Gallery opening fulfills dream of Fields

BY JAMI MURPHY
Former Reporter
01/18/2017 08:15 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Richard Fields, left, shows visitor Ryan Langston, of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, a bow he made. Fields and his wife Sheila opened the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery on Jan. 5 in Tahlequah. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Baskets set in the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. All the artists showcased in the gallery are of Cherokee descent. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Pottery by Cherokee National Treasure Jane Osti set in the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Artwork by various Cherokee artists hangs in the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – It has been a dream of Cherokee Nation citizen Richard Fields to open a gallery where he could bring in fellow Cherokee artists and share what they’ve created. That dream came to fruition on Jan. 5 when he and his wife opened the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery.

The gallery consists of Richard’s and his wife Sheila’s art, as well as Cherokee National Treasures, well-known area artists and up-and-coming artists.

“I made it all Cherokee artists, all Cherokee work…because we got a pretty good past, not just the Trail of Tears. That’s the sad part, but we got some good things too, you know,” he said.

The couple held a ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the gallery, which is located at 210 S. Muskogee Ave.

“We’ve been chasing (the gallery) for a while. We just didn’t know when to open it up. I got some really good artists. I’ve got some (Cherokee) National Treasures, three of them – Dorothy Ice, Bessie Russell and Jane Osti,” Richard said. “And I’ve got some really good up-and-coming artists or some that’s already been known such as Virginia Stroud, Daniel Horsechief, Matt Girty…I got Mary Horsechief…and I got a young guy, his name is Matt Stick.”

Those are just some of the artists featured in the gallery, and the Fields said they are seeking more traditional artists.

Sheila said all the artists who showcase their art in the gallery are of Cherokee descent, many are fluent in their Cherokee language and the artists bring the tribe’s heritage to life through their individual talents and gifts, which they pour into the designs found in their art.

She added that the gallery was her husband’s dream, one that she supports fully.

“I’m just his biggest fan and supporter. This is just a dream that Richard shared with me when we first met. He said he’d like to get a place together where Cherokee artists could come together and support one another, and I think it’s contagious,” she said.

Sheila also said showcasing art to the younger generation is a “great thing.”

“I think it’s a great thing for passing on to our younger generations the things that are pertinent to our culture and to our heritage,” she said. “I know it’s a big learning experience for me, and like I said, I’m just happy to be here in support of his dream and hope that we’re going to do very well.”

Richard said he and Sheila hope to add art classes to allow Cherokee artists to share their knowledge and ensure it’s preserved.

“If you are looking for authentic Cherokee art then you will find something to your liking in 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery,” he said.

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 918-316-7419.

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