Profile: Uzma Nadeem - Harmony: A creative catharsis

By Kiran Malik-Khan - Thursday, January 31 2013

Seasons is Uzma Nadeem’s cover art for NorthWord’s seventh issue. Her canvas creativity invites quiet meditation and aptly so because the theme for the issue was Harmony. NorthWord – A Literary Journal of Canada’s North is Wood Buffalo’s only literary journal. Published by the Northern Canada Collective Society for Writers, a non-profit local group, it features northern writers and local artists on the cover.

“It’s a great literary magazine. I was planning to submit something, and then finally did for the Harmony issue. I was delighted to learn that my painting was selected as the cover image,” enthused Nadeem, who is originally from Lahore, Pakistan, and moved to Fort McMurray in 2008.

Her multicultural background is evident in the cover, painted in Wood Buffalo two years ago. Nadeem, who made Connect’s coveted 2012 Top 40 Under 40 list, explains the inspiration. “It is inspired by the seasons in Fort McMurray and Canada. I grew up in Pakistan and had rarely seen snow, so it was quite a fascinating experience for me when I first saw the white snowflake on my 
black parka.

“I was speechless to see the shape and the design of the flake. The changing fall colours of the trees were another mesmerizing experience. The scorching sun in the summer followed by the colourful but short spring break and the warm colours of the fall all reminded me of the Greatness of the Almighty,” she explains. The maple leaf design, adds Nadeem, completes the colours and motifs from around the world. Based on popular input, Seasons is arguably the best cover yet.

Nadeem’s academic credentials are first-rate. She won a gold medal for being the Valedictorian from the prestigious Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2003 and, when she completed her Master’s in Fine Arts, she received the academic gold medal from then-President Pervaiz Musharraf.

Nadeem currently paints at home and she is also a founding member of the Wood Buffalo Art Forum and sits on the board. Moreover, she works with the Learning Through the Arts initiative (LTTA), which sends artists into local schools to teach core curriculum via art. For more information, or to purchase Nadeem’s artwork, visit

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