Harjo wins ‘Best of Show’ at Cherokee Art Market
CATOOSA, Okla. – Benjamin Harjo Jr. on Oct. 10 was awarded “Best of Show” at the ninth annual Cherokee Art Market, which Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism hosted at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Harjo (Absentee Shawnee/Seminole) of Oklahoma City received the award at an Oct. 10 reception. He won for his painting titled “Ahead of Their Time,” which depicts two artists working on a piece of artwork.
“Looking at some of the Aztec work where they did repetitious faces and heads, I used the heads at the top and then I show them with their paint brushes putting on the finishing touches,” Harjo said. “Boy, I’m glad I finished that piece now.”
He said he had no idea he would win with his painting and said he was “very nervous.” He also thanked the artists who influenced him when he was younger.
“I hoping that the younger generation looks at my work as well as the works of the artists,” he said.
Harjo has attended eight of the nine Cherokee Art Markets.
“It’s got some quality people here. It’s not as large as say, Santa Fe Indian Market, which has 1,200 artists, but what brings a lot of people to this show is the prize money,” he said.
CAM Coordinator Deborah Fritts said 154 artists, with a majority of them being Cherokee artists, from throughout the United States brought works to the market. She said citizens from about 50 federally recognized tribes competed and sold their works at the market on Oct. 11-12.
Artists competed for $75,000 in prize money in seven classes of art, including Paintings, Drawing, Graphics and Photography; Sculpture; Beadwork/Quillwork; Basketry; Pottery; Textiles; and Jewelry.
Fritts said the CAM is held to promote Native American culture, educate, and keep art and traditions alive.
One artist who traveled halfway across the country was Antonio Grant of Cherokee, North Carolina. He brought his shell work such as wampum, necklaces and earrings.
“These are the traditional shells of this land, of the southeast,” he said.
He uses “old designs” from the Mississippian Era. His Mississippian-influenced gorget titled “Oldest Game in the Land” won “Best of Class” in Jewelry.
“They (designs) are like 1,500 years old. They did it with traditional tools. I have to use dental tools to do the same effects,” he said. “The technique of shell carving was lost. There are only a handful of us that do this. There’s a Mr. Dan Townsend. He’s the one who pretty much showed me how to do all of this. He showed me, and I took to it really fast.”
Grant (Cherokee/Navajo) said this was only his second time to come to the market, but he said he enjoys meeting other artists and seeing their works.
“I love meeting the artists here and seeing the work they do,” he said. “Every since I was a little boy I was always intrigued by art. I lived in New Mexico. That’s where my mother is from. She’s from the Navajo reservation. They taught all kinds of things like leatherwork, sand work, weaving. So I was familiar with all of that. Plus, she did some of those things. Plus, her family did...silversmithing. My father, he’s from Cherokee, North Carolina. He did all kinds of stone work, sculpting, bone carving. We did it all.”
Cherokee artist Troy Jackson of Tahlequah won “Best of Class” and “Judges Choice” awards for his clay sculpture “The Gift.”
“I grew up in a family that is white and Cherokee. I got many gifts from each side,” he said.
He said his sculpture symbolizes the Industrial Revolution and how it affected Native Americans.
“You’ll see a lot of gears and cogs on my pieces that are symbolic of the Industrial Revolution. We’ve also been given the gift of nature, so that’s why you’ll also see a lot of fish, which symbolizes more of the abundance of natural things,” he said. “The irony is when we developed the Industrial Revolution, we also hurt nature. We destroyed a lot of our nature.”
He said the irony is now man uses industry to try to repair damage done to nature.
The sculpture is 43 inches tall, 15 inches wide and is 5 inches in depth. Jackson said the top portion of his piece, which is a figure of a man, symbolizes someone giving a gift and his faith in God.
“Basically it’s just a representation of Christ and being a gift to us – to Native Americans,” he said.
Jackson has attended CAM for eight years and said he enjoys being with other artists and the competition.
“I’m competitive in my nature, so I like the competition,” he said. “One of the things I always try to do is to learn from other artists and to see what they’re doing, to see how it pertains to my art and how I can better my work.”
ᎦᏚᏏ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – Benjamin Harjo Jr. ᎾᎿ ᏚᏂᏃᏗ ᏍᎪᎯᏁᎢ ᎤᏓᏒᏅ “ᏬᏌᏂᏴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏂᎳᎾᎥᎢ” ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎵᏁ ᎾᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎲᎢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏅ ᎤᏂᏍᎪᎸᏗᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᎦᏕᎬᎵᏙ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎵᎡᎸᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏍᏓᏯ ᏅᏱ ᏧᏂᏒᏍᏗ & ᏧᏂᏆᏂᏲᏍᏗ ᏔᎳᏏ.
Harjo (Absentee Shawnee/Seminole) ᎾᎿ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ ᏗᎦᏚᎲ ᎡᎯ ᎤᎩᏒ ᎠᏌᏍᏛ ᏚᏂᏃᏗ ᏍᎪᎯᏁ ᏓᎾᏓᏂᎸᎬ ᎠᏃᏢᏅᏍᎩ.
