Oklahoma Arts Council
NSU, Oklahoma Arts Council partner on art series highlighting Cherokee culture
TAHLEQUAH — The Northeastern State University Center for Tribal Studies has partnered with the Oklahoma Arts Council to celebrate Cherokee art during American Indian Heritage month.
The Oklahoma Arts Council provided the center funding to host the Celebration of Artwork by Cherokees Series which is part of the campus’ commemoration of American Indian Heritage month this November.
“The purpose of these events is to not only celebrate Indigenous art, but to provide a space for our campus and larger community to learn about the uniqueness and diversity of Indigenous cultures in a contemporary light,” NSU Director of the Center for Tribal Studies Sara Barnett said.
The first of three events planned throughout the month took place on Wednesday with a moccasin demonstration local Cherokee Matthew Anderson. The demonstration took place in-person and was also live streamed on the Center for Tribal Studies Facebook page.
Anderson led in-person and virtual attendees through the steps to making pucker-toe moccasins using one piece of Elk hide. He also used a Glover’s needle, scissors, flat sinew, newspaper and a marker to measure and make the moccasins.
Anderson works in the Spider Gallery at the Cherokee Arts Center. He learned a number of traditional skills from his father using leather, wood, metal, bead and bow making among others. He was also taught painting and pottery by his aunt.
Other events planned as part of the art series include a presentation with local Cherokee artist Bryan Waytula and an oblique weaving demonstration with Dr. Candessa Tehee, assistant professor in Cherokee and Indigenous Studies.
Waytula earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma and went on to become a high school art teacher and professional for 13 years. Now focused solely on his work as an artist, his art is featured and recognized in juried art shows across the nation, including Santa Fe Indian Market, The Autry in Los Angeles and the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
Waytula’s presentation will take place on Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed on Northeastern State University’s official Facebook page.
Tehee was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2019 for her weaving skills. She has also won many art show awards including the Cherokee National Art Market, the Five Civilized Tribes Museum and the Southeastern Indian Art Show. She has also taught weaving classes at the Cherokee Heritage Center and Tahlequah Public Library.
Tehee’s weaving demonstration will take place on Nov. 16. She will give a short presentation at 11 am in UC 222 from 11 a.m. to 11:30 am, then move to the basement of the UC for the weaving demonstration until 1 pm. Individuals are welcome to come and go during the demonstration.
Outside the Celebration of Artwork by Cherokees Series, NSU has a number of events planned to commemorate American Indian Heritage Month this year.
Other events planned include film screenings, discussions and other traditional demonstrations. For more information about the various events planned at NSU for American Indian Heritage Month contact the Center for Tribal Studies at 918-444-4350 or email email@example.com. For a full list of events visit Center for tribal Studies.
Matt Anderson Moccasin Demo - Matthew Anderson demonstrates how to make a pucker-toe moccasin at Northeastern State University as part of the Celebration of Artwork by Cherokees Series for American Indian Heritage Month.