Joni Sarah White

  • b. 1973 in Mohawk territory
  • Joni Sarah White is a professional studio artist from the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. She currently maintains studios in Northern New York and Southern Florida. Joni Sarah is a prolific artist who works in multi-media sculpture, painting and jewelry.



Like the eagle that knows no bounds to its rise, I aim to transcend tradition through the work which is my life... honoring each layer of experience each step by step along the way. This is the work that defines me as a contemporary artist. I seek color, texture, words and form as harbingers of moments to come as well as reflection upon those who have walked before.To me there is nothing but beauty, even in that which pains.
I make one painting to make the next.



Ms. White, born in the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne ‎, began her studies at Dartmouth College in 1991and graduated in 1998, having taken a number of semesters away from school to work or participate in several highly acclaimed fellowship programs. Upon graduation she earned a BA degree with Honors in both Studio Arts and Film Studies. While at Dartmouth, she was mentored by renowned artists Ben Moss, Colleen Randall, John K. Lee, and Varujan Boghosian. She received individual awards of excellence and departmental citations in sculpture, painting, set design and screen-play writing.


In 1994 on the recommendation of John K. Lee, Ms. White was the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious Chautauqua Institute for Visual Arts where she concentrated on sculpture.

In 1995, she received a fellowship from the Writer in Residence Program at the esteemed Hedgebrook retreat, which accepts 40 women writers from all over the world annually. Among its global community of alumnae of some 1200 writers is Gloria Steinem. While there Ms. White developed a specialized technique that integrated her written words and paintings which continues to influence her work to this day.

Professional Experience

Ms. White owned and operated Galleria Joniah in Jeffersonville, NY. from 2008-2010 which featured her paintings, charcoal drawings, and sculptures.

She operated a second Galleria Joniah in Delray Beach, Fl. from 2013-2015 which also featured her paintings, charcoal drawings, and sculptures.

From 2012-2015 Ms. White worked at the West Palm Beach Armory Art Center a renowned visual arts institute in Florida where she studied under famed sculptors Chris Riccardo and Virginia McKinny and celebrated stone carver Gerson Rapoport.

Gallery Affiliation

From 2000 through 2014 Ms. White was a featured artist at Galleria J. Antonio in New York City.

From 2014-2016 Ms. White was a Studio Assistant and collaborator at the Prodanovich Studio in DelRay Beach Florida which specializes in expressionist painting and sculptures and while there mastered the use of neo expressionist materials and techniques. She represented the Prodanovich Gallery as its Director at “Red Dot” at Art Basel Miami in 2015.

In 2016 Ms. White was a visiting artist at the AMP Gallery in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Selected Solo & Group Exhibitions

In 2012 and 2013 Ms. White was a Juried participant at the prestigious annual Delray Affair in Delray Beach Florida.

By invitation, in 2014 and 2015, she was asked by the Committee which oversees the Delray Affair to represent Artist Alley, a local artist collective of award winning national and international artists of various disciplines, at the exhibition.

In 2014 Ms. White was a juried participant and Solo Exhibiter at Art Expo NYC.

In 2016 she was a Juried participant at I FAM East, hosted by the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.

A number of Ms. White’s paintings from her acclaimed “We The PEOPLE” series of 2016 are currently on display at the Pequot Museum.

From 2012-2015 Ms. White exhibited bronze, stone and clay sculptures at the annual exhibition of the West Palm Beach Armory Art Center.

In 2015 Ms. White created a number of sculpted headpieces for Theia Designs which produced the Summer/Spring bridal collection of acclaimed fashion designer Don O’Neill. The creations were featured in the Bridal Guide January issue 2015.


Brown and Weinraub, PLLC.
Albany, N.Y.

Saratoga, N.Y.

Dr. David Greene
Dental Office
New York City

New York City

Philanthropic/Volunteer Work

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe-
In 2005 Ms. White created the Akwesasne Artist Enrichment Program in the Mohawk Territory where she continues to maintain a studio. With an intensive and diverse curriculum, it exposed Tribal youth from grades 2 to 12 to various genres in the arts, and provided an intensive studio experience for its participants to pursue traditional and non-traditional concepts alike. The culminating experience for the participants was a formal exhibition and reception for the Mohawk Community as a whole. The program has since been integrated into the overall programming of the St Regis Mohawk Tribe.

Ronald McDonald House-
Ms. White has participated in the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region from 2011 through the present in Saratoga NY.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015 she was a featured artist at the Ronald McDonald of Capital Region Fashion Show fundraiser where a number of her works were donated and auctioned.

American Red Cross-
In 2014 a number of Ms. White’s paintings were donated and auctioned as part of the American Red Cross fundraiser in Albany, NY.

References and Recommendations Upon Request


  • Seven Generations for Standing Rock

    To some who watch the struggle at Standing Rock led by its Native guardians there is a fundamental disconnect . . . indeed misunderstanding . . .  about what they are doing and why. To sisters and brothers in harm’s way in North Dakota it’s more than the defense of land that is sacred today . . . or was yesterday . . . but ensuring it remains no less so for each generation to come. Like endless time before, tomorrow knows no bounds. Like resistance today, their children and children’s children, carry that duty tomorrow.

