Native American Painting Program

From One Dance, Creation, a work of art celebrating the Haudenosaunee creation story, is on permanent display in the Canisius College Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library.  The work was commissioned by the Canisius College Native American Art Project Committee and the former Friends of the Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP) Advisory Board --now the ALANA Student Center Advisory Board--to recognize and celebrate the importance of Native American culture on campus and throughout the region.

Born at the Tuscarora Indian Nation in Western New York and an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, Professor Eric Gansworth, a writer and visual artist, as well as a Professor of English and the Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius, created the work for the College.

From One Dance, Creation was unveiled on Thursday, November 2, 2006 at a reception ceremony in Canisius’ Grupp Fireside Lounge with over 100 people in attendance.  Blaine Tallchief of the Seneca Nation presided over the ceremony, which included speeches given by Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, S.J., Canisius College President; U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott, member of the Canisius College Board of Trustees and chair of the Friends of OMP Advisory Board (now ASC); Jessica Blum, representing the Canisius College Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library; Eric Gansworth; and many others.

The painting, From One Dance, Creation, is part of a series of works commissioned by the College to celebrate cultural pluralism. Each work was selected by a student-led committee of faculty, staff, and students.  Previous works in this series include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1992) and With the Same Rhythm (Con el Mismo Ritmo) (2002).

The student leaders for the Project Committee were Kevin Koch ’07 and Richard Sasala ’07.  Rev. John Bucki, S.J., Director of Campus Ministry, served as Project Advisor and Sababu Norris, Director of ALANA Student Center, served as Administrative Assistant.

Funding for the commissioned artwork was made possible by an anonymous donor through the Canisius College Board of Trustees by way of the Division of Student Affairs.  Additional funding was provided by Canisius College.

This art project, as well as preceding projects, have generated interest in obtaining a work of art celebrating Asian American culture and art at Canisius College.  Contact ALANA Student Center for information or to become involved in the process.