Tahlequah Daily Press


October 1, 2013

Humor inspires Chunestudy to create

TAHLEQUAH — For artist Callie Chunestudy, family support was always something she could count on.

“I think my younger years in southern California, going to fine art museums and the ballet with my grandma exposed me to the more classical arts, and my dad and living in the Cherokee Nation as an adolescent gave me the love for traditional arts and crafts,” Chunestudy said.

Now she attempts to cohesively meld the two through her artistic expression, she said.

‘I really can’t pick a certain artist or teacher who encouraged me, they were really all so great,” she said. “I tend to find something to appreciate in all things so it is hard to pick, but at the risk of sounding trite, I do have to say that my parents never discouraged me from it, even though it might not be the most lucrative calling. They are both creative people and I think that is a big factor in what makes me creative.”

Chunestudy, a cultural specialist at the Cherokee Arts Center and Spider Gallery, enjoys her work assisting artists and making sales for them.

Getting to know local artists is one of her favorite aspects of the job.

“I enjoy getting to spend time with all of the artists that come and being in the thick of it, and I get to see all the creativity and inspiration that abounds,” she said. “Oh, and paying the artists. I don’t actually pay them myself, but when we sell pieces in the gallery I get to do the paperwork that gets them paid. That makes me feel awesome and excited for them.”

Art found her in high school.

In 1995 Chunestudy moved to Teresita with her family, when she was 13. She went to Oaks Mission High School graduating with the class of ‘99.

“Working in Tahlequah and attending NSU was a natural transition for me after high school,” she said. “After traveling a bit and attending college in Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., for a couple of years I decided to come back to finish my degree. I ended up meeting my husband and settling here, and can’t imagine living anywhere else now.”

She gradated from NSU in 2006.

Humor inspires her, she said.

“A better question might be, what doesn’t inspire me? But if I had to choose, I’d say that I really appreciate humor in art. Comics inspire me, although that isn’t a medium I’ve ever worked in,” she said. “A few other things that inspire me would be great smells – like potting soil and rain, the stark ugliness and sadness of something dead, or the grace of a classical dancer. In truth, the world and all that is in it is inspiring.”

Presently, she’s painting and sculpting clay, but enjoys most media.

“Ideas can translate across media in really cool ways. Art is fun that way!” Chunestudy said.

“In painting, I prefer the abstract and surreal. In sculpture I like more minimal, amorphous silhouettes, but am pondering an effigy series, so we’ll see how that goes.”

She prefers painting shapes more than subjects, and concentrating on negative space and relating it to color, but this mixing can often create a subject for the piece.

“I am also in the planning stages something done more realistically, so, new avenues all the way around right for me,” she said.

Although she’s been in a few juried shows and had a few honorable mentions, she really hasn’t competed all that much, but is seriously gearing up to change that, putting her sights on the Trail of Tears show at the Cherokee Heritage Center this spring.


Text Only
  • 22ndAmendment.jpg Presidential terms limited by 22nd Amendment

    The past 30 years have been marked by occasional grumbling from one American political party, and celebration from the other - depending on who occupies the White House - about the disqualification of a president after eight years of service.
    For much of the nation’s history, a presidency could last indefinitely.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1-ts CN opt 1.jpg Cherokees commemorate Act of Union

    Cherokee Nation dignitaries met on the historic courthouse square Tuesday to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Act of Union following the end of the Trail of Tears Removal.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage