Carson Waterman grew up on the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation. After graduating from Gowanda High School and serving in the Vietnam Conflict, he attended the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, eventually becoming an instructor at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
After leaving Cleveland, Carson interned at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and the New York State Museum in Albany, New York, where he specialized in model-making and exhibit preparation. In 1975, Carson became the primary exhibit manager, illustrator, and artist for the newly established Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, located in Salamanca on the Allegany Reservation of the Seneca nation. Since 1988, Carson has been self-employed as an artist at his gallery on the Allegany Territory.
Carson’s artwork is a deep reflection on his Seneca heritage. His paintings draw upon the relationships between Mother Earth and all living things, which are critical to the underlying traditional Seneca spiritual beliefs found in the Gaiwiio (“the Good World”). Through his art, Carson seeks to embody the richness and beauty of the Seneca and other Haudenosaunee Peoples that are unique to the northeastern United States.
Carson’s artwork has been displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of the American Indian, the New York and Tennessee State Museums, the Ganondagan Historical Site in Victor, NY, the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, as well as numerous other university and private museums and galleries throughout the Northeast. Carson has also illustrated two books, “Pow-wow” and “Cloudwalker,” and has produced public art for the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority and the Southern Tier Expressway.
Carson operates a studio on the Allegany Territory (28 Main Street Salamanca, NY 14779) that is open by chance or appointment. To purchase or commission artwork please contact Carson at (716) 945-1355.