Cherokee Heritage Center's annual Trail of Tears Art show and Sale normally draws a good crowd, but with COVID-19 looming, the winners of the 49th annual event were announced during a virtual awards reception. To say we are excited about the pieces would be an understatement.

The show featured a variety of authentic Native art with more than 160 items from 95 artists, representing 15 tribal nations. The show is the longest-running American Indian art show in Oklahoma. It was set to debut in early spring but was delayed because of COVID-19.

You can see the show on a YouTube link provided. Through the juried show, artists competed for more than $15,000 in the following categories: painting, sculpture, pottery, basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniatures, diverse art forms and photography/digital art. In addition, all work featured in the show is available to purchase. Photos of 135 pieces are on the Cherokee Heritage Center's Facebook page.

These are wonderful, creative pieces that are worth taking the time to view and consider purchasing.

This year’s grand prize went to Cherokee Nation artist Jerry Sutton for “Cultural Appropriation.” The mixed media piece features Michelangelo’s iconic David statue dressed as a precontact Cherokee hunter in an ironic depiction of how European and colonial cultures have appropriated from Indigenous cultures.

Sutton said he hoped his artwork would spark conversations.

"Every culture is influenced by those around it," Sutton said. "We can all learn from each other as long as we do so with integrity and respect."

What a great lesson to take away from an event. 

You can watch

You can watch the ceremony at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cpfo2KVF7TU&feature=youtu.be

For a complete list of awardees, visit www.Anadisgoi.

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