for a year at the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, taking courses in Photography, ceramics, weaving and jewelry making.


Oakley creates culturally significant vessels that imbue her spiritual and traditional knowledge. The combination of sweetgrass and black ash basketry weaving, beading and ceramic, brings together a sense of connection to the land and ancient practices, reminding the viewer of the human need for connection and communion which allow her vessels to clarify where they belong in the world and their intended function. There’s so much beauty imbued in the composition of her works that uses a combination of commercial and locally sourced clay, plants and other materials from the traditional Eskasoni First Nations territory.

Oakley is the 2023 recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Nova Scotia) and has exhibited works in Plymouth Center for the Arts, Plymouth, MA (2023), Gallery on the Queen, Fredericton NB (2021-2023) Yorkville Village: Toronto, ON (2022), Beaverbrook Gallery, Fredericton, NB (2022), Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, ME (2019-2020) to name a few.


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