Salina health clinic gets artists’ ‘Prayer Feather’

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
09/15/2014 08:04 AM
SALINA, Okla. – Public art created for the Cherokee Nation’s A-mo Health Center by Cherokee artists Bill and Demos Glass was carefully delivered by crane to a prominent place in front of the clinic on Sept. 3.

Though Bill insists Demos created the stainless steel “Prayer Feather,” Demos said he collaborated with his father to create the 8-foot, 2-inch tall and 24-inch wide piece.

“Dad and I wanted to do this symbolic ‘Prayer Feather’ for our clinic in Salina because the staff is very friendly and courteous. We also wanted to do this in loving remembrance of my grandmother Jean Justice Glass, who was a trained Army nurse,” Demos said. “I primarily designed the feather, and he had a ceramics portion in it. The ceramic’s got an inset detail with a nice four (crossed) logs motif. It’s just our symbol for prayer.”

The material used was fabricated stainless steel, so it began as a sheet of steel that had to be cut and welded. Demos said he and his dad spent the past five months working on it and that working with stainless steel is challenging.

“It’s not going to let you do everything, so you got to use a lot of manipulation,” he said.

He said after the piece was welded together, he hand polished it, which can sometimes take months.

“I’m still planning and trying to get some of the time cut down in different processes, so I’m always researching. That’s what my whole philosophy is on art. I’m a contemporary artist, and I’m going to continue to research the boundaries of what I can do because it’s exciting to me,” Demos said. “I think the Southeastern designs are the perfect platform to use fabrication techniques.”

He said it is a benefit to use the minimalist, and sometimes intricate, designs of Southeastern designs and art used by Cherokee people in ancient times.

Gina Olaya, Cherokee Nation Businesses director of cultural art procurement, said the Glasses were commissioned to do the “Prayer Feather” for the clinic.

“Bill Glass is a patient at the Salina Clinic. He thought it would be good to have some place where people could actually say a prayer as they’re walking into the building, so that’s how the idea for the ‘Prayer Feather’ sculpture started,” she said. “I’m excited about this. I’m excited for the clinic.”

Olaya said there is a CN law that allows for 1 percent of construction or renovation funding to be set aside to procure Cherokee art for the tribal building being constructed or renovated.

“We had some money left over from a couple of projects that we pulled together, and those leftover funds are what’s funding these “Prayer Feather” sculpture projects,” Olaya said.

Three “Prayer Feathers” are being created at a cost of $76,000. A second “Prayer Feather” will be placed at the renovated Redbird Smith Clinic in Sallisaw, and a third one will be placed at the new W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah when it is constructed.

“The overall design of it will be the same, but the tiling that the Glasses are putting on the bottom of the sculpture will be different at each one of the facilities,” she said.

Olaya said she would work with the Glasses to determine the wording for the plaques that will be placed at the bottom of the three sculptures to explain the artwork.

CN Health Services Executive Director Connie Davis said the sculpture is “absolutely beautiful.”

“I think the important thing is that a patient here was inspired and felt like they wanted to contribute something to the clinic,” she said. “Mr. Glass spoke of how he appreciated the care the staff here delivered to him and his family, and I think that just shows the tightness of this community and how well the staff does take care of its patients.”

Demos studied metalsmithing and sculpture at the University of Southern Illinois. He shares an art studio with Bill in Locust Grove, located south of Salina.

Demos said he and his father put their thoughts together to come up with an idea that represented prayer.

