Jackson wins grand prize at Homecoming Art Show
8/17/2011 8:42:04 AM
Troy Jackson stands next to his grand-prize-winning sculpture titled “Halfbreed-Am I Red and White or Am I White and Red.” WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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Troy Jackson stands next to his grand-prize-winning sculpture titled “Halfbreed-Am I Red and White or Am I White and Red.” WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
By WILL CHAVEZ Senior Reporter TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee artist Troy Jackson took home the grand prize in the 16th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show that opened Aug. 13. Along with a ribbon, Jackson received a $1,100 check, which was part of $15,000 in prize money awarded during the opening. The show, which runs through Oct. 2, was open to enrolled members of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes: the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “This year, I’m very proud to say, is the largest Homecoming Art Show ever. We had 81 artists submit 162 pieces … and they are all Cherokee,” said Cherokee Heritage Center Executive Director Carey Tilley. “We accepted the best quality, originality and craftsmanship. We are very excited about the quality of the entries, and we’re very excited about the quality of the show.” Cherokee Nation Businesses sponsored the show and allocated $25,000 for the show, which included the $15,000 in prize money. “It (Homecoming Show) helps keep Cherokee art alive, which is what I think is Cherokee Nation Businesses’ goal here,” Tilley said. Jackson of the Grandview Community won the Grand Prize with his sculpture titled “Halfbreed-Am I Red and White or Am I White and Red.” “I am both white and Native American, and so I struggle with it in different areas. Sometimes I feel like I’m white and sometimes I feel like I’m Native American,” Jackson said. He added growing up he dealt with this conflict and believes many other Cherokee people can identify with his struggle. Jackson said he has been working on his art for about 10 years. In April, he won the Grand Prize in the annual Trail of Tears Art Show for his work “Putting The Pieces Together” in the pottery category. He said he appreciates the two Cherokee art shows because it allows him to see the work of other Cherokee artists and his competition. “Every year that I come here it just seems to be a better show, and people are progressing in their work. I think that is important because this is the 21st century, and I see people really shooting for the future in Native American art,” he said. Joseph Erb of the Blackgum Community, won the Visual Arts category with his painting titled “After the Vote,” which depicts the reactions of Cherokee people after the June 25 Cherokee Nation election. He said he was surprised by his win because the painting depicts a controversial period. He added he wasn’t even sure the piece would be accepted into the show. “It was made because a lot of stuff occurred after the election to where the community started fighting each other. I thought I’d make an art piece about it,” Erb said. “It’s a perspective. I’m not picking the side of one group or another. I just wanted to show the reality of what politics can do to a community. It’s about the idea that we were letting an election divide our community.” In the piece, the leaders of each political group are wearing gourd booger masks while their supporters are wearing wooden booger masks. Each faction carries a banner that reads “no good” in the Cherokee syllabary. The words around the eyeball in the center of the painting say “after the vote” in the syllabary to show the arguing and campaigning continued after the votes were cast, Erb said. A keyboard and computer represent the way Cherokee people communicated about the election using the Internet and social networks like Facebook. Erb also included in the painting the Cherokee Phoenix’s role in covering the election and controversy. He said Cherokee people depended on the newspaper’s website and its Facebook page to keep them up to date on what was happening on a daily basis. “It think this increased our news cycle that it will actually never change again because people are really expecting fast news,” he said. “This is really a neat thing to see happen. A newspaper that gave us such notoriety as Native people throughout the world is still running today and still serving the people. That’s one of the reasons I paid homage to it.” Lisa Forrest of the Rocky Ford Community entered the Contemporary and Traditional Basket categories and won a judges’ choice award with her traditional basket titled “Fall Harvest.” This is the third award she has won in the Homecoming Show, she said. Forrest said she learned how to weave baskets from her mother, Lena Blackbird, who is Cherokee National Treasure. “I’m just carrying on with it and it makes her pretty proud,” Forrest said. She added she appreciates the homecoming show because it allows her to see the artwork of other Cherokee artisans. “It’s just pretty amazing what our people can do,” she said. Cherokee artwork was judged in traditional and contemporary divisions with 162 entries under consideration. The traditional division is defined as arts originating before European contact and consists of four categories including basketry, jewelry and beading, pottery and traditional arts. The contemporary division is defined as arts arising among the Cherokee after European contact, and consists of five categories including paintings, sculpture, pottery, basketry and textiles. Other winners in the Homecoming Art Show Contemporary Basketry – Winner - Shawna Cain, “Squisidi Agasga” Honorable Mentions - Sandra Pallie and Joann Richmond
Contemporary Pottery – Winner - Troy Jackson, “One Man’s Legacy” Honorable Mentions - David Pruitt, Joel Queen and Janet Smith
Jewelry and Beadwork – Winner – Antonio Grant , “The Union” Honorable Mentions – Abraham Locust and Teri Lee Rhoades
Sculpture – Winner – Jane Osti, “Selu” Honorable Mentions – Karen Berry and Janet Smith
Textiles – Winner – Bessie Russell, “Dogwood Quilt” Judges’ Choice – Ernest Grant, “Red Clay Reunion” Tonia Hogner-Weavel, “Stripes” Rene’e Hoover, “Winter Grays” Honorable Mention – Dorothy Ice
Traditional Basketry – Winner – Bessie Russell, untitled Judges’ Choice – Lisa Forrest
Traditional Pottery – Winner – Joann Richmond, “Earth, Wind and Fire”
Traditional Arts – Winner – Rebecca Alice Wiltshire Whitwell, “Wenona’s Rattle” Honorable Mentions – Noel Grayson and Lisa Rutherford
Visual Arts – Winner – Joseph Erb, “After the Vote” Judges’ Choice – Dan Horsechief, “Resurgence” Honorable Mentions – Hilary Glass and Lori Smiley
will-chavez@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
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