http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgThe seven Cherokee clans are represented on the back of a guitar decorated by Cherokee artist Verna Bates. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The seven Cherokee clans are represented on the back of a guitar decorated by Cherokee artist Verna Bates. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokees create artwork using guitars

Cherokee gourd artist Verna Bates shows off her entry for a guitar project at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee gourd artist Verna Bates shows off her entry for a guitar project at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee artist Jeff Edwards uses ancient Southeastern-style designs for his guitar design. The legendary Cherokee serpent Uktena wraps the outer edges of the guitar body. COURTESY PHOTO Brass and nickel accents are a part of a guitar designed by Cherokee artist Roger Cain. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Booger mask maker Roger Cain places a booger made of brass, nickel and copper on the back of the guitar he designed for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee artist Karen Berry displays her guitar entry for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. The legendary Cherokee serpent Uktena wraps the front of the guitar in Berry’s design. COURTESY PHOTO Artist Roy Boney Jr., shows his guitar design with the legendary Uktena horned serpent. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The legendary horned serpent Uktena dominates the design created by Cherokee artist Roy Boney. COURTESY PHOTO Cherokee artist Joseph Erb uses an iconography design for a guitar project for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. COURTESY PHOTO The horned feather serpent of Cherokee legend Uktena wraps the outer edge of the back of guitar designed by Joseph Erb. COURTESY PHOTO
Cherokee gourd artist Verna Bates shows off her entry for a guitar project at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
04/17/2012 08:25 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
CATOOSA, Okla. – Cherokee artist Jeff Edwards recently took on the challenge of transforming an electric guitar into art that will be displayed in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa.

He is one of 39 Cherokee artists who had until April 10 to finish design work on Epiphone-brand guitars. Edwards, of Sallisaw, said he chose images from the book “Sun Circles and Human Hands,” which includes Southeastern-style designs.

“I thought it would look really cool on a guitar and then recreated and customized them to my liking. Since I don’t paint once the images were completed I sent them to…Inkdt in Cincinnati, which is a company that produces custom guitar skins out of the artwork you submit to fit your make and model of guitar,” he said. “By doing the skin it allowed me to produce exactly what I wanted and then apply it to the guitar.”

He said the guitar skin uses the same concept as “skinning” a laptop or cell phone case.

Edwards said he was inspired by custom guitars used by musicians such as Eddie Van Halen, who have a custom guitar design that is unique to them, and created his own unique custom guitar design.

“The most difficult part of the project was deciding what to use and then laying it out on the guitar. I really enjoyed the whole process from creating the images to applying the skin and putting it all back together and having a finished product,” he said.

Verna Bates, of Locust Grove, said her specialty is gourd art but welcomed the challenge of decorating a guitar.

Recently, she has focused on the seven Cherokee clans when designing her gourd masks and used masks representing the clans in her guitar design. Because the guitars are meant for the renovated Wild Potato Buffet, Bates focused on the Wild Potato clan for the front of the guitar and placed designs for all the clans on the back of the guitar.

Bates said she understands that 39 guitars will be displayed in glass cases along the walls of the buffet. Guitars that don’t match the color scheme of the buffet may be placed in other areas of the casino, she said.

Through a Facebook page for artists, Bates said she has seen other guitars being worked on by artists and that some were “awesome” ideas.

She said artists were asked to use a period from “time immemorial to 1790” when coming up with design ideas. Artist then submitted design sketches to casino officials before being chosen to participate in the project.

Bates said she’s glad she is part of a group of artists who are working on a project to inform the public about Cherokee culture and people.

“I can’t wait to see the whole group of them when they are displayed,” she said. “It’s wonderful to be in that group. It’s good to be included. It makes my heart swell.”

He can work with “about any material he can get a hold of” but artist Roger Cain, of Stilwell, chose copper, brass, nickel and aluminum for his guitar. Traditionally, Cherokee people used copper when designing jewelry and ornaments, but Cain said he wanted to use the other materials so the guitar would have contrasting colors.

