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.