Santa Fe Indian Market postponement disappoints Cherokees

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
04/28/2020 10:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Vivian Garner Cottrell specializes in making double-weave river cane baskets. She gathers her own materials and dyes for her baskets. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee basket make Vivian Garner Cottrell uses reed to weave a basket. Cottrell is one of several Cherokee artists who is disappointed by the postponement of the Santa Fe Indian Art Market in New Mexico. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Sculpture artist Eddie Morrison of Cherokee County is known for his wood sculptures made from red cedar and limestone sculptures. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee artist Eddie Morrison will not be able to sell his wooden sculptures at the Santa Fe Indian Market in News Mexico this year due to COVID-19. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Potter Jane Osti fires a piece of turtle pottery in a fire made from cedar material. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Unique Cherokee pottery made by artist Jane Osti. She will not be able to sell her pottery at the Santa Fe Indian Market this year due to the postponement of the market due to COVID-19. COURTESY
SANTA FE – The 99th Santa Fe Indian Market will be postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19, affecting Cherokee artists of different media. 

“This is a difficult decision because Indian Market is a big part of my livelihood, but it is more important to protect the well-being of fellow artists, their families, our customers and all of our communities,” Indian Market board member and artist Dominique Toya said.

All artists who juried into the 2020 market are considered automatically accepted into the 2021 market. This includes basket maker Vivian Garner Cottrell, of Flint Ridge, Oklahoma, who was “disappointed” but expecting its cancellation.

“The news of the cancellation of Santa Fe Indian Market was disappointing,” she said. “Selling my baskets at the Indian Market accounted for approximately 25% of my annual revenues. Also, other shows have been cancelled that I have had success in both awards and sales. At this point, I keep my fingers crossed that Cherokee Holiday Art Show and Cherokee Art Market will be held later this year.”

Cottrell said she is looking to social media to sell her baskets. “My miniature baskets sell quickly, and I plan to weave and list them within the next week or so. Another consideration is raffling one of my river cane or black ash baskets on my Facebook page.”

This would have been Cottrell’s sixth year to attend the Santa Fe Indian Market.

“I went to the Indian Market in 2014 just to experience the atmosphere, and I was overwhelmed at the massive group of talented artists and the people who came to buy art,” she said.

Cottrell said she’s known for her double-weave river cane baskets. She also uses white oak, honeysuckle and black ash to make baskets and uses traditional dyes of black walnut root and bloodroot.

“When attending national art markets, I do my best to represent the Cherokee people and our culture. When asked questions of our basketry, I may spend much time explaining the process in preparing and weaving our baskets. I have been invited to more national art markets by speaking directly to the directors of such markets, unknowingly,” she said. “Most (people) asked if I prepared my own materials. They were very inquisitive of our unique style and different materials used in our Cherokee basketry. Our intricate patterns woven on our single-weave baskets caught their eye. I have been recognized as a standard bearer in basketry. Each year, I have regular collectors who make the trip to see what baskets I brought, visit and purchase.”

Sculptor Eddie Morrison, of Cherokee County, Oklahoma, had planned to attend the Santa Fe Indian Market for the first time in three years. Though he has “cut back” on attending art shows, he said he still attends four to five art markets annually while selling his art through the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop.

“I did the market for 25 years or longer prior to that,” he said. “It’s sad that all of my shows I had scheduled have been cancelled.”

He is known for his wood sculptures made from red cedar and limestone sculptures that have fossils in them that he leaves exposed in the piece.

“I always did really well and sold completely out several times,” he said. “A big part of my annual sales came from it (Santa Fe Indian Market). I sold my larger stone sculptures and wood pieces to people from all over the world. I think people really like my work. As a compliment, they would tell me they had been all through the show and didn’t see any work that was as unique as mine.”

Potter Jane Osti, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, has been taking part in the Indian Market since 1994 and has only missed the market twice in those 25 years.

“We (Cherokee artists) have had more representation in the last maybe 10 years and had many award winners in that group,” she said. “When I started attending Santa Fe Indian Market, Anna Mitchell, Bill Glass and Knokovtee Scott were the only Cherokees I can remember being there. I’ve had at least three pottery students who have gone to Santa Fe Indian Market and won awards. Anna paved the way for me to go, and maybe I have influenced other potters to go. Most of my customers say they like my work because it is different, and some are even knowledgeable about Woodland pottery. Some people just buy it just because they like it.” 

She said the inspiration for her pottery is based on traditional Cherokee pottery. “I usually don’t do replicas but use my traditional knowledge to create my artistic interpretations while still honoring our ancestors.”

She said for now she has “been truly blessed” with sales and commissions from people who appreciate and support her artwork. For instance, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has commissioned two pots, and two Cherokee Nation citizens have ordered her pottery.

“I have faith that everything will be all right and look forward to returning to Santa Fe next year,” she said.


Contact Information for Featured Artists:

Vivian Garner Cottrell can be found on Facebook and Instagram or contacted via email at vivcott@sbcglobal.net or by mail at Vivian Cottrell, P.O. Box 79, Kansas, OK, 74347. She also sells her baskets from home by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 405-471-7587.

To view Eddie Morrison’s artwork or to contact him, visit his website www.eddiemorrison.net or call 918-456-0122 to make an appointment.

Jane Osti can be contacted by email at jainnosti@gmail.com or by sending a message via Messenger or by visiting her Facebook page.
About the Author
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. 

For many years h ...
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. For many years h ...

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