Cain’s specialty is making gourd booger masks, which were once used in Cherokee ceremonies to show the unbecoming attributes of a people without embarrassing the culprits or to make fun of the unique characteristics of white people.

He placed a bird design on the front of his guitar and a booger face on the back. All of the metal used made the guitar heavy, he said, but added contrasting qualities.

“It was fun process, especially knowing we could do what we wanted to with it as long as we conveyed a Southeastern theme,” he said.

Cain said he hopes the guitar project will lead to the Cherokee Nation leading the way on a public art project like the one in Cherokee, N.C., where larger-than-life bears were painted by artists and placed throughout the town. He envisions possibly using deer, eagles or even large crawfish for the public art project.

“That’d be something to explore for sure, getting more public art here in Tahlequah if we are really wanting to push the art scene here, which has been really great,” he said.

He said he appreciates Cherokee Casinos funding and pushing the Cherokee art scene to where it is constantly changing and evolving and not static.

Roy Boney Jr., of Tahlequah, chose to focus on the feathered, horned serpent of Cherokee legend called the Uktena for his design. He said his talent is drawing and painting with acrylic paint.

“Getting a guitar to paint was something new, something I’d never done before,” he said. “On the front is the snake itself, mainly the head, coming at you. On the back I’m going to paint the word Uktena in the (Cherokee) syllabary, but it’s going to be splashy, like dirty and messy to go with the idea of hard rock.”

Boney’s design includes a “happy mistake” because the gloss finish he used began to peel when he removed the mask he had put on the front of the guitar to protect it while he painted the back. However, the peeled paint only added to the rough design he hoped to achieve, he said.

“So the idea now is to make the surface of the guitar look like it’s been dinged up a lot by somebody on tour with this guitar,” he said.

Boney played the guitar when he was younger, so taking apart the guitar wasn’t too difficult for him, he said, but taking it apart and making sure he could incorporate his design on it was difficult.

The Uktena also dominates the design of Karen Berry of Garland, Texas. She also usually works with gourds, and as a whole, she said working on the guitar didn’t prove to be much of a challenge for her because she’s used to working with hollow gourds.

“It’s a big gourd really. I’m used to working on something three dimensional like that,” she said. “I enjoyed it and had a lot of fun.”

The Uktena is on the front and back of her guitar, and she used a Cherokee mound builders scroll pattern on the fretwork.

“I didn’t make mine (Uktena) scary looking,” she said.

Designing the scroll pattern on the fret board was the most difficult part of the process, Berry said, because the frets were glued on.

“They actually get closer together down toward the head of the guitar and I didn’t realize that. So I couldn’t really center the scroll on the frets, so that was really difficult. I just kind of had to draw around the frets,” she said.

She said from her observations, it seems every artist with a guitar has done something “completely different.” There are Cherokee painters, graphic artists, sculptors, metal workers, beaders, booger mask makers, basket makers and potters involved in the project.

Graphic artist Joseph Erb’s design is centered on old Cherokee iconography or symbols. He used symbols of old bears, raccoons and flat-style birds and two Uktena horned serpents swirl up on the back of the guitar with their tongues lashing out.

“The movement of the whole piece is actually sectioned and it deals with the old concepts of this world and the next world,” he said. “The Uktenas were in between both worlds.”

He said the front part of his guitar deals with the world now and the design transitions to the design on the back of the guitar.

“It’s a flat design, and I want my piece to be smooth and elegant and clean looking. I want it to have that old-style look, but something that looks highly modern,” he said.

He sent his design to a company to have a skin made for his guitar and then adhered the skin around the guitar.

Erb believes the guitar project will be a “game changer” for the Cherokee art world because artists “really stepped up their game.” He also believes the guitars will be their own attraction among the other Hard Rock attractions.

“It seems in the last five years the artists are starting to come together and talk more, and it seems to really help their work. When you see something cool that someone did, you can’t just turn anything in now. You’ve got to turn something nice in because you just saw three people that blew your mind, and now it’s your turn,” he said.

will-chavez@cherokee.org


918-207-3961

About the Author
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.

He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life.
He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M. He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life. He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.

