Artists of the Cherokee Arts Center

Anderson, Matt

Matt Anderson

Matthew is a Cherokee artist with strong cultural ties from both sides of his family. His father’s family came from the original Cherokee country before forced removal and resisted the Dawes commission. They settled in Arkansas then Texas during the Civil War and later some moved to California before returning to Texas and Arkansas. Matthew’s Dad’s family still remains as undocumented Cherokee. Matthew’s mother’s family came during the forced removal from Cherokee lands with his great grandmother as an original enrollee. His grandmother was born here but due to the Great Depression & Dust Bowl migrated to California with her family when she was three and that is where Matthew was born. He lived in California until the age of three until the family moved back to the place his great grandmother called her little version of the Great Smoky Mountains. With a brief stay in Texas, NE Oklahoma has been Matthew’s home since the age of 5. The majority of his family all resides in a sixty mile radius of each other today and he boasts he is related to most everyone in Adair, Cherokee, & Sequoyah counties. Matthew’s artistic expression was encouraged by his family. His father taught him leather, wood, metal, bead, & bow making among many other traditional skills to numerous to mention. . His mother’s oldest sister taught him painting & pottery. Any talent he has he feels is directly related to the instructions & encouragement of his talented family. Matthew’s aunt was his greatest art teacher. She went to meet her Creator when he was 16. Sometimes working on an art project he can still picture her and hear her advice. Matthew said he can only hope to be half the artist she was and he hopes to encourage others to celebrate their heritage and create what inspires you.
Bates, Verna

Verna Bates

Verna Bates is a registered citizen of Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma) and has worked in the arts for well over 18 years. She specializes in Gourd Art, creating one of a kind, traditional and contemporary Cherokee masks, gourd bowls, dippers and gourd animals. She also paints on canvas, enjoys making clay beads and pipes, plus designs contemporary jewelry. She tries to incorporate Cherokee culture or history in each piece of art that she completes…whether it’s via ancient symbols, the Cherokee alphabet or images.  Sharing her Cherokee heritage is her utmost desire. She owns “Gourds, Etc.” Art Studio, Locust Grove, OK which opened May 2009.  The studio with small art gallery is located on their farm where her husband grows all of the gourds she uses in her art work and is open to the public.  Verna has had no formal art training, and feels very blessed to have the ability to produce pieces of art that others enjoy enough to purchase for their homes and collections. Her art has found homes all over the U.S. as well as abroad.
Bazil, Sheila

Sheila Bazil

Sheila specializes in clay sculpture. She was born in Tahlequah. As a child she moved to Wichita, Kansas with her family but spent summers in Tahlequah with her grandparents where she was able to participate in Cherokee arts and crafts. Sheila soon came to feel that art, enriched by her own Cherokee culture, was very important. Sheila married, raised a family, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree of Northeastern State University and a Master’s Degree from Wichita State. She started sculpting with clay 20 years ago. She found it to be a wonderful form of expression. Today she teaches clay art classes at Mid-America All-Indian Association. Most of Sheila’s sculptures represent Cherokee lifeways. Her inspiration comes from the culture and history of the Cherokee people and her own life experiences. She feels a connection of life today and it’s link to our past and the future. It is her hope that as others view her art they will sense an emotion or see a relationship to something meaningful in their own lives. She has received a variety of awards for her sculptures.

Martha Berry

Berry, Karen

Karen Berry

Karen grew up in Texas and currently resides in Garland, TX. She learned about Cherokee culture and art through her mother, Martha Berry, who revived the tradition of Cherokee Beadwork. Karen loved gourd art through her history of wood working and painting. This medium was a natural progression, combining these talents. She incorporated pre-European contact and modern Cherokee designs into her work. Karen currently grows her own gourds and is trying her hand at fingerweaving also.
Boney Jr., Roy

Roy Boney Jr.

I am (Cherokee name ᎧᏂᎦ ᎪᎳᎭ) a full blood citizen of the ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ Cherokee Nation living in Tahlequah, OK. I am award winning filmmaker, artist, and writer. My work has been shown throughout the United States and internationally.I hold a BFA in Graphic Design from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Art in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas – Little Rock. I am the writer, director, producer, and animator of several short animated films spoken in the Cherokee and Muscogee languages including On a Spring Day and Incident at Rock Roe. I have worked on several documentary films, notably serving as illustrator on the National Park Service production Trail of Tears. I am also a graphic novelist, having worked on several titles, including the critically acclaimed Dead Eyes Open, and was a contributing artist to the Eisner Award nominated anthology Trickster: Native American Tales. I am also a contributing author in the book American Indians and the Mass Media and I have contributed art & articles to Indian Country Today magazine. Currently, I work in the Language Technology Program for Cherokee Nation Education Services Group in Tahlequah, OK where we have collaborated with companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft to ensure the Cherokee language is compatible with their products.
Brown, Michael Kyle

Michael Kyle Brown

Kyle Brown’s art & lyrics often vary in subject, but always reflect his mood. "As an artist & a songwriter I am inspired by mood more than anything. My surroundings, past experiences & life in general all play a part in what I create." When it comes to his artwork and though always open to different mediums, Brown works primarily with acrylic and oil when painting. Whether it is portrait, landscapes/cityscapes, or abstract you will see his meticulous attention to detail and his imagination come to life with each brushstroke. His work can be found in many private and corporate collections across the United States. Brown’s work has been exhibited in numerous juried shows (including the Blue Studios: Blue Arts Invitational & the Trail of Tears Art Show & Sale) and galleries (including the Cherokee Gallery at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Tulsa and Spider Gallery in Tahlequah, OK). Just as with his brush, he also finds a pen very useful. He has spent years crafting the art of songwriting in various bands & touring throughout Arkansas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas (sharing the stage with such acts as country star Daryle Singletary & Grammy Award winning Songwriter Ryan Bingham).  Brown resides with his family in the Cherokee Capital of Oklahoma, Tahlequah.
Brown-King, Rodslen

Rodslen Brown-King

Rodslen Brown-King grew up in Muskogee. She has 11 siblings and attended Muskogee public schools. From a very young age she has been inspired to help and care for others. One day when she was four years old, she was upstairs looking out her parents’ bedroom window and it was that day she had her first conversation with God about helping people. Over the years she observed her community and saw how the youth, the elderly and disabled were in need of various services and resources. She has worked with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority for over 25 years now, providing care to the disabled. Rodslen founded the Project A Association organization in 2000. The name of the organization, Project A, is an acronym (Potential, Realization, Opportunity, Job, Education, Creativity and Teaching, while A is for Artistic). She bought an old house and restored it. Programs that are available now are: Computer Labs Services, Creative Arts for Youth 4 to 18 years of age, Youth Prevention of Risk Program (ages 4-18). The program also has a community garden, managed by the youth and volunteer seniors. Rodslen also has a strong interest in helping the disabled connect and communicate with their loved ones and others. She is currently working on implementing a music therapy program that can address some of their individual needs. In 2013 she received the Cherokee National Community Leadership Award-Individual. She also acquired her Native American citizenship with Cherokee Nation and is a TERO certified Artist. Rodslen specializes in round reed, flat reed and honey suckle basket weaving and art. You can find her art with the following vendors: Art Market (Hard Rock), Cherokee Heritage Center, Annual and National JOM conference, Art Center in Tahlequah and Native Made Art Festival. Her art is also on display at the Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Cain, Roger

