TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma – With the Cherokee National Holiday set to officially open and welcome more than 100,000 visitors to the capital of the largest Indigenous tribe in the U.S., the Homecoming Art Show is already drawing guests to its gallery of traditional and contemporary pieces.

Callie Chunestudy, Cherokee Nation Cultural Programs and Events project manager, welcomed art aficionados to the gallery on Sept. 1.

“Attendance has been good, and I expect it to really jump this weekend,” said Chunestudy.

From beadwork, textiles, ceramics, photographs, and larger-than-life paintings to small sketches, the gallery showcased pieces worked in various mediums.

“I fall in love with most of the pieces here,” said Chunestudy.

Chunestudy pointed out her favorite work in the show, a contemporary basket by Risi Thelander called “Hiding in Plain Sight." A pair of antlers protrudes from the green and brown basket. Chunestudy said she likes whimsy, and the artwork makes her think about a deer hatching from an egg.

This piece —like many others in the gallery — is marked with a small yellow sticker, indicating it has already been sold.

“All the pieces entered [into the show] have to be for sale,” said Chunestudy. “That’s one of the rules.”

Area resident Linda Nolabel dropped by the art show on Sept. 1.

“I appreciate art and wanted to see all the medium,” said Nolabel. “I like a mixed show, not all one style.”

Nolabel’s favorite piece in the gallery was “Yellow Points Basket with Lid” by Vivian Cottrell. Nolabel said she liked how delicate the basket was, and its practicality.

“I’ve done baskets before and I know how difficult it is,” she said.

Cherokee National Treasure Cathy Abercrombie has two originals in the art show. Abercrombie won first in the textile category for her woven blanket, titled “This Is My Calm.”

“I’m very grateful for winning first place," she said. “There is a lot of great art at this show.”

For this particular piece, Abercrombie switched up her typical style.

“I normally weave very bold colors. To change things up, I wove this with solid white wool, which helped the background warp colors and busy pattern to shine through,” she said. “Friends commented how wild it was and I replied, ‘This is my calm. This is as calm as I create.’ And that became the name.”

Abercrombie said she weaves everything on her grandmother's big oak looms that were handmade at Sequoyah Orphan Training School.

“I learned to weave on them when I was 8 years old,” she said. “My sons are the fourth generation, my grandkids now the fifth generation to weave on these looms.”

Weaving can be a lengthy process, she said.

"For a blanket, it takes about 16 hours to thread the loom, 16 hours to weave it, and since I use wool, there's a few more hours involved to wet finish, which is soaking, fulling and steaming the blanket," she said.

Abercrombie won an award for her other item in the show.

“I also won my first Judges Choice award and the Bill Rabbit Legacy Award for my shawl ‘Almost Persuaded,’" said Abercrombie. “Those made me cry.”

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Trending Video