Culture

BY KENLEA HENSON
News Writer
08/16/2017 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – For more than 40 years, Cherokee National Treasure and Cherokee/Muscogee (Creek) artist Knokovtee Scott has transformed local purple mussel shells into jewelry. To keep the art form alive, he now teaches it at the Cherokee Arts Center. “My goal is to establish a foundation of students that will get this type of jewelry to grow, and eventually it will be as well recognized as any jewelry from any region of the country,” he said. The Rose native comes from an artistic family that enriched his life in Cherokee and Muscogee arts at an early age, which made him strive for an art career. In 1972, while studying Southwest jewelry at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he said he realized that people’s perspective of Native American jewelry was turquoise and silver. “If you asked anybody there, ‘what was Indian jewelry?’ they’d say turquoise and silver. But what I was always wondering is how come people don’t have anything from the Southeast. Why isn’t our artwork as recognized as the Southwest?” Scott said. He began searching for an artistic direction that would lead to his Cherokee roots. He said it wasn’t until he visited a medicine man that he found the art form. “A cousin of mine said ‘we need to go talk to a medicine man so you can find a direction to follow for today.’ So we went, took medicine, went through the sweat lodge ceremony, and when we got back to his house and I asked him, ‘can you help me find a direction to go in my art career today?’ and he said, ‘if you look in the past you’ll find your direction today. Our people made jewelry out of shell.’ And from that moment on I started working with shell,” he said. Recognized for his shell art, Scott is described as the “Southeast shell revivalist” for resurrecting the art after 400 years. He said by teaching students he can ensure it’s not lost again. “I need to pass this on because this was one of the most advanced, highly elaborate, most decorated type of artwork that came out of the Southeast,” he said. “Most say it’s the finest design north of Mesoamerica that the Cherokees once did.” During his classes, students learn the art’s history, how and where to find the mussel shells as well as how to cut, carve and buff them into jewelry. CN citizen Candice Byrd said she fell into Scott’s class by an accident but was quickly intrigued. “Just listening to Knokovtee and learning about the Southeastern iconography, pre-Mississippian shell carving and learning to work with the organic materials, I fell in love with it,” she said. “I didn’t realize it would take hold so strongly, but you start to develop a real love for the piece and for the art.” Scott said the art comes from the Mississippian period, stretching from 800-1500 A.D. “I was always interested in a type of art that didn’t have any outside influences, so I was looking for an art form that came from the traditional people, and the Cherokees were a part of the culture,” he said. “All the archeological evidence shows the Cherokee people were part of the Mississippian period. They used shell in ceremonial usage, but they also made shell jewelry and shell utensils.” However, he doesn’t use just any mussel shell he finds to make the jewelry. He uses the purple mussel shell, also known as the Mankiller Pearl shell. The Tribal Council renamed the shell that can be found in local rivers, lakes and creeks the Mankiller Pearl shell in 1988 in honor of then-Principal Chief Wilma P. Mankiller. However, being in poor health, Scott said he isn’t sure how much longer he will offer classes. But his goal is to teach as many students as he can. “I want every one of my students to learn this art form well enough to teach another person to continue it on. That is my main goal.” For more information, visit www.cherokeeartcenter.com or call 918-453-5728.
BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
08/12/2017 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – With its 2017 annual homecoming T-shirt now for sale, the Cherokee Phoenix is calling for Cherokee artists to submit design concepts for the news organization’s 2018 T-shirt. In 2016, the Cherokee Phoenix staff introduced a T-shirt to differ from the tribe’s Cherokee National Holiday T-shirt. Phoenix staff members contracted with artist Buffalo Gouge for the shirt’s initial design. For this year’s homecoming shirt, Phoenix staff members selected Daniel HorseChief’s concept out of approximately 10 designs from artists. The Cherokee Phoenix then contracted with HorseChief to create the 2017 shirt. HorseChief said his concept comes from a four-panel painting that features Selu, the Corn Mother in Cherokee lore. The image shows the bust of Selu, who is looking down into a Southeastern art pattern. Behind her on the left side are seven ears of corn with water under it. Behind her on the opposite side is a phoenix with fire below