Cherokee Phoenix selects Taylor as holiday T-shirt artist

BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
06/20/2019 12:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Native artist Mallory Taylor created the Cherokee Phoenix’s 2019 holiday T-shirt. It shows three women, who represent the Three Sisters, and a phoenix. ARCHIVE
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Mallory Taylor
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Phoenix has selected Native artist Mallory Taylor’s design for its 2019 holiday T-shirt, which goes on sale in July at the Cherokee Phoenix’s office and Cherokee Nation Gift Shop.

In 2016, the Cherokee Phoenix commissioned Cherokee artist Buffalo Gouge to design its initial T-shirt, one that differed from the tribe’s Cherokee National Holiday shirts. For the 2017 T-shirt, the Cherokee Phoenix sought entries from Cherokee artists and chose Daniel HorseChief’s concept. In 2018, the Cherokee Phoenix chose Nathalie Standingcloud’s design.

This year, the Cherokee Phoenix selected Taylor’s design, which she said features a phoenix and three women who represent the Three Sisters agricultural crops – winter squash, corn and beans.

Taylor – who is Cherokee/Osage/Blackfoot/Crow and lives in Bentonville, Arkansas – said the three crops benefit one another when planted together and that she wanted to symbolize the way Indigenous communities build, support and love one another.

“Women in general band together to support our nation, and I wanted to show the strength in unity walking within the phoenix’s fire,” she said. “To me the women walking together closely through the fire of the phoenix represents the strength in unity. We live in a divisive time where common ground and connection are often overlooked. I wanted to show a visual representation of unity. These three women are walking through the flames and together will rise like the phoenix.”

Above the design in the Cherokee syllabary are the words “Cherokee Phoenix.” Below the image in English are the words “CHEROKEE HOMECOMING” as well as “2019” and Taylor’s signature. Also, the Cherokee Phoenix logo will be on a sleeve.

Taylor, whose main artistic media are acrylic on canvas and spray painted murals, said she didn’t believe it when she learned her concept was selected for this year’s T-shirt. “I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to compete with other Indigenous artists, and I was in disbelief when I was told I was a finalist let alone that I won.”

She said she plans to submit another concept for the 2020 T-shirt and encourages other artists to do the same. “Please artists, submit to any and all competitions you have access to and can afford to enter. My experience with this institution has been wonderful. Competing as an artist gives you perspective on what the community is looking for, what other artists are working on and how that conversation enable artists and communities alike to learn, love and grow.”

The black shirts are short-sleeved with adult sizes ranging from small to 3XL. The Cherokee Phoenix is also offering a youth medium size. All shirts are priced at $20 plus tax each. To order online, visit http://cherokeegiftshop.com.

The Cherokee Phoenix office is in the Annex Building (Old Motel) on the Tribal Complex. The gift shop is also on the complex.

Staff members will have shirts available at the Cherokee Phoenix booths at the Capital Square and Tribal Complex during the Cherokee National Holiday. The Cherokee Phoenix will also have T-shirts featuring the previous designs in limited supplies at the booths.

The Cherokee Phoenix plans to continue contracting with Cherokee artists to create the annual holiday T-shirts. Artists who are interested in submitting T-shirt concepts can email them to travis-snell@cherokee.org. The deadline for submissions is midnight on Jan. 1.

To order a shirt from the Cherokee Phoenix, call 918-453-5269 or email joy-rollice@cherokee.org.
About the Author
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, ...
TRAVIS-SNELL@cherokee.org • 918-453-5358
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, ...

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