The art and history of the Cherokee Nation have shaped northeast Oklahoma for generations. Now we are undertaking a new public project that better connects our cultural, artistic and historic sites near our iconic Capitol Square in downtown Tahlequah. When completed this summer, the Cherokee art park and cultural pathway will be a destination for locals and visitors from all over the world.
I’m proud to say that the seed for this project began with Cherokee Nation First Lady January Hoskin. January and I love Tahlequah, and we also both love Cherokee art, making this project near and dear to our hearts. An artistic pathway is a natural fit to showcase the work of Cherokee Nation’s many talented artists.
The project aims to create spaces where all people feel welcome to gather, enjoy public art and learn our deeper history. We are collaborating with Tahlequah’s city leaders to improve pedestrian accessibility with new walkways and exciting new features such as a public gathering space, art displays, a chalk wall, new landscaping, outdoor lighting and park-style furniture.
The project will link Cherokee Nation’s existing downtown cultural features, making them all more accessible. Pedestrians will be able to safely travel between sites, including the Cherokee National History Museum, Cherokee National Prison Museum, Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, Cherokee Arts Center, Cherokee National Peace Pavilion, Kawi Café and Spider Gallery.
The outdoor gallery space will also host a wide range of other Cherokee cultural highlights, including storytelling, song and other performance art. We will bring quality cultural experiences out of our museums for the public to safely enjoy outdoors. We can also host mini art markets and community festivals. The possibilities are unlimited.
Our team at Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is acting quickly to bring this project to life. It’s a project with no real end date, as we can always add enhancements to the art park and pathway with sculptures and public art throughout the years. The enhanced space will amplify all of Cherokee Nation’s current strategies to support our artisans and share our culture with the world.
More than anything, this is an opportunity to invest in our capital city and showcase a unique collection of cultural, artistic and historical resources that are already a tourism anchor for Cherokee Nation. We hope people will find the new art walk inspiring and that it leads them to explore their own creativity and culture.
Chuck Hoskin Jr.