Roger Cain

Roger, ½ Keetoowah-Cherokee, is a direct descendant of Watt Christie, the son of Florene Christie Batt and Charlie Cain, and the grandson of Agnes Christie Pumpkin, George Pumpkin and Richard Batt--all 4/4 Cherokee-Keetoowah. He was born and raised in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He currently lives in the Old Flint / Going Snake District of the Cherokee Nation. He has been designated by the Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Historical Society and Cherokee Heritage Center as a Cherokee National Treasure. Roger practices traditional Cherokee cultural art and utilitarian art forms inspired by his Cherokee family and elders. Roger grew up Nighthawk Keetoowah Stomp dancing and playing in the creek and woods around his families rural home places. He grew up with his grandparents always pointing out different plants, trees and roots. They showed him how to gather and process plants as well as imparting the knowledge of which ones to use for sickness, for eating, or for a dye. Roger said as he grew older and recalled the knowledge passed on to him he realized what a gift he had received from them. He feels Cherokee art and the land are inter connected through artistic, utilitarian and spiritual uses. Roger’s goal is to continue to explore the ancestral technology and knowledge of the Cherokee culture from the elders that came before, during and after contact the colonialists. He said he will continue to promote and perpetuate the practice of Cherokee beliefs and culture through art, song, dance and spirit.
Calico, Jorja - LilRain

Jorja Calico

Jorja began spinning yarn with her Grandmother during her early childhood. During these years she developed the love and enjoyment of working with a variety of textiles. She then began fingerweaving with her sister. About 2008 Jorja started selling her belts, sashes and scarves. Then in 2014 she taught finger-weaving as a demonstration for the Cherokee National Holiday. She has since then produced a DVD about Fingerweaving. Jorja makes a variety of things from sashes, belts, garters, straps, western hat bands to lanyards. She has been commissioned by Cherokee Nation Chief to make sashes, along with veterans, and former Miss Cherokees. Jorja is a member of the Cherokee Art Association, Indian Arts and Crafts Association, The Cherokee Nation First Family Group, and the Nancy Ward “NanYeHi” Association.
Champagne, Robin

Robin Champagne

One glance at Robin Champagne’s art and you realize that anything she comes in contact with can be an inspiration for a painting. Her subjects vary from portraits to landscapes, formal to whimsical, and traditional tones to bold splashes of color. Although oil is her favorite medium, she also employs acrylic, graphite, colored pencil, and mixed media to create her artwork. Each day when I sit down to paint my purpose is to create a painting that captures a moment in time. I am drawn primarily to animals, nature, and my Cherokee Indian heritage. I concentrate on the colors and nuances of light to captivate and pull the viewer into my world. During my journey as an artist, I have been diligent in learning multiple techniques, and have spent countless hours experimenting and learning the craft of my trade. The old masters inspire me and my favorite techniques employ using oil paint with multiple layers and glazing to give the realistic results that are my trademark. I want my viewers to not only pause but to see the beauty in what is real and to leave with the positive feeling of hope in not only nature but in humanity. Robin has won many awards and honors and is an Associate member of the Oil Painters Of America. She is also a member of the Community Artist League of Athens, TN, and the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association of Blue Ridge, GA. Her artwork is featured in many prominent Galleries in the Southeast as well as in private collections such as the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Robin continues to improve her craft through professional workshops and private instruction from other fine artists.
Chuleewah, Toneh

Toneh Chuleewah

Toneh Chuleewah is a metalsmith from Evening Shade, a Cherokee community in the southern part of the Cherokee Nation, near Vian, Oklahoma. He fashions jewelry from copper, silver, gold, brass, nickel, aluminum, and steel, both traditional and contemporary. “Though mainly a metalsmith, I also use other materials such as wood and natural gems as well.” He is a second generation jeweler, following in the footsteps of his father, Quannah Chuleewah of Pryor, Oklahoma. Toneh was born in 1959 and has been practicing his craft since the age of 14. In his current works he is concentrating on the revival of pre-Columbian copper work of the southeastern tribes of the US, which he has an appreciation for. “I feel passionate about playing a part in bringing southeastern design to the attention of the world.” His work can be seen at various art shows in eastern Oklahoma and purchased at the Spider Gallery and the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop in the Tahlequah area. Toneh has a BFA degree in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has also completed an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
Chunestudy, Callie

Callie Chunestudy

Callie Ann Chunestudy is a Fine Arts graduate from Northeastern State University and an enrolled Cherokee Nation citizen. She works as a Cultural Specialist at the Cherokee Arts Center and Spider Gallery in Tahlequah, OK. Her favored areas of work are painting, printmaking and sculptural pottery. Recently she has taken an interest in merging Surrealism with Mississippian and Southeastern Native motifs and symbolism. After a long sabbatical from artwork after college, she's just begun to re-emerge into the art world.
Clay, Tim

Tim Clay

Tim is a proud member of the Cherokee Nation. He is a photographer from Tulsa, Ok. From childhood he has been fascinated with nature and wildlife. Growing up his time was spent with the scouts, Tulsa Zoo docent program, hiking, hunting & fishing. Tim currently works for American Airlines in the Maintenance & Engineering Facility. His current passions include hiking, physical well being & photography. Tim often takes long hikes that may be 15-20 miles a day. He takes his camera with him to places such as the Rockies, Yellowstone Park, Mt. Rainer National Park, Alaska and even other countries such as Scotland, Isle Royale & Kauai. He says his passion is to be able to photograph what others do not have the opportunity to see and then to bring these visions into their hands, homes & workplaces. He feels if his photograph can inspire one person to venture out into nature...he has done his job.

