April 8, 2010

Designer Profile | Nytom

Tribal Name: Nytom
Tribal Affiliation: Makah

John Goodwin, a member of the Makah Tribe, was born in 1948 to John and Norma Goodwin. He has lived and worked on the Makah Reservation, located in the upper northwest corner of the United States, most of his life.

A year after graduating from Neah Bay High School, John spent 18 months overseas fulfilling his military tour in Vietnam. Honorably discharged from the Army, he returned home and became involved with the cultural of his people. By utilizing his artistic abilities he realized he could contribute to his culture. He began by painting dancing robes and creating and painting bent wood cedar boxes. A friend and well known artist and scholar, Steve Brown related to John that if he would take his art more seriously a time would come in his life when he would always be busy. John embraced this thought and felt that a sense of his purpose in the community would manifest itself in his art. John continued to develop his native-inspired design style. Hand made drums became a surface on which he could practice his design and painting abilities. He followed up with hand pulled limited edition prints and started signing his work with his adult Indian name nytom.

These limited editions and drums were sold to museums and galleries across Canada and the U.S. Wanting to learn more about the different mediums in West Coast native art, he apprenticed under Loren White, a master carver who made John his first set of engravers. He continued engraving for two years, and when he apprenticed under master carver and jeweler Art Thompson, his jewelry designs flourished. In the early 80's, with family help, John started a textile printing company that provided original designs and products for various community events. The company grew into Deeah Screen Prints which later became Designs by Nytom and sold native designed clothing in Alaska, Canada and the U. S. Currently John resides in Sequim Washington. He designs and creates fine pieces of silver and gold jewelry for galleries and commissions, and is producing limited edition serigraphs. Because of his involvement in his culture, John will continue to create his own style of design for many years to come.

[info from Stonington Gallery]