Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

December 31, 2012

Artist relies on spirituality

TAHLEQUAH — As he smooths his hand down the side of the large sculpture, Eddie Morrison turns the piece to show the best view.

He said he had forgotten how many hours of work went into this  particular creation, as he made it about 20 years ago, but it would take him 30 days today.

“I have better tools, and more skill,” the Cherokee sculptor said.

A treasured piece, it has been kept in the home he shares with wife Faye, but his work is found in private and public collections throughout the United States. He was chosen Artist of the Month in 2000 by the American Indian Arts and Crafts Shop and had his work displayed in the Department of Interior Building in Washington, D.C. At home, his design was chosen in 2001 for the first Christmas ornament produced by the Cherokee Nation.  

“Besides my own feelings and interpretations, my ideas and themes come from the philosophies of Indians about life, spirituality, respect for life, animals and all that is around us, and the Great Creator,” Morrison said.

For 40 years, he’s been making art and today specializes in creating three-dimensional works from wood, stone and bronze in a style both traditional and contemporary, with multiple layers of visual interest and meaning.

“I let the material speak for itself, as sometimes it has a story of its own to tell,” Morrison said. “I started out as a painter, but fell in love with sculpting later on.”

While he’s been a full-time artist for the last decade, the Tahlequah native retired from medical technology.

“Tahlequah is where I grew up, went to grade school, high school, and college, and graduated from Northeastern with a BS degree in 1969,” he said. “I love Tahlequah and everything about it. I live north of town, in Steeley Hollow, and when I came back 12 years ago , I knew I was home to stay.”

After college, he left Tahlequah and went to Santa Fe, N.M.

“I went back to school in my 40s and got an art degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in 1993, and studied three-dimensional art,” he said.

It was there he earned the Faculty Department Award for Outstanding Student in Three-Dimensional Art.

One artist who has greatly inspired Morrison with sculpting is Alan Houser.

“I’ve been influenced by the great Apache sculptor Alan Houser, who I was fortunate to have known and studied under at the Art Student League of Denver, in a marble sculpting class,” he said.

Mediums he works in are wood, stone and bronze, Morrison said, “and really enjoy doing stone sculpting, as it is a challenge.”

“The passion,” is why he sculpts, he said. “I will keep challenging myself to do bigger and better art.”

He is one of those people who has to create

“I make art because it is in my blood, I guess, and the good Lord blessed me with a gift,” he said. “I want to keep doing stone sculpting long as I can, but it is getting harder to handle and lift the stone as I get older, so don’t know how much longer I can do it, but I’ll do it as long as I can.”

Opportunities have found Morrison because of his artistic creations.

“Art has taken me to a lot of places I’ve never been before and my art’s gone around the world,” Morrison said.

A monument he sculpted sits on the Oklahoma Kansas border, where the Chisholm Trail crossed into Kansas at Caldwell, Kansas, he said.

“It’s dedicated to Jesse Chisholm, who was half Cherokee,” he said.

The 1,600-pound piece, made of limestone, was completed in 1995.

Other places his work is displayed publicly, besides the piece on the Chisholm Trail, include the Fort Restaurant in Denver, which has three of his pieces in the court yard; the Indian Center Museum in Wichita, Kan.; the McCarty State Farm Office in Owasso; the Border Queen Museum in Kansas; a bank in Medford; the Three Forks Ranch near Muskogee has three pieces; and the Kansas/Oklahoma Telephone Company has one in its lobby.

“Art tells a lot about us to future generations, I believe, and always has,” Morrison said. “And I like to think that some of my art will be here on this earth hundreds of years after I’m gone.”

He was influenced by growing up around family, like his grandmother Jane Batt Brackett, and others who were always making something with their hands, he said, including quilts, crocheting, bows, and more.

“Some of my earliest recollections are my grandmother and aunt designing and crafting quilts,” he said. “And my best friend’s father would sit for hours on end carving pieces of wood into beautiful traditional bows and arrows, which greatly influenced my feeling for wood.”

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Features
  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Stocks