Cherokee Phoenix calls for 2020 homecoming T-shirt concepts

BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
09/19/2019 12:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Shown are two Cherokee Phoenix homecoming T-shirts from 2016-17. The Cherokee Phoenix is accepting design ideas from Cherokee artists for its 2020 T-shirt until midnight on Jan. 1. ARCHIVE
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Shown are two Cherokee Phoenix homecoming T-shirts from 2018-19. The Cherokee Phoenix is accepting design ideas from Cherokee artists for its 2020 T-shirt until midnight on Jan. 1. ARCHIVE
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – With its 2019 annual homecoming T-shirt for sale, the Cherokee Phoenix is calling for Cherokee artists to submit design concepts for the news organization’s 2020 shirt.

The Cherokee Phoenix is accepting rough drafts from artists who are Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band or Eastern Band citizens until midnight on Jan. 1. Artists can email detailed concepts to travis-snell@cherokee.org.

For artists contemplating submitting ideas, 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 staff members look for in a concept, we ask that artists “think Cherokee National Holiday” and include a phoenix. The phoenix does not have to be the Cherokee Phoenix’s emblem.

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 artists and chose Daniel HorseChief’s concept. In 2018, the Cherokee Phoenix chose Nathalie Standingcloud’s design.

This year, the Cherokee Phoenix selected Mallory Taylor’s design, which 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.

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.

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.”

Adult sizes for the 2019 shirts range from small to 3XL. The Cherokee Phoenix also offers a youth medium size. All shirts are priced at $20 plus tax each. The shirts are available at the Cherokee Phoenix office in Room 231 of the Annex Building (Old Motel) on the Tribal Complex. For information, call 918-453-5269. To order online, visit http://cherokeegiftshop.com.
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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