    Each Indian Nation has its own sacred covenant with their maker . . . a sacred trust that binds their existence and spirit with those that have come before and those yet to travel . . .  a journey sculpted by that trust. It is a bridge for today that connects all that has been with all that is yet to be; a duty to act here and now to preserve and protect what was and what will be. Without it, for Native people there can be no tomorrow.

    Among my People it is called Seven Generations.

    To the Kanien’kehá:ka of the Haudenosaunee, Seven Generations is not simply an abstract legend that shades the contours of our lives, but for us an obligation as a People that transcends the narrow confines of here and now. For all our family at Standing Rock, it is a living sacred trust, a marriage to the land that has been our strength for time immemorial and will remain so for generations to come.

    Our elders have long understood and passed to us the connection between those that have come and those to travel in their wake.

    “In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the past and present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.”

    The struggle at Standing Rock finds its power in tradition, but its strength and purpose in the here and now. Native people are much more than mere talisman created to give symbol and comfort to others. We have unique traditions and beliefs, ways that chart our course. Though at times we invite others to walk with us, it is not to lead the way.

    Our communities are much more than mere building blocks and store-fronts; they are tribal and national territories where we battle daily to endure . . . to maintain our culture, dignity and universal right to self-determination.

    Ours is a struggle that has not been easy . . . often it’s been one wrought with pain and peril. Though, at times, we’ve lost much . . . it has never been our vision or our way. We know who we are. We have not and will not surrender our self-respect and future to those who seek to seal or purchase it.

    From coast to coast in ways little every day we struggle to ford the river of time. Survival is much more than convenience . . . it is the knowledge that when the winds of change seek to dampen our spirit and silence our voice, we must refuse and we do.

    In dedication to my family at Standing Rock, I lend this voice.

    On this day:
    The poverty of our minds
    bailed to surface by the
    brilliance of survivals shine

    Our nations
    rhythm washed bones
    mark tempo with the cross stitch of stars
    And fools chant chorus of no holds to bar
    This is our homeless and sovereign time
    Brothers in arms
    no more a crime
    Each held to the clones and the drones
    that now code our spine

    Behold the Spirit of
    King and Queen
    This new democratic monarchy
    Feast upon the beauty
    in between
    Set eyes ahead for remedy
    forget not family,
    we are free
    to be and see
    One human destiny

    Where titans doze towards legacy
    in victory we will be found
    As misplaced sage rings for embrace
    A healing song woven round
    for the earth they break
    in the hunger to take and take
    Cry Her shadow, a whisper, a trace
    Each moment etched upon her face

    This is the magic that writes us down
    To gently right our crooked crown
    Worldly hustle and ebb
    to flow
    Torn and tarred
    For all to know
    Old glory and grace
    To give and grow

    Seven Generations is a river and we, my friends and family, are in the midst of its current. We the People will continue to insure its waters are defended, clean and pure.
  • Water is Life: With Solidarity for Standing Rock

    (Originally published in Counterpunch Nov.4, 2016)

    I am Kanien’kehá:ka . . . born of the Haudenosaunee, “People of the Flint” . . . of the Iroquois Confederacy.

    I am a Mohawk, born in Akwesasne upon the land and the water where the “Partridge Drums” . . . . where the St. Lawrence River rubs-up against two foreign States. We are the protectors of the “Eastern Door” . . . a nation that has refused defeat or surrender to those who challenge our duty to safeguard sacred land and the water which defines it.

    Though many aim to weaken our resolve . . . some to silence our voice . . . we endure as guardians, Warriors of Land & Water. An existential understanding, ours is an obligation born of pre-colonial tradition that flourished well before the arrival of those who snatched the United States and Canada from our land. We exist as the Original People of this continent in full harmony with the other Nations of this Our Mother Earth. Historically and contemporary. . . most recent at Oka . . . the Mohawk Nation stood firm and declared to the world that not one inch more would be lost to the pursuit of those who see life as but a test of how much can be taken in the empty chase of greed masquerading in the name of well being and need.

    At Standing Rock, my sisters and brothers today make the same stand. Gathering in one mind, together with the knowledge that “Water is Life” and in this truth we are one human nation. In their name, in their honor, in their strength in all kind, I dedicate this work. It comes from mother earth. We all do.

    Our Water in each form is sacred . . . without it we cannot exist.

    She possess
    the specific rhythm
    of a poet
    Close to grace
    given to cumulus clouding of frenzy
    Perhaps she is as subtle as a late night bloomer
    A desert cacti
    A winged bird of prey
    Feeding on the smallest of creatures
    Nesting in the hearts of men
    of boys
    of beginnings
    Our Water,
    She is of the earth
    It can be said
    It is the silk of sky she wears best
    Riding the rainbows of the moon
    The most delicate of hues washing her shadows
    All the shades of white to marble her weightless flight
    The whirlpool of her
    mapping veins
    blue as,
    High noon July Sky
    A northern river
    Wide and deep as frozen yesterday
    Our Water is Life,
    She paints the horizon
    We set sail
    The four winds gathering nations
    To carve
    backward the motion of time
    a feast of all memory
    Her power
    essential and sublime

    Joni Sarah White is a Mohawk from Akwesasne who’s paintings and sculptures have appeared throughout the world. A graduate of Dartmouth College and recipient of fellowships from both Hedgebrook and Chautauqua Institution. Additional work of hers can be seen at