Cherokee artist Verba Sevens’ work displayed at NSU-BA in August
Cherokee Nation citizen Verba Sevens stands with her son CN citizen Larry Treece in the Visitor Center Gallery at the Northeastern State University campus in Broken Arrow, where her art was displayed in August. The display contains painted items reflecting Sevens’ depiction of Native American life. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Painted items by Cherokee Nation citizen Verba Sevens are displayed on a table such as rocks, animal bones and popsicle sticks that have pictures of Native American life. Sevens had a display of art shown at the Northeastern State University campus in Broken Arrow in August. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BROKEN ARROW – Cherokee Nation citizen Verba Sevens was the featured artist who had her work displayed in the Visitor’s Center Gallery at the Northeastern State University Broken Arrow campus for all of August.
Sevens is originally from Grove but resides in Tulsa. Since her teens, her chosen form of art is painting depictions of Native life.
“Mom has been a painter all of her life. Her artwork is based on the Indian way of life,” Larry Treece, Cherokee Nation citizen and Sevens’ son, said.
After spending years traveling the country, Sevens collected various items such as driftwood, gourds, rocks, feathers and animal bones, which she uses as her canvases.
“I don’t care what kind of canvas it is or material or whatever, if she could pick it up she’d paint on it,” Treece said.
Many of her paintings depict Native people as they lived in the past and show people gathering and hunting food, living on plains in teepees and landscapes.
Sevens said she got inspiration from “just being Indian.”
“I’ve always liked to draw. Just a lot of sketching and stuff like that and painted several pictures,” she said.
Sevens said she grew up with the hardships of being Cherokee and living through the Great Depression era. She was born in 1930 to Deward and Naomi Sevens.
“We had a hard time having enough food to eat. There wasn’t plenty of anything. We just struggled through the best way we knew how. I had a wonderful mother who made everything just right,” she said.
Treece said despite his mother growing up with the struggles she faced, her artwork always reflected positivity.
Sevens suffers from Alzheimer’s but does not let that affect her ability to continue painting. She said it is therapeutic.
Treece said he wanted to give his mother recognition for her artwork and was able to work with officials at NSU-BA to get her work displayed for August and that the feedback from visitors has been “phenomenal.”
“That’s what I want. I want them to see what Native Americans can do, their art forms and stuff. It’s an honor to me,” Treece said.