it. Above the phoenix is the Cherokee seven-pointed star. Above the image, written in Cherokee, are the words “Cherokee Phoenix.” Below the image, in English, is “2017 CHEROKEE HOMECOMING.” The limited-quantity, black shirts are short-sleeved, ranging in sizes small to 3XL and sell for $20 plus tax. The shirts are available at the Cherokee Phoenix office in Room 231 of the Annex Building (Old Motel) on the Tribal Complex. For more information, call 918-453-5269. They are also available at the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop, als0 on the Tribal Complex, or online at <a href="http://cherokeegiftshop.com" target="_blank">http://cherokeegiftshop.com</a>. Phoenix staff members will also have shirts available at the Cherokee Phoenix booths at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex and Capital Square during the Cherokee National Holiday in September. The Cherokee Phoenix is accepting concept ideas from artists who are Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band or Eastern Band citizens until midnight on Jan. 1. Artist can email detailed concepts to <a href="mailto: travis-snell@cherokee.org">travis-snell@cherokee.org</a>. For artists contemplating submitting design ideas, please note that if your concept is chosen and you sign a contract, the Cherokee Phoenix will own the artwork because we consider it a commissioned piece. As for what Phoenix staff members look for in a concept, we ask that artists “think Cherokee National Holiday” and include a phoenix.
BY LINDSEY BARK
News Writer
08/09/2017 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Keli Gonzales found joy in art as a child from watching her father and cousins draw and paint. As she grew, she developed her modernized art style using Cherokee culture. Gonzales recently opened an online store called Keladi, her Cherokee name, to sell prints, original paintings and buttons that are affordable and “accessible” after realizing people wanted to buy her designs. She said people who know Cherokee culture are intrigued by her drawings because they identify with it. “I think that a lot of people like to see the syllabary on stuff, and they like to own things that…(are) Cherokee-specific items.” Gonzales incorporates Cherokee syllabary, stories, animals and sports into her art. Her drawing “Anejodi” portrays stickball players vying for a stickball in the air. “In (the) stickball drawing, I was told that there’s a story about a guy; he cheated in stickball because he picked the ball up with his hands; and you’re not supposed to do that. And he threw the stickball really hard, and it got stuck in the sky and it became the moon. That’s like a reminder to not cheat. So in that drawing, it’s got little…moon bursts because of that story,” Gonzales said. Gonzales said she doesn’t like to be “overt” in her drawings and uses hints of Cherokee culture to leave it open for interpretation. “I like things that don’t look like real things, if that makes sense. It’s like an interpretation of a real thing instead of copying it. I like to interpret.” Her painting “Digvyaluyv” (Pieces) features body parts such as an arm and a leg that she said are a “comment on how fragmented our culture is” and that “hopefully one day we can unite all the pieces.” Gonzales also has an affinity for comic-style illustrations with characters speaking in Cherokee. She does not translate the syllabary because the viewer should translate the language and learn in the process. Her drawing “Nigohilv” (Constant) is a comic about a pair of skeletons caught in a conversation with the dialogue in the Cherokee language. To her, it represents being constant. To others, she has heard it meant the language being constant or someone not growing up being a second-language learner. Gonzales said her style is influenced by her love of cartoons such as The Simpsons, using graphite and ink as a medium. Many of her drawings include bold lines and bright colors. “I love colorful things because of The Simpsons or just cartoons in general. I love defined lines around things…(cartoons) influenced my style quite a bit, bright colors and bold lines,” she said. Gonzales also draws inspiration from Cherokee artists such as Dan HorseChief, Roy Boney Jr. and Joseph Erb because their art features more “modern spins.” “In my head I always thought of Native art as being something very specific…like dreamcatchers,” she said. “I always promised myself I would never do a Trail of Tears painting because we’re doing more now. That’s not what I want to focus on is this horrible thing that happened, and it did happen, but we made it through. We went across and finished. We’re stronger because of it. I like to show that we’re innovative and that we’re doing more and we’re doing better.” Gonzales earned a fine arts degree from Northeastern State University and hopes to expand her art by entering more shows, attending art markets and learning more about screen-printing to start selling her designs on T-shirts.
