Chickasaw Cultural Center to Host Chickasaw Artists on December 17

Published December 11, 2016

Joanna Underwood-Blackburn

Joanna Underwood-Blackburn

SULPHUR, OKLAHOMA – Nationally and internationally acclaimed Chickasaw artists are poised to display works of fine Native American art Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Holiday Art Show and Market.

Sixteen artisans will be on hand. Among them are:

Joanna Underwood-Blackburn is a celebrated potter whose artwork is inspired by early Chickasaw culture and ancient designs from the southeast, where the tribe thrived until removal to Indian Territory in 1837.

Oka’ Chokmasi – a tranquil, water-themed park across the street from the Artesian Hotel and Chickasaw Welcome Center in Sulphur – is filled with bronze artwork crafted by Underwood-Blackburn commissioned by the Chickasaw Nation.

She has placed in many art competitions compiling many awards. Her pottery was judged “Best of Division” and awarded first place at the Southeastern Art Show and Market in Tishomingo; “Best of Division” at the famed Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City and first place at the Santa Fe Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Underwood-Blackburn earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma

Margaret Roach Wheeler is an award-winning weaver, fiber expert and textile artist. She served as the artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York.

Wheeler exhibited works at the Museum of Art and Design and the Institute of American Indian Arts, among others. She won numerous awards including the “President’s Award” at Red Earth Festival and textile awards at the 2009 Southeastern Art Show and Market in Tishomingo.

Wheeler is the owner of Mahota Handwovens, where she designs contemporary fashions and traditional Native American regalia. Wheeler’s loom work is a permanent fixture of the ARTesian Art Gallery in Sulphur where visitors may watch as artisans loom and weave beautiful textile colors into works of art and functional fashions.

Daniel Worcester is an award-winning blade smith. Eight times he has won first place awards at Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

His work has been selected by the Museum of Arts and Design, in New York for the “Exchanging Hands II” exhibit. Worcester knives have also been exhibited at many major museums across the United States including the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe; Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Florida; Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage, Alaska; Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York; Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Dustin Mater is a sculptor, painter, master craftsman of gorget finery and eclectic visionary.

Mater’s “The Unextinguished Fire” took top honors in the Sculpture Division at the Southwest Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA) Indian Market, one of the most prestigious Native American art shows in the nation.

Mater’s art has been displayed and sold at Orenda Art International in Paris, France, and Indigenous Brilliance in Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as accepted nationally by several venues, including the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Brent Greenwood

Brent Greenwood

Brent Greenwood is a multi-medium artist in several disciplines.

Greenwood’s painting “Native Sisters” was named “Best in Show” at the 22nd Annual Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale in Denver, Colorado, during summer 2015. Greenwood is the first Chickasaw artist to provide commissioned work for the Oklahoma Native American Caucus Room at the Oklahoma State Capitol, which found a permanent home next to the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Greenwood’s functional and decorative ceremonial hand drum is adorned with a photograph of early Chickasaw legislators circa 1880s.

He also was commissioned by Oklahoma City University (OCU) for a painting of three women gathering healing herbs – one his grandmother and another famed Chickasaw medicine woman Bicey Walker. It is proudly displayed in OCU’s school of nursing.

A native Oklahoman, Greenwood is Chickasaw and Ponca. He is a graduate in fine arts disciplines from the Institute of American Indian Arts and Oklahoma City University.

Ellen Etzler is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. She is self-taught and began her journey as an artist just a few years ago when the last of her five children left home.

Her strong suits are painting, collage and print-making. She is strongly influenced by a California childhood and says her paintings include “sunshine, beaches, bright colors and hippies.” Etzler’s current work is focused on the history and stories of the Chickasaw and other Native people while exploring other areas of artistic interest.

Ten additional artists will be featured. They include Tuttle, Oklahoma resident Misti Butler who specializes in 3D art; Melvin Burris, a Stonewall, Oklahoma, resident who crafts fine jewelry and basketry; Billy Hensley, a Norman native, will show paintings inspired by Chickasaw culture and heritage. His goal is to be a part of a movement to help Chickasaw artist gain a foothold in the global art community; Nancy Johnson of Oklahoma City will bring a diversity of art to display; E. Dee Tabor, a Tulsa resident also specializes in 3D art and is inspired by Nature and her Chickasaw heritage, E.Dee designs and creates unique hand-crafted jewelry.  As an artisan jeweler, she works with a variety of natural stones, pearls, glass, and metals; Chickasaw elder Pat Cox, an Ada resident, will bring leather-tooled art; Mariah Greenwood-Adair, also of Ada, is a master beadwork craftswoman with beautiful earrings and bracelets; Brian Landreth, a Midwest City painter who has drawn Native American inspiration for full-blood Chickasaw and Choctaw grandparents; and Jeremy and Ashley Wallace, also of Ada, specializing in weaponry, drums, flutes, fashion, purses and other art of various genres.

For more information about the art market, phone the Chickasaw Cultural Center at 580-622-7130. The 184-acre facility is located at 867 Cooper Memorial Drive in Sulphur.

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