Saline Courthouse Museum hosts “Clesta Martin Manley: The Art of Memory”

01/06/2021 02:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Clesta Martin Manley is a 96-year-old Cherokee National Treasure whose artwork is on display until Feb. 27 at the Saline Courthouse Museum in Rose. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Saline Courthouse Museum in Rose is showing the “Clesta Martin Manley: The Art of Memory” exhibit until Feb. 27. COURTESY
ROSE – Cherokee Nation citizen Clesta Martin Manley has explored many painting techniques, media and subjects throughout her career and has always found a way to connect her passion for art and her Cherokee heritage.  

Many of her pieces feature the iconic Saline Courthouse, which are presented alongside other original works and prints in the “Clesta Martin Manley: The Art of Memory” exhibit, which is open until Feb. 27.
“Clesta has a beautiful history with the Saline Courthouse that includes her family hosting large gatherings there for many years,” said Krystan Moser, manager of cultural collections and exhibits for the CN. “We’re pleased to be able to present her work and look forward to celebrating the significance of this iconic place to Clesta and the community.” 

The 96-year-old Claremore native earned the Cherokee National Treasure distinction in 2014, honoring her lifelong passion and commitment to art. 

A regular exhibitor at art shows throughout northeastern Oklahoma, Martin Manley has been a member of the Brush & Palette Club in Grove for nearly 40 years and part of the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club of Claremore for about 50 years. Her education includes study at Rogers State University, the University of Tulsa and a study-abroad program in Italy. 

The Saline Courthouse is the last of nine district courthouses built in the 1800s by the CN. After years of ongoing work to restore, preserve and modernize the structure, the CN reopened the site in August as a cultural museum. It is located at 55870 S. 490 Road in Rose.

CN museums offer free admission and are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, call 1-877-779-6977 or visit


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