Cherokee Art Market Returns to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa for the 10th Straight Year

Cherokee Art Market will draw thousands

Cherokee Art Market will draw thousands

Guest Commentary

Published October 4, 2015

Cherokee artists and artisans are among some of the most diverse and talented in all of Indian Country, and you’ll find the best of the best all in one place next weekend. The Cherokee Art Market is returning to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa for its 10th year Oct. 10 and 11.

What started as a modest show in the parking lot of the resort 10 years ago has grown into one of the most celebrated shows in the nation. There will be sculptures, woodworking, jewelry, ceramics and glass, photography, mixed media, paintings and drawings, basketry, gourd art and every other type of artwork you can imagine.

When this show began 10 years ago, it was to fill a void in the Native art community. Too many Southeastern artists like Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles were being overlooked for what was then the more popular Southwestern artwork. Prestigious art shows like Santa Fe Indian Market were competitive, and many Southeastern artists were not given a second look.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker

Principal Chief Bill John Baker

We knew our artists deserved a place to showcase our rich and colorful culture, so we decided to create our own market for Cherokee and other Southeastern artists. Now, 10 years later, the show has grown into one of the most popular and respected juried art shows in the nation.  The Cherokee Art Market is now held in the 15,000-square-foot Sequoyah Ballroom at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and Native artists from around the country clamor to enter the show.

The Cherokee Art Market is a place for artists to sell their art, of course, but it’s also a competitive venue with talented artists and artisans from around the country hoping to win the title of Best in Show. In all, there are 22 categories and $75,000 in prize money up for grabs.

Many of our artists still compete in prestigious shows like Santa Fe Indian Market and others, which have been around for decades. We’re grateful they are able to share their art with the world in those venues, but our own Cherokee Art Market is now competitive with those shows, now even drawing in Southwestern and Plains artists. We feel there’s something special about that—being able to provide another prominent venue, right here in our own backyard.

So I encourage all of you to visit the Cherokee Art Market Oct. 10 and 11 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa and take in the fine artwork of our talented Cherokees and other artists from around the country. I hope to see you there.

Wado.

Bill John Baker is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

 

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