Crystal Drakeford | Traditionally Modern

Crystal Drakeford, Indigenous Art, Bumblebee, Bark, Necklace

Crystal Drakeford

Crystal Drakeford

Ojibway, Niagara

As a Native adoptee, Crystal's adoptive parents have always tried to incorporate elements of her culture into her upbringing. Through the Hamilton Native Center, she engaged in youth activities and attended cultural events. It was here that a Cree woman approached her parents wanting to teach Crystal and her brother traditional beading techniques. This guidance and support encouraged Crystal to pursue beading on her own. Similarly, Crystal’s love for sketching and painting as a teen provided the foundation for the artist she is today.


However, Crystal knew she wanted to learn more about her culture, teachings, and medicines, so, when she was in her early 20’s she decided to venture to her birthplace, Blind River, Ontario. During her stay she learned that she was Ojibway from the Eagle Clan. Crystal even met her family including her biological father. She attended various ceremonies and was taught many teachings, crafts, and medicines. She has learned different ways of using birch bark, including as a canvas and in traditional Ojibway bowls and baskets.

Presently, Crystal is a multi-talented artist working in a variety of disciplines. Throughout the Niagara Region, Crystal is well known for her handcrafted jewelry and Native crafts. She has facilitated many workshops involving traditional and contemporary work. Crystal has displayed her artwork throughout the Niagara Region and was an award winner for her piece "Turquoise Warrior" 2014- Grimsby Public Art Gallery's Bi-Annual Exhibition-3rd Place and Mount Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival- Best in Show.

Crystal has become more aware and involved in her community through the arts; she is always seeking new forms and materials to incorporate into her work. Crystal’s future intensions are to continue to work with her cultural artistic roots by blending the traditional and modern aspects of art and design - Thus being Traditionally Modern.

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Crystal has facilitated workshops throughout the Niagara Region at Neto Hatinakwe Onkwehowe Native Arts, The Grimsby Art Gallery, The Niagara Falls Historical Museum, Rodman Hall Arts Centre.

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