Native American

Framed Birched Bark

Artist: Wanesia Spry Misqadace
Culture/People: Fond du Lac Bank, Chippewa Tribe
Place: Minnesota, Great Lakes
Media: Birch Bark
Dims: Framed: 32 x 6.12 x 1 in. (81.2 x 15.5 x 2.5 cm)
Date: 2014
RTC No.: NA1709
Gift of Wanesia Spry Misquadace, 2017


In 2017, Wanesia Spry Misquadace (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Fond du Lac Band) undertook a residency at the Ralph T. Coe Center as part of our Creating Side-By-Side Artist Residency Program, generously supported by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Immersed in our diverse collection, Wanesia found inspiration, particularly drawn to a set of nesting boxes (NA0673a-e), which encouraged her to explore the intricate art of working with porcupine quills. A distinctive feature of the program required artists to engage with the public, and Wanesia chose to share the history of her people and birch bark biting. Additionally, she conducted a hands-on birchbark biting session where participants learned about the process and were able to create their own birchbark biting pieces. During the session, attendees enjoyed a culinary treat prepared by Wanesia, featuring cooked self-harvested wild rice with bacon, complemented by blueberries and pure maple syrup—a truly memorable event for all.

Wanesia’s artistic vision pushes beyond conventional boundaries, as she combines materials such as birch bark and silver, shaping them into exquisite canisters and wearable jewelry. Her innovative approach pushes the envelope of artistic possibilities, moving this art form forward into the future. Notably, as one of the few female metallurgy instructors at the University of Arizona, she serves as a remarkable role model, inspiring others with her creative spirit.

For those curious about Wanesia Spry Misquadace’s and her work, we encourage you to embark on a Google search to learn more about her artwork and the significant contributions to she has made to the artistic community.

Wanesia Spry Misquadace (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Fond du Lac Band) is an assistant professor at Arizona State University, where she teaches metalworking and indigenous art. Her work encompasses birchbark bitings, quillwork, beadwork, and silverwork. She also works to raise awareness of the art of birchbark biting in order to preserve the tradition.

Written on the back of the framed piece:

Wanesia Misquadace ‘2014’

M.A. Show’
Thundering Sky; UW Madison Wisconsin
Mossimo performed his hoop
dance performance 4 me.


5 Windows
1 from top
this one is Musgaadace
turtle – means Misquoldace

2 Thunder Bird—Strength.
Some movement Rain
all around.

3 Ojibwa Floral Design
w/ leaves

4 Turtle – means Misquadace
this one represents mom

5 Mandioo light –
Fond Du Lac Band
Lake Superior Minnesota
Chippewa Tribe

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