Niio Perkins, Mohawk

Title: Niio Perkins, Akwesasne Mohawk
Image size: 39 x 29 inches

Medium: Colored and graphite pencils, acrylic, watercolor and ink.

As a traditional artist with a strong sense of design, Niio Perkins is uniquely suited to bring a Native sensitivity to beadwork. Through her work, she is able to relate the continuing story of her people and explain how their artwork affected them.  Native artists are those best suited to tell their story.

In Gerry’s portrait of Niio, she is wearing one of her exquisitely crafted beaded collars. Niioieren or "Niio" is a 29 year old, Mohawk Bear Clan artist from Akwesasne, New York, an American Indian territory that runs along the Saint Lawrence River and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Niioieren means "look what she did" and from a very early age, her creativity and precocious personality have attracted much deserved attention. Niio began beading at a very young age. She knew that her talents were bound to flourish due to her savvy business sense and an inherently strong talent for matching colors and designs.

Many of Niio's artistic gifts were cultivated by working for her mother, who sews traditional Mohawk ribbon shirts and dresses. In fact, Niio attributes much of her success to her family of accomplished artists who all continue to keep Native Mohawk art on the forefront of America's art scene. 

Niio's adept knowledge of her art and culture gives her designs an authenticity that cannot be duplicated. Niio captures not only the colors of the world in her work, but so much feeling, sentiment and character, all of which make her pieces meticulously crafted and truly unique.

Examples of Niio’s work can be seen on her website.