Featuring nearly 150 artists from approximately 50 tribal nations, the annual Cherokee Art Market will take place October 8-9 inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. A world-class art experience, this year’s calendar of events features five live artist demonstrations per day, in media ranging from pottery and painting to Indigenous fashion and storytelling.
“That’s our job as artists. We are visual storytellers,” says the multidisciplinary artist Bryan Waytula, who will show off her talent in colored pencil drawing as one of this year’s live demonstrators. “I try to educate other people who may not know much about Native American history. I try to learn more myself and pass on some of it to those who appreciate and admire the work we do as Native American artists.
Waytula’s range of media includes colored pencil and charcoal, and he is known for combining traditional culture with contemporary art. This year he will bring a variety of pieces to CAM, ranging from small acrylics and canvas prints to larger competition works. He will also have his original limited-edition “Yona” (meaning “bear” in Cherokee) cast resin sculptures, which can only be purchased in person.
For Waytula, a third-generation Cherokee artist, art is more than a profession, it’s a family heirloom. His grandmother, Betty Scraper Garnerand mother, Vivian Cotrell, are both Cherokee National Treasures in the art of basket weaving. Waytula and her mother often share a booth at CAM.
Deborah FrittCAM Coordinator, is thrilled that this year’s event is happening in person after two years of virtual market.
“It’s like a family reunion every year,” she says. “I really like the feel of CAM. The artists are sitting there talking to each other and talking to the audience. It’s nice and relaxing, and kind of intimate.
Fritts emphasizes that CAM is welcoming to everyone.
“You don’t have to be native to appreciate native art, and you don’t have to be a big collector,” she says. “At CAM, you can talk directly to the artists and get to know them and learn more about their art.”
For more information, visit cherokeeartmarket.com.