Charolette Coats

Janis Contway

Cooper, Karen Coody

Karen Coody-Cooper

Karen is a lady of many talents. She is an author, poet, fingerweaver, a wampum belt weaver, and a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Karen is the winner of the 2010 Oklahoma Writers Federation Best Book of Poetry for Fault Line: Vulnerable Landscapes. She was author of Spirited Encounters: American Indians Protest Museum Policies and Practices. She was co-editor of Cherokee Writers From the Flint Hills of Oklahoma: An Anthology and of Living Homes for Cultural Expression. She recently became interested in Wampum and wrote Cherokee Wampum: War & Peace Belts: 1730 to Present. This is just a few of the titles of her many writings. Karen began her Museum Career in 1979. She worked at museums in Connecticut, Washington, and Oklahoma. She is now retired from the National Museum of the American Indian in DC and from the Cherokee Heritage Center Museum as an interim Executive Director. She focused on battling stereotypes and misinformation about Native Americans. Now that Karen is retired she provides museum consultations, teaching occasional courses at nearby Northeastern State University, continues to write, and indulge in finger weaving and creating contemporary as well as replicated wampum belts.

Andrea N Cooper

Nancy Crabtree

Crosby, Darlene

Darlene Crosby

Darlene joined the Cherokee Basket Weavers Association in 2010. The President of the Association, Sandra Pallie, instructed her in the different methods of making baskets and Darlene has been making them ever since. She has participated and been a vendor at Art Under the Oaks, the Cherokee Art Market, Cherokee Holiday Art Show, and at Red Earth.
Davis, J. Ross

J. Ross Davis

J. Ross Davis was born at McAlester, OK, in 1967 and is the eldest of four children. He has lived in various places in Oklahoma, NW Arkansas, and in Georgia. He is married with two grown children and currently resides in the Cherokee Nation at Warner, OK. J. Ross is a direct descendent of Cherokee Chief John Ross (4th Great-Grandson) and his first wife, Quatie. He is descended through their daughter, Jane Ross Nave, and her husband, Andrew Ross Nave. Their son, Andy Nave Jr. (Bub), married Julia Eagle, daughter of A-wah-hi-lah “Eagle,” a Cherokee Old Settler, and Pauline Eagle, a Cherokee Freedman. Andy Jr. and Julia's daughter, Jane Ross Nave Davis, is his Great-Grandmother. J. Ross is an avid photographer and describes himself as a mid-level geek. He has been designing graphics and digital art for numerous years. He recently started painting and is incorporating that medium in his artwork as well. His desire is to create art through various mediums while promoting Cherokee traditions, symbolism, and culture. He draws inspiration from his love of nature and Cherokee heritage.

Megan Davis

Drake, Rose

Rose Drake

Rose is an award winning Cherokee artist. She grew up in the Tahlequah area and graduated from Northeastern State University with a doctorate in Optometry. She currently practices in Sedalia Missouri. She has been weaving baskets for over 20 years and is primarily self-taught. Her weaving style ranges from traditional to contemporary. Predominately natural dyes are used in her basketry. Rose had the opportunity to do research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History. Her research focused on historic Cherokee and prehistoric baskets of the Southeastern Indian. Rose and several other weavers have been working with the Spiro Mound Museum to create baskets modeled after prehistoric fragments, which are to be used for hands on education at the museum. She is also working with two other weavers to reintroduce basketry into the Wichita tribe. For the past several years Rose has been involved with a charity called One Sight doing eye examinations and providing eye glasses for over 5,000 Native Americans at multiple Indian reservations in Mexico.

Franky Dreadfulwater

Drywater, Lorene

Lorene Drywater

Lorene Drywater was designated as a Cherokee National Living Treasure in 1990 for her traditional clothing such as tear dresses and ribbon shirts She said she learned to sew by watching her momma and began to sew as soon as she could hold a needle. Lorene has become most recognized though for buffalo grass dolls. She was featured in a 1995 National Geographic magazine article about the Cherokee Nation. In the magazine it was noted that she was the only Cherokee Indian making traditional buffalo grass dolls. Lorene said, "I was about five years old, and wanted a store bought doll. I'd seen my cousins throw tantrums and decided to see if one would work for me." Lorene said she threw her tantrum while walking with her mother to the creek to wash clothes. "Instead of getting me the doll, my mother told me to pull up some plants and wash the roots off in the creek. Then, she showed me how to make them into a doll." She has been making dolls ever since. The dolls are made from buffalo grass with the roots becoming hair for the dolls with the heads and bodies made from the grass. After Lorene would gather the plants, wash them and make the dolls, then she would then line them up and let them dry. At this point she would start making dresses for the dolls. Each doll received a cotton calico "tear" dress with detailed trim and petticoats.

Jon F. Duckworth

Edwards, Jeff

Jeff Edwards

Jeff is an award winning Cherokee Graphic Artist who has worked for the Cherokee Nation for over 10 years. He is a language activist working with Education Services Language Technology Group. He has worked on numerous projects that have projected the Cherokee language into the global spotlight. Jeff attended Haskell Indian Nations University and is currently attending Northeastern State University for his Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Awards include 2011 Catoosa Art Market Best in Division for Graphics, 2012 Honorable Mention Trail of Tears Art Show in Graphics, and 2012 Best in Show and 1st Place Cherokee Holiday Show in Graphics.
Elk, Lula

Lula Elk

Lula was born and raised in a small community south of Stilwell. She was raised by her grandparents which were very traditional people. Her grandfather was the Chief of their Stomp Grounds. Lula is a fluent speaker and a full blood Cherokee. She is married to James Mankiller and has five children. Lula has been doing traditional art for 25 years. She weaves baskets, does loom and fingerweaving, beadwork, cornhusk dolls, and makes mini stickball sticks.
Erb, Joseph

Joseph Erb

Joseph Erb (Cherokee) is an award winning artist, filmmaker, and digital media specialist. He received his BFA in art from Oklahoma City University. He produced the first short animated film based on a traditional Cherokee story in the Cherokee language as his MFA thesis at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation from OCU, Erb returned home to Oklahoma, where he continues to combine his varied interest in art, traditional storytelling, language preservation, and the teaching of children. His Muscogee Creek and Cherokee students have produced native language animations, learning both new technology and their own traditional culture. Joseph’s artistic work and teaching is done to perpetuate the Cherokee culture and language. His work is another continuation of the Cherokee storytelling. Joseph does paintings, gourd artwork, and silversmithing.
Fields, Richard

Richard Fields

For over 20 years, Richard Fields, a full-blood Cherokee from Kansas, Oklahoma, has been making handcrafted bows, even inventing his own style, for which he teaches to the public through the Cherokee Art Center located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Learning an old craft from the older generation of Cherokee men, Fields was taught by his older cousin, who was taught by his grandfather long ago. "I make three styles of bows; the Cherokee long bow, an old- fashioned flat bow (also known as the "D bow" or "old flat bow"), and my own style, the Guinea Horn bow or "horn bow", which is a bow where the arrow rest is a part of the bow. All my bows are made out of Bois D'Arc Osage orange tree or hedge horse apple tree. I pick my wood and I get it any place I can find good, straight wood. I barter, do it old Indian way; barter wood for a bow. I craft each bow by hand using a draw knife, using other old handheld tools, and I use glass to finish it up. When I make a bow, I put my Cherokee name on the inside of it. I sign all my bows.”
Gates, Leslie

Leslie Gates

As a child Leslie often drew horses which was her favorite subject. As she got older, she started working with watercolors, acrylic colored pencil and discovered other subject matters.  Leslie's gourd work has portrayed many subjects including horses and Native American themes with horses being her favorite subjects. Leslie is always studying and learning about her Cherokee ancestry. Gourds presented the challenge of a three-dimensional surface for Leslie. Many of the pieces are figural with some incorporating multiple gourds of different sizes along with additional embellisments such as seeds, feathers, beads, cloth and leather. Leslie is a Trail of Painted Ponies artist and says it is a rewarding way of combining horses and her art. Leslie grew up in Oklahoma and later moved to southern Alabama in 1998.
Girty, Matthew

Matthew Girty

Matthew calls himself a self-proclaimed city Indian. He was born in Dallas, Texas and later went to school in North Carolina. He moved back and forth between there and Tahlequah, Ok. finally settling in Tahlequah. Art always had a place in Matt’s life. He grew up drawing, loved music, and skateboarding. He said he was always learning and getting ideas from others. This taught him everything from drawing to three dimensional sculptures. Matt finally found his calling in the three dimensional arts. He carves soapstone, alabaster, and marble among other materials. He loves to produce art pieces that people like. Matt has been carving for 20 years and says his inspiration comes from family, his grandparents and history books about his Cherokee roots. He strives to create art pieces that show the uniqueness of the Cherokee people.
Glass, Hillary

Hillary Glass

Hillary Glass is a Cherokee Artist from the Tahlequah area. She is the third child to John and Angela Glass. Hillary’s artwork is primarily made with ink and markers. Her artwork is not only influenced by Cherokee Culture but is also influenced by Japanese manga and Japanese anime which are both a form of Japanese comics along with online American comics. Hillary has been drawing since Elementary School and she has been entering art shows since 2007. Hillary stated that her inspiration comes from stories she has heard, read, or some she just comes up with on her own.

Bill Glass

Bill Glass Jr.

Grant, Antonio

Antonio Grant

Antonio is an accomplished artist, singer and dancer from Cherokee, NC. His art includes shell carvings, quillwork, beadwork, feather work, painted spirit horses, and powwow regalia. He sings with a powwow drum, has won powwow dance competitions and performed with professional dance groups. He dances with the Warriors of AniKituwah, the official ambassadors for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, giving cultural presentations and demonstrating social dances. Antonio began shell carving in 2010. His major awards include Best of Division (Jewelry) at Eiteljorg Indian Market in 2012, Best of Division (Cultural) and Best of Class (Jewelry) at Cherokee Art Market, and many first place ribbons. He uses Mississippian images and symbols in his carved shell gorgets and earrings. He also works with quahog clamshells, commonly known as wampum, which is significant to eastern tribes. The purple and white shell is difficult to work with. It was used as money and in making wampum belts, which tell our history and significant teachings.

Roy Hamilton

Hanna, Crystal

Crystal Hanna

Crystal learned traditional pottery by doing an apprenticeship with Anna Belle Sixkiller Mitchell who was a Master Potter and Cherokee Treasure. Crystal feels it is her honor to continue Anna’s legacy of teaching and sharing knowledge of SE/ Mississippian traditional pottery and culture. She also conducts workshops and speaks to groups whenever an opportunity presents itself. She has shown her work and won many awards at major art shows across the country such as the Eiteljorg Museum, The Heard Museum, Red Earth, Cahokia Museum, as well as Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival, the Tulsa Indian Art Market and Cherokee Casino Art Show. She has her work in several museums and permanent collections. She was named one of five “Artists to Watch” for the 2003 market by SWAIA. Her work has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and is included in the book, “Art of the Cherokee” and several other printed materials. Crystal feels that not only does “traditional pottery” teach about hard work and work ethics but also “allows our children to be proud of who they are and where they come from. Knowing that I am able to help keep a once forgotten traditional art alive has enabled me to enrich my own life and continue Anna’s legacy and make one of my own”. Her personal motto is “Never stop learning.”
Henson, Kenny

Kenny Henson

Kenny is ¾ Cherokee. He was born and raised in Tahlequah Oklahoma. Kenny currently lives on a small farm on the banks of the Baron Fork Creek in Adair County where he has his Art studio. He currently works for the Cherokee Nation in the Aerospace & Defense division as a design engineer, but his passion in life is painting and creating Southeastern themed art that depicts Cherokees during the early 1700’s - 1800s. Kenny’s paintings are inspired by stories that have been told to him by elders no longer with us but that live on through his Art. He also likes to paint Wildlife and Southwestern themed Art. Kenny said he has hundreds of ideas in his head that he wants to paint. Because of time constraints his current goal is to paint at least one painting a month as well as improving his skills as a Native American Artist. His goal is to retire from the corporate world, paint full time and open up his own Art Gallery. Kenny has been painting professionally about twenty years and has won numerous awards all over the United States.

Dan Horsechief

Tonette Humingbird

Hummingbird, Jesse

Jesse Hummingbird

Jesse, 3/4 Cherokee and a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation, was born in 1952 in Tahlequah, OK. He attended junior and senior high schools in Nashville, TN, and went on to study art at Watkins Institute, the University of Tennessee, and classes at The American Academy of Art in Chicago. He currently lives in Bisbee, AZ. He established himself as a successful printer, graphic artist, and commercial illustrator before becoming a full time artist in 1983. Jesse pursues both Cherokee and other Native American themes in his acrylic paintings. While painting contemporary images, Jesse paints in the traditional style of the Oklahoma Native painters. This “flat” style has no shadows, shading or blending of colors; each flat-colored area has an inlining of a different color and then a dark outline. Jesse currently exhibits at approximately 18 shows during the year, primarily in the southwest. Besides showing his original paintings and mixed media masks, he has limited edition giclee reproductions.

