Published on Oct 21, 2020
Each year, the National Congress of American Indians selects an artist to represent the host region of the Annual Convention & Marketplace. This year, despite the pandemic, NCAI is showcasing the Northwest region and has selected Nytom (John Goodwin) of Sequim, Washington as the representative artist. His piece Living in a Perfect World serves as the inspiration for the design and artwork for the 77th Annual Convention & Marketplace.
Nytom is a Makah Tribal member born in 1948 and raised in the community of Neah Bay. He has a strong sense of family gained from extensive historical knowledge of Makah songs, dance, ceremonies and rituals. A sense of family helps Nytom understand how the families of Neah Bay came to be and allow him to trace his connections with other First Peoples of the coast.
After returning from Vietnam in the early 1970’s he became more involved in the artistic traditions and culture of his home on the coast. He apprenticed under the late Art Thompson for several years. Through Art’s connections with other people in Canada, Nytom developed a greater understanding of how the art manifested the teachings of his ancestors.
Nytom has worked in various artist media – engraving in silver and gold, limited edition prints, glasswork, metals, and wood – and a passion to understand his traditions culture inspires a deep sense of responsibility: to always maintain a close connection to the teachings of his people.
Nytom’s connection to other tribes has grown over the years, and he finds himself giving back to insure the cultures of First Nation people lives on by expanding his ability to help other First Nations secure old growth cedar for their longhouses, canoes and other culture project.
The piece Living in a Perfect World comes from Nytom's wonders about "what it would take to live in a perfect world: a place where people took only what they needed, left the rest for others and always got along." The art represents what he envisions the world like if it was perfect.
Sign up to learn more about the Northwest region and join us for the 77th Annual Convention & Marketplace, where Nytom and countless other artists will be showcasing their work. Register today!Subscribe to our News RSS