“We know that when you go through the health care system sometimes you’re not really looking forward to going there, so we just thought it would be a nice thing,” Demos said. “Public art can affect people just by walking by it, we believe. So, that’s what we are trying to do. We’re trying to create good feelings here.”
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᎠᎼᎯ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏴᏫ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ ᎾᏍᎩᎾᎢᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎼᎢ ᎥᏱᎸ ᏄᏛᎾᏕᎬ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎪᏢᏅᏍᎩ Bill ᎠᎴ Demos Glass ᎤᎾᎵᏏᏅᏓ ᏭᏂᏲᏞ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎨ ᎦᎨᏓ ᎠᏌᎳᏗᏍᎩ (crane) ᏣᏃᏎᎰᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏗ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ ᎢᎬᏱᏗᏢ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏚᎵᏍᏗ ᏦᎢᏁᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᎾ Bill ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Demos ᎤᏬᏢᏅ ᏔᎷᎩᏍᎩ “ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ,” Demos ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎾᏟᏃᎮᏢ ᎤᏙᏓ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎢᎳᏏᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏏᏔᏗᏍᏗ ᎢᎦᏘ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵ ᎢᎳᏏᏓ ᎢᏯᏖᎾ ᎤᎩᏓ.

“ᎡᏙᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏯ ᎣᎩᎾᏚᎷᎲ ᎯᎠ ᎣᎩᏃᏢᏗ ‘ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ’ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᎠᎼᎯ ᎤᎾᏤᎵᎠ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏔ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᏓᏂᎸᏣᏘ ᎨᏐᎢ. ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎣᎩᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏲᎩᎾᏛᏗ ᎣᏣᏅᏓᏗᏍᎬ ᎣᏥᎨᏳ ᎡᎵᏏ Jean Justice Glass ᏚᏙᎥ ᎠᏥᏏᎾᎲᏍᏔᏅ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏲᏍᎩ ᏗᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙ (nurse),” ᎤᏛᏅ Demos. “ᎠᏯ ᏓᏆᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᎬᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏩᏁᎸ ceramics ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ceramic’s ᎢᎬᏃᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏅᎩ ᏗᏓᎾᏫᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏓ ᏗᏍᏆᎵᏓ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏓ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ.”

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᎩᏅᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎷᎩᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᎩᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᏍᏓᎴᏅᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᎬᎭᎸᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎢᎩᏓ ᎣᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎧᏅᏬᏗ. Demos ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏙᏓ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏱᎵᏙᎸ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎾᏅᏁᎲᎢ ᎯᎠ.

“ᏝᏃ ᏱᏛᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏂ ᎢᎬᏗ ᎣᏚᎵᏍᎬ, ᎢᎦᏃ ᏍᏓᏯ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎢᎬᏗ ᎣᏚᎵᏍᎬ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ.

ᎤᏛᏅᏃ ᏃᏊ ᏚᏂᏅᏩᎾ ᏂᏚᏅᏔᎾ ᏂᎦᏓ, ᏃᏊ ᎤᏂᎶᏁᏛ ᎨᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏅᎬᏁᎲ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎢᎸᏍᎦ ᎢᏅᏓ ᏱᏓᏟᎢᎵᏓ.

“ᏏᏊᏃ ᏓᏊᎪᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏁᎶᏗ ᏞᎯᎨ ᏧᏟᎢᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᎸᏢ ᎥᎪᏢᏍᎬᎢ, ᏂᎠᎯᎸ ᎠᎩᏲᎰ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ Ꮎ ᏗᎦᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᏃᏊ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᏥᎩ ᎠᏯ, ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᎦᎢᏎᏍᏗ ᎠᎩᏲᎲ ᏚᏓᎯᏢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎢᎬᏩᏛ ᎨᏒ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎩᎸᎴᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Demos. “ᎨᎵᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎦᎾᏮᎧᎸᎬ ᎠᏁᎯ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏫᏙᏌᏂᏴ ᏗᎳᏏᏙᏗ ᎬᏙᏗ ᎥᎬᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ ᏅᎬᏁᎲᎢ.”

ᎤᏛᏅ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎰ ᎯᎠ ᎠᎾᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎬ, ᎠᎴ ᏴᏓᎭ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎾᏄᏅᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎦᎾᏮᎧᎸᎬ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏗ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᎿ ᎡᏔ ᎤᏅᏔᏅᎢ.

Gina Olaya, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎵᏙ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎩᎶᏒ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅ, ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂGlassᎢ ᎨᎪᏎᎸ ᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ “ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ” ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᎢᏳᏅᏙᏗ.

“Bill Glass ᏪᏙᎭ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎼᎯ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ. ᎤᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏏᏱᎦ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏄᏍᏛ ᎢᎸᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᏩᎾᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᎢᏒ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎾᎿ ‘ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ’ ᎠᏲᏝᏅ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. ᎤᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏔ ᎯᎠ. ᎤᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏔ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᏛᏂᎩᏌ.”

Olaya ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᏌᏊ percent ᎾᎿ ᏳᏅᏁᎸ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎸ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎠᎯᏯᏍᏗ ᏫᏄᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏓᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᎾᏁᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏳᏄᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ.

“ᎣᏯᎲᏃ ᎢᎦᏓ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏘᏴ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᎭ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᏚᏅᏁᎸ ᎦᎵᏦᏕᎢ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏘᏱᏙᎸ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᏈᏴᏙᏗ ᎯᎠ “ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ” ᎠᏲᏝᏅ ᏥᎾᏅᏁᎭ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Olaya.

ᏦᎢ “ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ” ᎾᎿ ᏓᏙᏢᏍᎦ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᎵᎬᏩᏢᏍᎬᎢ 76,000. ᏔᎵᏁ “ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ” ᏛᏂᎩᏏ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᏙᏧᏩ ᏏᏆᎠᏂᏙᎢ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏌᎷᎾᎨᏴᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏦᎢᏁ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏛᏂᎩᏏ ᎢᏤ ᎠᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲ W.W. Hastings ᏧᏂᏢᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎠᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲᎢ.
“ᏂᎦᏓ ᏕᎪᏢᏒ ᏧᏠᏱᎭ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎠᏂGlassᎢ ᏂᏙᏛᏅᏁᎵ ᎡᎳᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏃᏢᏅ ᏧᏓᎴᎾᎢ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏓ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.

Olaya ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏖ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏱᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏏ ᏯᎾᏓᏅᏛᎵ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏧᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᏌᏊᎭ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏫᎦᎶᏍᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎤᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏃᏢᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ.

ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎥᏰᎵ ᏄᏛᎾᏕᎬ ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏗ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎵᏙ Connie Davis ᎤᏛᏅ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᎢ “ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏬᏚᏨᎢ.”

“ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗᏴ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎡᏙᎯ ᎠᏏᏴᏫ ᎤᏓᏅᏖᎴ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏚᎸᎮ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᎸᏙᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. “Mr. Glass ᎤᏃᎮᎸ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎦᎦᏎᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎡᏙᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎧᏃᎮᎭ ᎣᏏ ᏓᎾᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᎥ ᎣᏏ ᏚᎾᎦᏎᏍᏛ ᏴᏫ ᎠᏁᏙᎲᎢ.”

Demos ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏔᏅ ᏔᎷᎩᏍᎩ ᎤᏬᏢᏔᏅᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏣᏂᎭᏝᏅᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎦᎾᏮ Illinois. ᎢᏧᎳᏃ ᏌᏊ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎭ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏙᏓ ᎤᏬᏢᏒ Bill ᏧᏙᎩᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎧᎶᏇᏗ, ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎠᎼᎯ.

Demos ᎤᏛᏅ ᎤᏙᏓ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᏁ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏖᎴ ᎢᏧᎳ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏂᎷᏤᎴᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ.

“ᎣᎩᎾᏅᏔ ᎾᎿ ᏱᎦᎶᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᏴᏓᎭ Ꮭ ᏲᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᏮᎡᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎿᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᎩᎾᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏱᏄᏍᏗ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Demos. “ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏱᏂᎬᏓ ᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᎶᏍᎬᎢ, ᎣᎩᏃᎯᏳᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏍᏓᏁᎶᏗ ᏲᎩᎾᏛᏗᎢ. ᎣᏍᏓᏁᎶᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏧᎾᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᏳᏂᎶᏌ ᎾᎥᎢ.”

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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