Dorothy Ice

Life-long resident of Briggs community near Tahlequah, Oklahoma and has been weaving since she was in her teens. Her award winning blankets are sought the world over. Fluent Cherokee speaker and master of many talents, she was a bus driver for Briggs school and although now retired, still loves to work with kids and helps to preserve our language by holding classes through the United Keetoowah Band and Cherokee Nation Language Programs. She teaches at the Cherokee Arts Center and is recognized as a Cherokee National Treasure in Loom Weaving.
Irla, Sharon

Sharon Irla

Irla's professional career as a commercial/digital artist began in the mid 80's and continued until 1999, when she began working as a muralist and decorative artist in the Dallas area. In 2003, her artistic focus turned to fine art oil painting, with Cherokee or Southeastern Native American culture being the primary subject matter. She is self-taught but credits her artistic mother for her early "creative wiring". She also cites the techniques of Master artist, Caravaggio for the development of her Old Master-style painting technique to achieve dramatic illumination of skin tones. Aside from her goal to classically represent Indigenous feminine beauty, Irla uses the platform of her work to project inspirations that flow from a profound place of heartbreak and gratitude for the Mother Earth.
Jackson, Troy

Troy Jackson

Troy is a ceramist that has not only taken the initiative to develop himself artistically, but has used his technical talents to construct and fire using his own kilns. Operating off the beaten path of easily available supplies and equipment, he has proved incredibly resourceful and flexible in the creation and manufacture of his ceramic pieces. Troy is also a very talented 2-D artist as well, working in a variety of media. His hand-built and wheel-thrown vessels not only signify a Southeastern motif but also express a Spanish, French and European influence. The award winning Cherokee artist has an Associates’ degree from Bacone College in Muskogee, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, and later completed a Master Of Fine Arts program at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Troy also teaches sculpture and 3-D design at Bacone College in Muskogee Oklahoma. Clay sculptures are Troy’s choice of media as well as a near perfect means to express him-self in today’s society, along with family, culture, and most of all enjoyment. It has further been said that Troy is committed to advancing his ability as an artist and educator. Always ready to help others, with an attitude of humbleness and willingness to share his knowledge with other artists and art students.

Edna Jones

Lewis, Robert

Robert Lewis

Robert is of Cherokee, Navaho & Apache descent. He currently works as an outreach person for the Cherokee Nation in Art, Culture & Storytelling. Robert has a BA in Fine art from Northeastern State University. He has also taught evening classes in Art or Native Crafts at NSU since 2002. He has been an art instructor for 20 years teaching pre-k to Seniors and has provided art programs & storytelling all across the country. Robert believes everyone has artistic ability but only the ones that continue to practice & hone those techniques are then labeled as Artists. Robert feels if you can print your name & it can be read then you can draw. Just as everyone writes differently so everyone’s art will also look differently. He feels you just have to learn techniques in how an artist “sees” the world to become an artist. Roberts has worked in a number of mediums ranging from oil to acrylics, charcoal to pen & ink and will experiment with different mediums. His artwork in a personal reflection of his feelings, people he knows & the life cycles we all go through such as growth, loves & deaths. Images then come forth and he paints and juxtaposes those images. He has been exhibiting his artwork since 1988 in a variety of shows in Oklahoma.
Locust, Abraham

Abraham Locust

Abraham Locust Jr is a Cherokee citizen of the Evening Shade Community just located about seven miles north of Vian, OK. in Sequoyah County. He does Native American beadwork, turtle shell shackles and turtle shell rattles. Abraham can also can make corn-husk dolls, double wall Cherokee baskets & Cherokee cornseed necklaces. Abraham can read, speak and write in Cherokee as well as knows some of Muscogee Creek, Chickasaw & Choctaw. Promoting the Cherokee culture and ways of life of all Native American tribes has always been a passion of his. He is always a Native American first and a U.S. Citizen second. Abraham’s dad was Cherokee and Muscogee Creek and his mother was half Chickasaw & half Choctaw, He has won numerous awards through his art at different art shows since he started competing about 14 years ago. He has Turtle shell Shackles at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa, OK. & at the Cherokee Hotel and Casino in Siloam Springs, OK on display. A few of his awards are a-Best of Show Award at the Cherokee National Holiday Cultural Crafts Fair for an OU Beaded Walking Cane, an Honorable Mention at the 12th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show at the Cherokee Heritage Center for a Uktena Beaded Walking Cane, & a Judge’s Choice Award at the 2nd Annual Cherokee National Holiday Art Show, for Turtle Shell Shackles among others. Abraham said he gives all glory to God and thanks him for everything he has given to him. He dedicates all his work to his late Mother; Leah Jane Locust. Abraham said she was my inspiration and she was my biggest promoter whom I miss dearly.
Martin-Manley, Clesta

Clesta Martin-Manley

Clesta Martin Manley was born on her father's Cherokee Indian Allotment along the banks of Grand River in Northeast Oklahoma. Growing up among the beauty of the hills, streams, wild flowers and animals, the fascination to her creative spirit has never ceased. Winning her first drawing contest in grade school sparked a lifelong challenge. After marriage and seeing her children through college, twenty years in banking and twelve years as a Country Gallery owner, she is finally reaching that challenge. The majority of her sales were through her gallery. Through the years she attended art classes at Rogers State College and workshops among the leading art instructors. Clesta works in oil, watercolor, acrylics, and pastels.
Mashburn, Steve

Steve Mashburn

Steve likes the creativity of silver smithing. He likes to take a raw stone or rock and have it show him what it wants to be.  Most of Steve's work is in silver fabrications and includes rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings. Steve also teaches silversmithing through the Cherokee Arts Center
Meredith, America

America Meredith

America Meredith is a Swedish-Cherokee artist, editing publisher, independent curator, and educator living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. Meredith founded of First American Art Magazine, a periodical devoted to the arts of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, to expand discussion about Native art history and theory. Meredith is also an associate publisher at Noksi Press, a Cherokee-language publishing company, and serves on the board of the Cherokee Arts and Humanities Council, a grassroots organization serving the rural Cherokee communities of northeastern Oklahoma. Meredith’s artwork blends historical styles from Native America and Europe with imagery from pop culture. Her influences range from Mississippian shell engravings, TV cartoons, and the Bacone style of painting. The Cherokee language and syllabary figure prominently in her work, as it is the strongest visual imagery unique to her tribe. She creates pen and ink drawings, fumage (smoke art), monotypes, and linoleum block printing, but her primary focus is painting—in acrylic, egg tempera, gouache, and watercolor. America earned her MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BFA from the University of Oklahoma. She has shown throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe, including the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Design and the United Nations Headquarters. In the last 18 years, she won numerous awards at the Heard Museum, SWAIA's Indian Market, the Cherokee Heritage Center, Red Cloud, and other competitive shows. She was a National Museum of the American Indian artist fellow in 2009, won the IAIA Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Contemporary Native American Arts in 2007, and was voted SF Weekly’s Painter of the Year in 2006. She taught at the Santa Fe Community College, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and the Cherokee Art History section of the Cherokee Clemente Course in the Humanities.
Morrison, Eddie

Eddie Morrison

Eddie Morrison specializes in creating three-dimensional works from wood, stone & bronze. His contemporary tradtional style also incorporates relief-carved images which give his work multiple layers of visual interest & meaning. A Cherokee Indian born September 29, 1946 at the Claremore Indian Hospital, he was raised by his grandmother Jane Batt Brackett, a full-blood Cherokee Indian in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a degree in Three Dimensional Arts. Other classes included Art Student League of Denver and Marble Stone Carving. "My statement about my work is that I consider the natural forms of the wood & stone & believe in letting the material speak for itself & feel that they have their own stories to tell." "Besides my own feelings & interpretations, my ideas & themes come from the philosophies of Indians about life, spirituality, respect for life, animals & all that is around us given to us by the Great Creator."
Nelson, Mary Beth

Mary Beth Nelson

MaryBeth Nelson is a native Oklahoman and an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. She was born in Pryor, and has recently returned to reside close to her family and native roots in Northeast Oklahoma.   She is adept in many mediums and draws her inspiration from her love of nature and her heritage. She is self-taught and focuses mainly on traditional and contemporary American Indian art and wildlife. Though still considered an "up and coming" artist she has won numerous awards and has drawn the attention of wildlife and Indian art collectors alike.    MaryBeth is a member of the Southeastern Artist Association (formerly CAA) from 2006 to Present. She has won numerous awards from various artshows and has shown her work around the United States and Europe.   MaryBeth was the featured artist at the 2010 Red Fork Native Film Festival. She was also the featured cover artist for the November 2005 issue of “OK Casino Today” magazine.      
Oosahwee, Harry

Harry Oosahwee

Harry Oosahwee was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He is a self-taught artist and stone carver. His early influence was his mother who explained and demonstrated to him how Cherokees made clay animals and toys when she was a child. Harry is a graduate of Bacone College and earned a Master's Degree from Northeastern State University. He is a highly independent and individualistic artist who devotes much of his time researching his proud heritage. Harry has been greatly influenced by the works of all the great Cherokee artists such as Dick West, Terry Saul, Willard Stone, and Cecil Dick. His goal is to accurately portray his tribal traditions through symbolism in his paintings and stone carvings. Harry has received numerous awards for his work and his work can be found in private collections throughout the United States and abroad.
Osti, Jane

Jane Osti

Jane Osti is an artist, educator, and has been honored with the title of Cherokee National Treasure. She originally began making wheel thrown pottery and sculptures while attending Northeastern State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Masters of Science Education. She eventually met award winning Cherokee Potter Anna Mitchell who introduced Jane to Southeastern Pottery. Jane studied with Anna for a few years and eventually started entering her own creations in various art shows and competitions. Today, Jane now teaches willing students to dig and process native clay, learn the traditional process of coil building pots, and learn how to fire their creations in a pit the same way it would have been done in the traditional Southeast woodlands. She is a veteran of museum shows and Indian markets across the country. She's earned numerous awards and her work is featured in museum collections around the nation where she enters traditional SE Woodland inspired pottery, contemporary styled earthenware and Raku pottery. Jane says she has been blessed to have amazing teachers who have helped her to connect to the clay.

Sandra Pallie

Phillips, Faith

Faith Phillips

Raised by feral hillbillies in the Oklahoma foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Faith Phillips self-published her first work of fiction at age eight. Since that time, her greatest passion remained the written word. Phillips worked as an attorney until she left active law practice to write her debut fiction novel, Ezekiel's Wheels. The peculiar story channels inspiration from the historical account of The Trail of Tears as well as from Native American legends surrounding the Hornet Spooklight. Ezekiel's Wheels propels the reader on a spectral road trip to the haunted badlands between love and possession ... and steps out for a look over the edge. In addition to fiction, Phillips pens short stories, essays and music reviews for a variety of online and print magazines."
Phillips, Tawney

Tawney Phillips

Tawny was taught from an early age about her Cherokee heritage from her mother and grandmother. She is now a jewelry designer that produces unique jewelry designs. She feels like her designs come from the heavens and her Creator God. Tawny established Heavenly Adornments in 1998 to sell her jewelry to Saks Fifth Avenue. She sold jewelry to Saks for two years. Tawny seeks to find the best materials available for her unique designs. She is an alumni of Gemological Institute of America where she completed colored gemstones and pearl grading.
Pruitt, David

David Pruitt

Cherokee clay artist David Pruitt creates art that incorporates both ancient traditions and contemporary visions. His art gives us a unique way to look at the ancient and the new combined. David grew up in Adair County in Oklahoma, the heart of the Cherokee Nation, with a family steeped in tradition and educated in a very contemporary world. The Pruitt family, David, his wife Sandy and their son Trey, all have a passion for working in clay. At the present time he is employed as Director of Housing Rehab for the Cherokee Nation. His work puts him in daily contact with the elderly and disabled, rehabilitating and rebuilding their homes. David has worked as a master craftsman in wood and has excelled in making fine furniture, custom cabinets and building homes. He has successfully transferred many aspects of this experience and knowledge to the medium of clay. David has attended Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma and Stilwell Vocational School, Stilwell, Oklahoma. He had the basic art courses of drawing and painting. With very limited instruction he has produced an impressive body of work. His love of clay and his innate artistic talent is at work in all the pieces he creates. Cherokee National Treasure Anna Mitchell inspired David. His ancestral connection to Southeastern Woodland designs is evident in all his work. His innovative approach to incorporating them into his work is clearly his own artistic expression. Commitment to excellence and his passion for clay art, has earned David recognition and awards for his efforts. His work has been purchased by corporate and private collectors. He has exhibited his art in museum shows, art markets and galleries. Currently David has a piece “Hands of the Real People” traveling across the US and Canada in the “Changing Hand 3” Show. His work is on exhibit and for sale at the Spider Gallery, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Trey Pruitt

Bill Rabbit

Rabbit, Traci

Traci Rabbit

Traci Rabbit is the daughter to Five Civilized Master Artist Bill Rabbit. She grew up attending her dad's art shows. She never considered the possibility of becoming an artist because she felt her father was the greatest and felt she couldn't compare to him in that arena. However, she enjoyed doing art and began winning art awards in the 1st grade. Traci attended Northeastern State College in Tahlequah receiving a BA in Business Administration and graduated in 1993. Her desire was to work for the BIA or for her Cherokee Tribe. Traci’s dad started selling her paintings to galleries when she was in high school and college. Upon graduation, Traci started attending art shows with him. Her degree proved to be invaluable to their business. Traci’s work captures a spirit in the Native American woman that does indeed embody the best in female strength. From the proud lift of her chin to the strands of hair caught by the wind, she appears to weather all storms. Her paintings represents the way it feels to be female; to fly in the face of all that comes, with fierce dignity, energy and strength, but they also capture woman’s ability to be gentle, yielding, kind and passionate. Traci says her art career is going great and has been a career that includes her family. She stresses that family is everything to her. Traci says, “without God and the support of my family none of this would be possible.”
Rackliff, Katherine

Katherine Rackliff

Katherine began researching and weaving Cherokee baskets in the late 1990s. After mastering traditional techniques which include processing, dying and weaving, she began adding her own signature style. Sometimes she incorporates a bit of contemporary flare with the traditional. Katherine is the creator of the “Hiding Turtle” pattern and works with both traditional and contemporary mediums in her art. Her artwork includes items such as trays, baskets and wall-art weavings. Gathering honeysuckle from the earth, processing it, dying and weaving it, allows Rackliff’s creativity and Nature to meld into each piece allowing the piece’s own natural beauty to emerge. Katherine’s award-winning works and commissions are in private and corporate collections world-wide.

