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16th annual Cherokee Art Market to be held virtually

The market featuring nearly 80 artists, is being held virtually for the second time in an effort to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

TULSA, Okla. — The 16th annual Cherokee Art Market will be held virtually from Dec 6-17. The market will feature nearly 80 artists who represent various tribal nations, competing in eight classes. 

In order to help fight the spread of COVID-19 the market is being held virtually for the second time. Website visitors can browse the market or search by price, medium, tribe, or artist.

Officials with Cherokee Nation say Cherokee Art Market is historically one of the largest Native American art shows in the state and one of the finest Native American art markets in the country.

“The Cherokee Art Market is more than a market. It is a celebration of the beautiful, thriving cultures of Native people everywhere,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “While we look forward to a time when we can return to the in-person event, this annual market has done tremendously well transitioning to the online platform. We’ve invested resources to ensure that artists have a safe way to engage with the public and showcase their work to an ever-expanding audience. As the holidays approach, I hope the public will join me in shopping the market and purchasing unique, quality art from talented Native artists.”

This year, artist Ingalik-Athabascan Glenda McKay was awarded Best of Show for her seal, sea otter, and deer skin purse “Forget-Me-Not.” This is her second time earning the prestigious Best of Show recognition at Cherokee Art Market. Mckay took home the title for her seal-skin basket “Ingalik Charm Basket" in 2016.

“I’m so thankful and honored for this recognition. There is a lot of amazing work this year, and the competition is always growing stronger,” said McKay. “When I started this piece, I wanted to do something that we could remember people by. I used traditional techniques and materials with great meaning. It took over a year to complete, as I do all of my own hunting and tanning, but all of the details are what makes this piece so special.”

Officials say the Best of Show piece represents a connection to the past and pays tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Credit: Cherokee Art Market

A large, blue Forget-Me-Not flower showcases McKay’s intricate beadwork, surrounded by hand-carved mammoth and walrus ivory beads connecting the past and present.

McKay also received second-place honors in Diverse Arts for her walrus harpoon.

Cherokee Art Market 2021 Best of Class winners:

Class 1 – Painting, Drawing, Graphics & Photography

Billy Hensley, Chickasaw Nation, “Puskawo’ Fochik”

Class 2 – Sculpture

Eva Cantrell, Cherokee Nation, “2020 Turmoil”

Class 3 – Beadwork/Quillwork

Glenda McKay, Ingalik-Athabascan, “Forget-Me-Not”

Class 4 – Basketry

Renee Hoover, Cherokee Nation, “Autumn’s Beauty”

Class 5 – Pottery

Brenda Hill, Six Nations Tuscarora-Sanborn, “#MMIWG2 Tears For…”

Class 6 – Textiles

Karen Berry, Cherokee Nation, “The Forever War”

Class 7 – Jewelry

Richard Aguilar, Mississippi Choctaw/Santo Domingo Pueblo, “Moon and Star”

Class 8 – Diverse Art Forms

Monica Raphael, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians/Sicangu Sioux/Huron and Pokagon Potawatomi, “Eagle Carries our Prayers”

Culture Keeper Award

Crystal Hanna, Cherokee Nation, “Moundville Duck”

Innovator Award

Yonavea Hawkins, Caddo Nation, “Hasinay Wind Talkers”

For a complete list of winners from the 16th Annual Cherokee Art Market, or to view a variety of cultural demonstrations and artist conversations each day, you can visit www.CherokeeArtMarket.com.