Hummingbird wins Cherokee Phoenix children’s art contest
TRAVIS SNELL Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
04/27/2020 08:30 AM
Cherokee Nation citizen Ryley Hummingbird, seventh grader at Helen Tyson Middle School in Springdale, Arkansas, won the inaugural Cherokee Phoenix Student Art Contest after receiving 383 votes of the total 1,037 cast. JOSH FOURKILLER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Ryley Hummingbird’s entry depicts a phoenix rising from the ashes with rainbow colors and feathers added to the lettering of “Cherokee Phoenix” for the addition of “little flare.”
STILWELL, Okla. – Ryley Hummingbird, a Cherokee Nation citizen and seventh grader at Helen Tyson Middle School in Springdale, has won the Cherokee Phoenix children’s art contest.
The Cherokee Phoenix recently asked students in grades first through eighth to draw and submit their interpretations of the Cherokee Phoenix banner.
Hummingbird said she first had to research what a phoenix was. After learning the phoenix myth, she said she created her phoenix rising from the ashes. She added that she included feathers on the Cherokee Phoenix lettering for a “little flare.”
Following the March 13 entry deadline, Cherokee Phoenix staff members selected a winner from each grade to post on surveymonkey.com for public voting. Two entries were selected for the seventh grade because of a tie. Each grade representative will receive a Cherokee Phoenix T-shirt.
Online public voting ran from March 23 to April 20 with Hummingbird collecting 383 votes out of the 1,073 votes cast.
“My family encouraged me to enter the contest, and basically, they are like, my biggest fans,” she said. “When I found out I won it made me happy because I have never won anything like this before, so basically I’m happy that everyone loves my drawing.”
For winning the overall contest, Hummingbird received a $100 gift card and her design on a youth T-shirt that will be available for purchase at the 2020 Cherokee National Holiday during Labor Day weekend. The design will also be on a Cherokee Phoenix fan that will be distributed during the holiday.
“I enjoy drawing because it’s my imagination and it’s my gift, and I love my gift,” she said. “I’ve never had my artwork on any merch(andise) at all. And I hope my family gets to purchase a T-shirt.”
Hummingbird said she’s going to use her $100 gift card to buy an art tablet. “My mother is always encouraging me to use my gift for successful things, so I hope one of these days, or someday, I will be a successful artist.”
The contest’s other finalists were Gordon Bryan, first grade, homeschool; Brexton Davis, second grade, Dahlonegah Public School; Coleton Green, third grade, Dahlonegah Public School; Alexxus Bolin, fourth grade, Brushy Public School; Landon Clawson, fifth grade, Dahlonegah Public School; Aayushi Patel, sixth grade, Sallisaw Middle School; Emma Carter, seventh grade, Sallisaw Middle School; and Brooks Jackson, eighth grade, Sallisaw Middle School.
“The Cherokee Phoenix Art Contest was created as a way to not only give students in first through eighth grade an opportunity to express their artistic ability, but also make them aware of our publication and begin the process of getting the students interested in newspapers,” Executive Editor Tyler Thomas said. “In our contest’s first year, we wanted to keep it simple and have the students use their creativity to redesign our iconic Cherokee Phoenix banner that is seen atop each issue we publish.”
All entries had to be hand-drawn. No tracing, photography or computer-generated artwork was accepted, and only one submission per student was allowed.
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 ...