ROSE, Okla.— Cherokee Nation citizen Clesta Martin Manley has explored many painting techniques, media and subjects throughout her career and has always found a way to connect her passion for art and her Cherokee heritage.

Many of her pieces feature the iconic Saline Courthouse, which are presented alongside other original works and prints in the “Clesta Martin Manley: The Art of Memory” exhibit open Jan. 5 – Feb. 27.

“Clesta has a beautiful history with the Saline Courthouse that includes her family hosting large gatherings there for many years,” said Krystan Moser, manager of cultural collections and exhibits for Cherokee Nation. “We’re pleased to be able to present her work and look forward to celebrating the significance of this iconic place to Clesta and the community.”

The 96-year-old Claremore native earned the Cherokee National Treasure distinction in 2014, honoring her lifelong passion and commitment to art.

A regular exhibitor at art shows throughout northeastern Oklahoma, Martin Manley has been a member of the Brush & Palette Club in Grove for nearly 40 years and part of the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club of Claremore for about 50 years. Her education includes study at Rogers State University, the University of Tulsa and a study-abroad program in Italy.

The Saline Courthouse is the last of nine district courthouses built in the 1800s by the Cherokee Nation. After years of ongoing work to restore, preserve and modernize the structure, Cherokee Nation reopened the site in August 2020 as a cultural museum. It is located at 55870 S. 490 Rd. in Rose.

Cherokee Nation museums offer free admission and are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, please call (877) 779-6977 or visit

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