, Muskogee, OK

March 22, 2014

Trail of Tears Art Show in 43rd year

Cherokee Heritage Center accepting submissions through Wednesday

TAHLEQUAH — The longest-running Native American art show in Oklahoma returns to the Cherokee Heritage Center, when the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show opens April 12.

The annual event runs through May 26 and features a variety of authentic Native American art competing for $10,000 in award money, presented by Cherokee Nation Businesses and Chickasaw Nation.

“The Trail of Tears Art Show is nationally known for the abundance of breathtaking art created by Native American artists from across the country,” Candessa Tehee, executive director of the Cherokee Heritage Center, said in a media release.

“We’re proud to display so much great work in various art forms that gets better each year.  This is a must-see event for Native art enthusiasts.”

Last year’s annual exhibition included 79 Native American artists from 14 tribal nations, featuring 144 art pieces.

Native American citizens from federally recognized tribes competed in several divisions and categories, including painting, sculpture, pottery, basketry, graphics, jewelry and miniatures.

New to this year’s competition is the CNB Emerging Artist Awards.

These awards will go to original works in any medium or category by artists who have shown in fewer than three previous Trail of Tears Art Shows.

Eligible artists cannot have won any previous Trail of Tears Art Show awards.

On April 11, Cherokee Heritage Center officials will host an awards reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

Those looking to submit a piece still have time before the Wednesday deadline. All entries must be submitted to by 5 p.m.

New this year is a $10 submission fee to help support art show expenses.

A photograph of the completed work, completed entry form and entry fee must be submitted at the same time or the entry will be disqualified.

Accepted artwork will be posted on the Cherokee Heritage Center website on Friday.

The Trail of Tears Art Show began in 1972 as a means of fostering the development of painting as a form of expressing Native American heritage.

Initiated before the completion of the museum, the Art Show was held in the rain shelter of the Tsa-La-Gi theater.

In 1975, it became the first major exhibition in the present museum.  

The Cherokee Heritage Center is a cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture and the arts.

It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive in Park Hill.

For information on the Trail of Tears Art Show, 2014 season events, operating hours and programs, contact the Cherokee Heritage Center at (888) 999-6007 or