ᎤᏓᏒᎲᏍᏔᏅᏃ ᎤᏑᏫᏓ ᏧᏙᎩᏓ “ᎢᎬᏯ ᎠᏁᎢ ᎾᏃ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎾᏅᏁ ᎠᏂᏔᎵ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁ ᎾᎿ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏑᏫᏓ.
“ᏓᎪᎵᏰᏍᎬ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏅ ᎠᏂᎡᏖᎦᏏ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏩᎦᏘᎶᏗ ᏂᏓᏅᏁᎲ ᏚᎾᎧᏛ ᏗᏂᏍᎪᎳ, ᏗᏂᏍᎪᎸ ᏓᏮᏔᏅ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏥᏯᏎᎮᎸ ᎢᏧᏅᏗ ᏧᏂᏑᏫᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗᏍᎬ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Harjo. “ᎢᎦ ᎦᎵᎡᎵᎬ ᎠᎩᏍᏆᏛ ᎯᎠ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏃᏊ.”
ᎤᏛᏅ Ꮭ ᏯᏓᏅᏖᏍᎨ ᎤᏓᏒᎲᏍᏗᏱ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏑᏫᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏛᏅ “ᎢᎦ ᎤᏓᏅᏖᏗᏍᎬ.” ᏃᎴ ᏚᎵᎮᎵᏤᎸ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᏄᏅᏂᏌᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏲᎵᏊ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎤᏚᎦ ᎠᏋᎭ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏂ ᎠᎾᏓᏁᏟᏴᏏᏒ ᏣᎾᎢ ᎤᏂᎪᎵᏱᏓ ᏓᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᏗᎦᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Harjo ᎤᏪᏙᎸ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏐᏁᎳ ᏄᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎸᎢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎾᏕᏒᎲᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎠᏁᏙᎭ ᎠᏃᏍᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎭᏂ. ᏝᏃ ᏥᏁᏆ ᎾᎿ Santa Fe ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎤᎾᏓᎾᏅᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏯᏂᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏃᏢᏅᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏢᎾᎣᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏘᏃᎯᎲ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎯᎠ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᏌᏍᏓᏅᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ
CAM ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎵᏙᎯ Deborah Fritts ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎯᎦᏍᎪ ᏅᎩ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ, ᎤᏂᎪᏛᏃ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ, ᏂᎬᎢ ᎠᎹᏱᏟ ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎶᏒ ᎠᏂᏲᎯᎰ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅ ᎠᏂᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ. ᎤᏛᏅᏃ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎾᎿ ᎯᎦᏍᎪ ᏂᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎤᏂᏲᎸᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎾᏗᏅᏒ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏚᏂᏃᏗ ᏌᏚᏏᏁ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎳᏚᏏᏁᎢ.
ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏓᎪᎾᏗᏍᎪ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏌᏍᏛ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏂᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏅ, ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏗᏑᏫᏓ, ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ, ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᎸᏍᎦ ᎢᏳᏓᎴ ᎡᎵᏭ ᏄᏓᎴ ᎦᎬᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏓᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏓᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ; ᎠᏂᏲᏢᏅᏅ; ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᏓᏢᏓ/ᏧᎩᏓᏟ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎢᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ porcupine ᎢᏧᏅᏕᏓ ᏧᏒᏙᏓ; ᏔᎷᏣ; ᏗᎦᏓᎫᎫ; ᏗᎾᏬ; ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᏯᏢᏗ.
Fritts ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ CAM ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎪ ᎤᏍᏕᎵᏗ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᏱᏟ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ, ᏗᎨᏲᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᎩᏲᏎᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏕᏓᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎬ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ.
ᏌᏊ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎢᎾ ᎤᏂᎩᏒ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏗᏫᏍᏗ ᎠᎹᏱᏟ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏙᎥ Antonia Grant ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏯᎴᏃ ᎡᎯ. ᎤᏲᏢᏅ ᏓᎬᎾ ᎤᏬᏢᏔᏅᏅ ᏯᏛᎾ ᏗᎧᏃᎮᏢᏍᎬ ᏗᏓᏠᏍᏗ, ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᏓᏢᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏟᎠᏙ.
“ᎯᎠ ᎠᏁᎲ ᏂᏓᏳᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎤᏯᏍᎦ ᎦᏙ ᎡᎾᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᎤᎦᎾᏮᎧᎸᎬᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.
ᎬᏗᏍᎪ “ᏧᏪᏘ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ” ᏂᏓᏳᎶᏒ Mississippi Era. ᎤᏤᎵ Mississippi ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏗ ᏗᏯᏠᏗ ᏗᎪᎥ “ᏩᎦᏴᎵᏴ ᏗᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎡᎲᎢ” ᎤᏓᏒᏅ “ᏬᏃᏂᏴ ᎾᎿ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏂᎬᏅᎢ” ᏗᏯᏢᏗ.
“ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎪ (ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏛ) ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎦᏴᎵ ᎯᏍᎩᏧᏢ ᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ. ᏧᏪᏘ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎪ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏓᏅᏕᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏙᎸ ᎬᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎤᏠ ᎨᏐ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎪ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᏓᏅᏁᎲ ᏓᏂᏲᏢᏍᎬ ᏧᏯᏍᎦ ᎤᎵᏛᏔᏂ. ᎣᏥᎦᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎰᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ Mr. Dan Townsend. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᎩᏎᎮᎸ ᎯᎠ ᏥᏂᎦᏛᏁᎭ. ᎠᏇᏲᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎯᏓ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᎥ.”
ᎦᏛᎠᎾᏔ (ᏣᎳᎩ/Navajo) ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵᏁᏊ ᏥᎨᏙᎭ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎾᏕᏒᎲᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᏛᏅ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᏕᎪᎵᎬ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎠᏃᏢᏅᏍᎩ ᎠᎴᎠᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅᎢ.
“ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏙ ᎠᏃᏢᏅᏍᎩ ᎦᏥᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅ ᏥᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬ,” ᎤᏛᏅ. “ᏂᏓᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏥᏧᏣᏊ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏥᏍᏆᏂᎪᏍᎬ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏅ. ᎢᏤ ᏍᏆᏂ ᏥᏁᎸ. ᎾᎿᏃ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ ᎡᏥ. ᏂᏓᏕᏂᎩᏓ Navajo ᎤᎾᏐᏴ. ᏓᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎦᏃᏥ ᎪᏢᏅᏗ, ᏃᏯ ᎬᏗ ᎪᏢᏔᏅᏗ, ᏗᎬᏗ. ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏥᎦᏔᎲᎢ. ᏃᎴᏍᏊ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎾᏛᏁᏥ ᎢᎦᏓ. ᏃᎴᏍᏊ, ᏧᎦᏴᎵᎨ…… ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏁᎦ ᎠᏃᏢᏔᏅᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ. ᎡᏙᏓ, ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏪᏘᎢ. ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏅᏯ ᎬᏔᏅᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ, ᎠᏂᏲᏝᏅᏍᎩ , ᎪᎳ ᏓᏂᏲᏢᏍᎬ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎲᎢ.”
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎪᏢᏅᏍᎩ Troy Jackson ᎾᎿ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎡᎯ ᎤᏓᏠᏒ “ᏬᏌᏂᏴ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ” ᎠᎴ “ᏗᏅᎪᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏑᏱᏓ” ᎤᏓᏠᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏓᏆᎵ ᎤᏬᏢᏔᏅ “ᎠᏓᏁᏗ” ᏚᏬᎡᎢ.
“ᎠᏆᏛᏌ ᎾᎿ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏲᏁᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ. ᎤᎪᏓ ᏥᎩᏒᎲᏍᎬ ᎢᏧᎳ ᏗᎬᎦᏔ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏬᏢᏅ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏂᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᎵᎧᎢ.
ᎤᎪᏓ ᏗᏓᎳᏏᏁᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏳᏍᏗᏓᏂ ᏗᎬᎭᎷᏴ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᏅᎢ. ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎡᎩᏁᎸ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎨᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏣᏗ ᏙᏘᎪᎯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏄᏍᏗᏓᎾᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ. “ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏱᎪᏢᏅ, ᏃᏒᎾ ᎡᏓᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎢᎩᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ, ᎠᏣᏗ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏕᏐᎪᏩᏘᏍᎪ ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙ.”
ᎤᏛᏅ ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎬᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏔ ᎠᎾᏁᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᏁᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᎴᎢ ᏯᏛᎾ ᏄᏩᏁᎸᏅᎢ.
ᎯᎢᏃ ᎠᏲᏢᏅᎢ ᏅᎩᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ ᎢᏏᏔᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᎦᏘ, ᏍᎩᎦᏚ ᎢᏏᏔᏗᏍᏗ ᎢᏯᏖᎾ ᎠᎴ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᏏᏔᏗᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᏅᏪᏓ. Jackson ᎤᏛᏅ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᏔᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ, ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏗ ᎩᎶ ᎠᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏬᎯᏳᏒ ᎤᏁᎳᏅᎯᎢ.
ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏊ ᎤᏁᎳᏅᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎡᎩᏁᎸᎯ--ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Jackson ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᏪᏙᎸ CAM ᎾᎿ ᏧᏁᎳ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏛᏅ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎨᏐ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏗᏓᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᏙᎲ ᎡᏙᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏓᎪᎾᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏓ ᎠᏆᏓᎪᎾᏙᏗᎢ, ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏓᎴ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎦᏁᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏠᏯᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏱᎦ ᏕᎦᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏓᏤᏢ ᎢᎬᏊᏅᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”