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
08/08/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation’s Language Program is teaming up with the Cherokee Phoenix to offer readers a look at some of the first stories printed in the Cherokee language when the newspaper began publishing in 1828. “A lot of people, when they talk about the Cherokee Phoenix they say that it was printed in English and Cherokee, but a lot of people don’t realize that it wasn’t a straight translation,” Roy Boney, Language Program manager, said. “So what was in English wasn’t in Cherokee. It was different content for different readers. So most of that stuff hasn’t ever been translated, or if it has, it’s been a real long time since anyone has ever actually read what it was.” The idea stemmed from Translator David Crawler reading some of the paper’s old articles. “At times when we’re not doing so much translations, I read them and thought, ‘these are real interesting,’” he said. “Well, some of the stories in there I thought was kind of funny, and then some of them were kind of serious talk. And I thought, ‘there’s nobody living today that’s actually read this piece,’ and I thought it would be good to maybe put that back into the Phoenix today so people would know what was going on back then.” Brandon Scott, Cherokee Phoenix executive editor, said when he was approached about the project he “didn’t hesitate” to say yes. “I really think it’s important to reflect on our history, and look at things through the eyes of our ancestors,” he said. “To some these may be old forgotten tidbits of information that carry no real historical value, but to others these are a glimpse of days gone by, things that would otherwise be forgotten. I, for one, think those little things can be just as important as the big things.” Boney said Crawler is the translator for the project, and by doing this it brings back history “that was kind of lost along the way.” “So we have all the Cherokee syllabary from the original Cherokee Phoenix. We have a copy of it. So David’s been going through it and finding little bits and pieces of things that are interesting, and he’s going to translate some of it and we’ll have it in the Phoenix,” he said. Boney said the project is “still in the works,” but the intent is for it to run in the Cherokee Phoenix’s monthly publication. “So there will be bits and pieces in each issue,” he said. “It will have an image of the original text with the translation in it and kind of talking about what issue it came from and all those kind of things.” Boney said some of the pieces are longer format stories while others are short. “I remember one was like a notice of a man looking for his wife or something. So you get a little slice of life back then with what was going on,” he said. Boney said Crawler typically translates stories for the paper, so in a way the work the translators are doing now is a “continuation” of how it was done before. “I just like the idea of the Cherokee Phoenix is still being published today in Cherokee and in English, and David’s one of the translators that does the stories for the paper, so it’s a continuation to kind of what happened before,” he said. “Even though now they’re translating stories straight from English into Cherokee. The difference here is these other articles in the original run of the Phoenix were written in Cherokee. They were specifically Cherokee stories, so seeing that connection, the differences and the similarities there are pretty interesting.”
BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
08/04/2017 08:15 AM
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Cherokee Heritage Center hosted its first on-site print action and gallery tour on July 29, using artists who have work in the traveling “Return from Exile” Native American contemporary art exhibit, which opened May 13 at the CHC and ends Aug. 11. “A print action is an event that you can attend where artists are screen-printing live,” CHC Curator Callie Chunestudy. “So you can bring items such as shirts or tote bags and they’ll print on those for you or we’ll be giving out paper prints of the images they’ve designed for us today.” Participating artists were Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee Creek), Tony Tiger (Sac and Fox/Seminole), Margaret Roach Wheeler (Chickasaw/Choctaw), as well as Cherokee artists Toneh Chuleewah, Demos Glass and Roy Boney. “It’s a chance for patrons to come out and meet the artists of the exhibit whose works they’ve seen over the summer. We’re also giving out free prints so it’s an opportunity for free art and to learn more about contemporary Native American art,” Chunestudy added. Boney said he was proud to be a part of the traveling exhibit. “The ‘Return from Exile’ show has traveled across the country and features contemporary art of Southeastern tribal artists.” As for the print action, Boney said it gives those in attendance a new perspective. “I think when people see and think of Native American art, it’s usually very static. It’s something hanging on a wall or behind a case and that kind of thing. So for this show having people come out and actually see artists make art before their eyes is a really good experience.” The CHC is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive. For information on upcoming events and attractions, call 918-456-6007 or visit <a href="http://www.cherokeeheritage.org" target="_blank">www.cherokeeheritage.org</a>.