JoAnn Rackliff-Richmond

Raymond, Margaret

Margaret Raymond

Margaret is a Cherokee Nation citizen who worked for the tribe in the 1970’s. During this time the tribe had begun to develop new programs and services for the people in NE Oklahoma. She worked for the tribe againfrom 2000 to 2012 with a focus on Cherokee language, culture and history.She helped implement a tribal-wide language revitalization initiative developing the Bachelor Degree in Cherokee Language at Northeastern State University and the Cherokee Language Immersion School. This work required her to research historic Cherokee culture and art which culminated in a book, “Building One Fire: Art and World View of Cherokee Life”, published by the Cherokee Nation in 2010. After retirement Margaret’s interest in Cherokee art was renewed when she saw Chevron trade bead necklaces on display at the Gilcrease Museum. After searching website she discovered replicas of the old Chevron beads and began creating her own jewelry. Margaret’s goal is to make jewelry that may once again be worn to adorn tribal regalia as well as an accessory to contemporary dress. All of her jewelry features replica Chevron beads usually in their original seven-layer primary colors. She also incorporates other types of beads made from natural materials such as; silver, gold, turquoise, glass, shell, nuts, wood, rock, and minerals. She tries to retain the simple designs of the trade era that may have been worn by Cherokees and other tribes of the eastern seaboard. Paintings from this period featuring Cherokee men wearing silk hunting jackets with Chevron necklaces distinguished them as persons of wealth or accomplishment.
Roberts, Tama

Tama Roberts

I was born and raised in Northeastern Oklahoma and still calsl it home today. As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation I feel not only is it my duty, however, but a necessity in life to create beauty out of the strangest of objects. Using nature as my resource and guide I am able to look past the initial findings and look deeper. Rescuing a gourd from its sleep, I scrape away all of the mold and dirt, to reveal a truly splendid creation. Each one is truly unique, with variations of colors and shapes with which to work. The introduction to gourds happened only a few short years ago, and came at a time that was very critical for me. Even though I loved to draw and paint as a child, I had to put those desires away to survive in the business world. Today I am happy to say that I have found the life/work/family balance that allows me to create

Kathy Robinson

Emily Romo

Russell, Bessie

Bessie Russell

Bessie was born in the Rocky Ford community. She is a traditional basket weaver. She received her certificate as Master Craftswoman in 1999, and was also honored with the title of Cherokee National Living Treasure . Bessie has been weaving baskets for over 35 years. She has received numerous awards. Her work can be seen at the Cherokee Casinos and the Spider Gallery. Bessie also teaches basketweaving at the Cherokee Arts Center from time to time.
Rutherford, Lisa

Lisa Rutherford

Lisa Rutherford is a  citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She lives on a cattle ranch and worked for the nation for 14 years before becoming a full-time artist. Her passion is 18th century and early 19th century Cherokee art and history. Her traditional pottery is made from native clay she digs and processes, hand-coils, and pit fires. She also makes the 18th century clothing and accessories that she wears for living history events, including trade shirts, leggings, wool wrap skirts, beadwork, twined bags, and is the only known Cherokee Nation artist making replicas of historic feather capes and mantles on a hand-tied net base. Oil painting is her latest endeavor, with a unique style that blends impressionism and realism.

Lynn Seat

Shinn, Robert

Robert Shinn

Robert attended Washington University where he received a liberal Education in Art and Architecture. During his apprenticeships he began working closely with interior and architectural designers. He then developed a career in house painting, wall covering, faux finishing, antiquing, & stenciling. He has created interior features for clients which include Carol Burnett, Gene Hackman, Opra Winfrey, and head football coach University of Texas, Mack Brown.  Robert has created paintings, murals, sculptures, and has had his work featured on the cover of Metropolitan Home and in Southern Living magazine. Robert works with leather, wood, mask-making and Assemblage. He is fascinated by face painting cultures, outsider art, mask making traditions, graffiti artists, and the pottery traditions. He enjoys working with repurposed and recycled materials not only for environmental reasons but, because it connects him to the past.

Janet Smith

Smith, Marie

Marie Smith

Marie is an artist of many talents. She is always open to learning new artistic mediums. She can do most cultural crafts including basketry, beadwork, and finger-weaving as well as drawing, painting, and photography. She also enjoys crafts of all types. She graduated from Northeastern State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree and later attended for her Masters of Science degree in College Teaching . She currently works for Cherokee Nation . She has been with the Nation and Cherokee Housing Authority approximately 18 years in a variety of positions such as Housing Counselor, Mortgage Loan officer, Low Rent Site Manager, and her current position as a cultural specialist working in the Spider Gallery. She volunteers as the Coordinator of the Cherokee Holiday Art Show held each year during Labor Day weekend. Marie made sure her children developed a love of art and Cherokee culture. Her daughter is Feather Smith-Trevino, who is primarily known as a basket weaver and former Miss Cherokee and her son is Justin Smith who manages the John Ross Museum. She is also one of 11 brothers and sisters. Marie is of Cherokee /Choctaw descent
Smith, Rex

Rex Smith

Rex Smith is a full blood Cherokee originally from Lost City, Oklahoma. He is currently living in Gideon. Rex is one of 11 brothers and sisters. His mother Betty Smith was a former tribal council member and worked at the Cherokee Heritage Center over 25+ years starting in 1965. Rex grew up at the Cherokee Heritage Center. He started in the Ancient Village in 1967 as a villager at the age of 7 then started on stage at the Trail of Tears Drama at the age of 9 earning his first paycheck. Working in the village with his family Rex learned basket weaving, stickball, how to flint knap, how to make pottery and beads, darts for blow guns, stickball sticks, bows, etc. During this time 9 of the 11 Smith children and their mother all worked in the village. Rex eventually went on to other jobs but went back to the Heritage Center to work in 2001. He has done a variety of jobs at the Heritage Center since then including being a guide in the Ancient Village, working on grounds staff, and greeting visitors. His children, Justin and Feather Smith have also worked there along with his Grandson Talyn Smith. Rex has been doing cultural presentations with various groups and schools for over 14 years. He also enjoys horseback riding, camping, rabbit, deer, and squirrel hunting, and fishing. He loves to cook and is well known for his fry bread. Rex’s clay beads for necklaces are made by hand and then fired in the ground.
Smith - Trevino, Feather

Feather Smith-Trevino

Feather is a former Junior Miss Cherokee 2007-08 and a former Miss Cherokee 2008-09. She is a Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient and is currently attending Arkansas State Univeristy Mastering in Biology after recently graduating from Northeastern State University with a double major in Biology—Fish and Wildlife. After working for the Cherokee Heritage Center for years as a tour guide she is currently working as a Biologist for the Cherokee Nation. She is a story teller, basket weaver, can demonstrate stickball and the making of the sticks and the balls, the blowgun, makes pucker toe moccasins, can do finger weavings, twining, and clay bead necklaces. Feather's first love is weaving baskets though. It is relaxing for her and she loves the challenge of new patterns. She prefers to work with flat reed to weave her baskets and make her Cherokee purses.

