TULSA, Okla. – Skip store lines and avoid national supply chain issues by shopping premier Native American art at the 16th annual Cherokee Art Market, hosted virtually Dec. 6-17.
“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.”
The market features nearly 80 artists, representing various tribal nations, competing in eight classes. This year’s Best of Show was awarded to Ingalik-Athabascan artist Glenda McKay for her seal, sea otter and deer skin purse “Forget-Me-Not.”
This is the second time McKay has earned the prestigious Best of Show recognition at Cherokee Art Market. In 2016, she took home the title for her seal-skin basket “Ingalik Charm Basket.”
“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.”
The Best of Show piece represents a connection to the past and pays tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous people. 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.
In addition to this year’s Best of Show and Best in Class awards, McKay also received second-place honors in Diverse Arts for her walrus harpoon.
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. In an effort to promote wellness and help fight the spread of COVID-19, this is the second year the market has been offered virtually. Through the interactive website, visitors can browse the market or search by price, medium, tribe or artist.
The following highlights the 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”
Yonavea Hawkins, Caddo Nation, “Hasinay Wind Talkers”
A complete list of winners from the 16th annual Cherokee Art Market can be found on the website, in addition to a variety of cultural demonstrations and artist conversations each day. Please visit www.CherokeeArtMarket.com for more information.