BY KENLEA HENSON
News Writer
08/02/2017 09:00 AM
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. – From a young age in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation citizen Tana Washington always had a passion for art. “I’ve been interested in art all my life. My dad was really good friends with Cherokee artists, so I remember being around that art all the time,” she said. “I also took art classes in school and entered art shows when I was kid, but I really just did it for fun.” When Washington fell on hard times with her son’s death and an injury to her back that prevented her from working, art became her refuge. “I lost my son in 2000, so I started drawing then for therapy. I probably didn’t take it seriously until four years ago though. I hurt my back, and I wasn’t able to work anymore, so I had the time to sit down and start creating,” she said. With that free time, Washington wanted to stay productive. Her sister challenged her to create a piece of art every day as part of what she called “25 days of Christmas.” “It pushed my creativity because I wasn’t doing the same thing every night,” she said. “I was doing paint, ink, pencil and charcoal drawings. Then I started to add small scissor cuts, and then I just started combining them into a style. I didn’t mean to create a style, but I did.” After the month-long session, Washington found her style was unlike any Cherokee artist. Her style is known as “scissor cuts,” most commonly found in Japanese culture, but Washington added a traditional Cherokee twist to the medium. “I’m probably the only Cherokee artist making scissor cuts. There are only 250 scissor-cut artists in the U.S., but what makes me different is I make it my own with a traditional twist. I make it Cherokee,” she said. “It’s pretty nerve racking though. You have to do a lot of thinking and design because it all has to connect. One wrong cut and it’s over.” Although she most identifies herself with scissor-cut artwork, she loves different art techniques and media. Currently, her favorite is the smoke technique, which she enjoyed while creating the “25 days of Christmas” pieces. “The smoke technique is laying down carbon from fuel on paper. So I played around with that for a while and really liked the contrast of light and dark and shadows it creates,” she said. “But I found I really like combining the smoke and paint with the scissor cuts because of the effects it gives. Someone told me ‘you know in art school they teach you to not combine mediums,’ but this really works, so I think it’s very well received.” To some, Washington’s style cannot be identified to one medium. Instead it’s an array of styles incorporated into one piece. “One of the guys who bought some of my first pieces of art said, ‘what I really like about your art is you can see 10 different pieces and think it’s 10 different artists,’ and that made me feel good. I didn’t think I had a style, but that is my style,” she said. Although she’s hit rough patches in her life, she said she owes getting past them to art. “I’ve had a lot of hard times. I lost a job, lost a loved one, sometimes bad things happen, but art is really what kept me going,” she said. “I think it’s a perfect example of how life teaches you that you can turn a negative situation into a positive one. It just goes to show that with a little encouragement and passion for something you love, people can do anything.” Washington said she would have a vendor’s booth during the Cherokee National Holiday at the Cherokee Heritage Center. To reach Washington, call 479-220-9256 or email <a href="mailto: scissorcutart@hotmail.com">scissorcutart@hotmail.com</a>. She also recently donated two pieces to the Cherokee Phoenix for its third-quarter giveaway. The drawing is set for Oct. 2. The works are a clay mask with Cherokee Phoenix-inspired detail and a scissor-cut piece inspired by the pipeline fight at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Giveaway entries are acquired by donating to the Phoenix’s elder/veteran subscription fund or buying a print subscription or Phoenix merchandise. One entry is given for every $10 spent. For more information regarding the giveaway, call Samantha Cochran at 918-207-3825 or Justin Smith at 918-207-4975 or email <a href="mailto: Samantha-cochran@cherokee.org">Samantha-cochran@cherokee.org </a> or <a href="mailto: Justin-smith@cherokee.org">Justin-smith@cherokee.org</a>.