TULSA — Skip the lines at stores and avoid national supply chain issues and shop for top-notch Native American art at the 16th Annual Cherokee Art Market, held virtually through Dec. 17.
“The Cherokee Art Market is more than a market. It’s a celebration of the beautiful, thriving cultures of Indigenous peoples around the world,” said Senior Chef Chuck Hoskin Jr. “While we look forward to when we can return to the in-person event, this annual market has the transition to the online platform was extremely successful. As the holidays approach, I hope the public will join me in shopping at the Market and purchasing unique, quality artwork from talented Indigenous artists.
The market features nearly 80 performers, representing various tribal nations, competing in eight classes. This year’s Best of Show award went to Ingalik-Athabascan artist Glenda McKay for her ‘Forget-Me-Not’ seal, sea otter and deer skin handbag.
This is the second time McKay has won the prestigious Best of Show recognition at the Cherokee Art Market. In 2016, she won the title for her sealskin basket “Ingalik Charm Basket”.
“I am so grateful and honored by this recognition. There’s a lot of amazing work this year and the competition is always tougher,” McKay said. “When I started this piece, I wanted to do something that people could remember. I used traditional techniques and materials with a lot of meaning. It took over a year to complete, because I do all my hunting and tanning myself, but all the details are what makes this piece so special.
The Best of Show piece represents a connection to the past and honors missing and murdered Indigenous peoples. A large blue forget-me-not flower highlights McKay’s intricate beadwork, surrounded by hand-carved mammoth and walrus ivory beads linking 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 his walrus harpoon.
Cherokee Art Market is historically one of the largest exhibits of Native American art in the state and one of the best Native American art markets in the country. In an effort to promote wellness and help combat 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.
Here are highlights of the Cherokee Art Market 2021 Best of Class winners:
Class 1 – Painting, Drawing, Graphic Design & Photography
Billy Hensley, Chickasaw Nation, “Puskawo’ Fochik”
Class 2 – Sculpture
Eva Cantrell, Cherokee Nation, “2020 Turmoil”
Class 3 – Beadwork/Quills
Glenda McKay, Ingalik-Athabascan, “Forget-Me-Not”
Class 4 – Basketry
Renee Hoover, Cherokee Nation, “The Beauty of Fall”
Class 5 – Pottery
Brenda Hill, Six Nations Tuscarora-Sanborn, “#MMIWG2 Tears For…”
Class 6 – Textiles
Karen Berry, Cherokee Nation, “The Eternal War”
Class 7 – Jewelry
Richard Aguilar, Mississippi Choctaw/Santo Domingo Pueblo, “Moon and Star”
Class 8 – Various art forms
Monica Raphael, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa/Sicangu Sioux/Huron and Pokagon Potawatomi Indians, “Eagle Carries our Prayers”
Culture Guardian Award
Crystal Hanna, Cherokee Nation, “Moundville Duck”
Yonavea Hawkins, Caddo Nation, “Hasinay Wind Talkers”
A full list of winners from the 16th Annual Cherokee Art Market is available on the CDA website, along with a variety of cultural demonstrations and artist conversations each day. To visit www.CherokeeArtMarket.com for more information.