Linda Taylor

Mike Teehee

Thomas, Kristen

Kristen Thomas

Kristen worked with artist Mike Daniel at a young age and he connected her with Southeastern Pottery and Cherokee Basketry. Her first award was in the category of Youth Textiles in the Trail of Tears Art Show while she was in middle school. Kristen later worked at the Cherokee Heritage Center in the Ancient Village as a tour guide. While here she worked with master artesian, Anna Sixkiller who further inspired her. Anna introduced Kristen to language revitalization. Kristen won the title of Miss Cherokee in 2002 and then went on to graduate from Northeastern State University with a B.A. in Cherokee. Kristen is currently a Cherokee Nation employee working in the Language Program dept. Kristen feels it is important to have access to the Cherokee language so she created a line of greeting cards that provides a Cherokee option for those that would like to send cards for holidays, birthdays and thank you cards. The cards not only feature Cherokee syllabary but also images of local attractions and cultural buildings and places.

Max Tuttle

Max is a life long resident of Hulbert, Ok. In 2007 he started attending a Cherokee Language / Cultural class. In that class he learned how to make traditional river cane blowguns and darts along with flutes. Max then entered the Cherokee National Holiday Blowgun shoot and won it twice. Max then went on to learn how to make baskets, do pottery and beadwork. Max’s mother is a full blood Cherokee. His mother taught him the language and how to make ka-nv-tsi. He also helped her pick wild onions and look for medicines. His uncle gave him the nickname of Rusty.

Lillie Vann

Vazquez, Victoria Mitchell

Victoria Mitchell Vazquez

Victoria learned traditional southeastern woodland style pottery making in 1990 from her mother, Anna Sixkiller Mitchell, a full blood Cherokee who revived the art in Oklahoma. Victoria said "I feel as if this is what I was meant to be doing. I love digging the clay, creating something new and carrying on the tradition my mother started". Victoria is a native Oklahoman who lives on a cattle ranch with her husband near Welch, Ok. All the pottery and sculptures she makes is hand built using the coil method rather than a potter's wheel. The tools she uses are found or natural items like her ancestors would have used like smooth river stones, river cane sticks, bone utensils, gourd necks and handmade wooden paddles. She has won many awards across the U.S. Her most recent honor is receiving the Cherokee National Treasures Master Craftsman award for her skill and knowledge of traditional Cherokee art forms and commitment to education & cultural preservation through her pottery.

Ray Walker

Karin Walkingstick

Tana Washington

Tana has been drawing since she can remember, her dad was best friends with Jerome Tiger and he encouraged her to draw. He would draw something then pass the paper and pencil and tell her to draw it, so he was her earliest influence. She has always been an observer of people and nature and how we interact with each other. Mainly she is self taught, though she had two art classes in college. Tana enjoys experimenting with all mediums. For years she has done art because it is enjoyable and she has only recently pursued it professionally. She loves ALL art. When she makes something it is mostly personal or an emotion expressed. She has won awards in pencil, watercolor, wood carvings, alabaster carvings, and scissor cut. She loves the challenge of scissor cut. It is a very old art form created long ago in the form of silhouette. It was poor people's way of saving their image because they couldn't afford to have a painting done. Tana's scissor cuts are a derivative of those but in her style of drawing. The challenge is creating a design by taking away parts to create an image in a single piece. Simplicity. They are drawn in negative space. She was told there are less than 300 true scissor cut artists in the US.
Watt, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Watt

Jeffrey L Watt is a deaf Cherokee citizen. He was born in Cherokee county in 1975. It was not until he was 7 that he discovered a talent for art. Jeffrey attended the Little Light House in Tulsa Ok. This is a Christian School for children with special needs. The school, after discovering his talent for art, did a story on him. They figured one reason Jeffrey was so good at art work was because he had no distractions. Jeffrey has had articles written about him for the newspapers numerous times. He is a multi-talented artist with varied interests. He paints with water color and acrylics, does wood burning, carves knife handles and makes jewelry carved from deer antler and elk horn. In 2014, Jeffrey won 3rd place in jewelry at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee. He also won Chief Bill John Baker’s Choice during the Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Holiday Art Show along with an honorable mention. Jeffrey is currently being interviewed for the Little Light House Alumni newsletter which is compiled quarterly. They are very proud of the student they helped mold into becoming a multi-talented artist and overcoming his disabilities.

Tommy Wildcat

Williams, Kevin

Kevin Williams

Kevin is a husband, father, licensed therapist, teach and artist. He is a counselor and therapist with over 25 years experience. He became a therapist in order to help people transform themselves and their families to have fuller, healthier and happier lives. Williams earned two masters degrees in psychotherapy. One in art therapy and one in marriage & family therapy. He is also a licensed teacher in Oklahoma and Arkansas with a Bachelors degree in education and a Master’s degree in Education. Kevin is a proud member of the Cherokee Nation and draws upon his heritage and family for the inspiration of his art. His style is expressive realism through oil, sculpture and conte crayon, pastels, colored & graphite pencil. He strives for a sense of realism by capturing the moments in history.
Williams, Sally

Sally Williams

Sally Clausen Williams was born in Oklahoma but her family moved north so her father could farm. Her family eventually moved to Oregon where Sally graduated from high school, went to business college and started her first job at Oregon State University. Her hobby at that time was horses. Sally's parents introduced her to beading as a child and when her mother became interested in vintage beads and making her own jewelry she got Sally interested in them.  Sally says the beads kept "talking to her" and finally she started to collect supplies and learn techniques that didn't require warping a loom. Even if she isn't making anything, she is always buying and collecting beads. Today she continues to study techniques and patterns and hopes for inspirational ideads she can execute to satisfy her desire to create and to give pleasure to others as well. She says after she started beading the beads "never shut up".
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