Six Cherokee National Treasures and one United Keetoowah Band Tradition Keeper were among the 73 artists who submitted the 119 pieces accepted for the 24th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show and Sale.
The opening reception and awards ceremony was held Friday night at the Cherokee Heritage Center.
"This is my third year for CHC to host the Homecoming Art Show and Sale. Each year, I have been amazed and taken by the creations by our Cherokee artists," said Dr. Charles Gourd, Cherokee Heritage Center director.
To enter the Homecoming show, artists have to be citizens of the Cherokee Nation, the United Keetoowah Band, or of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, according to Gourd. The artists were vying for awards in 10 categories, as well as special awards and a share of more than $10,000 in prize money.
Best of Show was awarded to Tonia Hogner-Weavel, a Cherokee National Treasure, for the piece "Heart on Heart." This is a coat made of wool and mink. The coat features piping accents, and accents of hand-beaded glass.
"My joy is to put contemporary and traditional together to blend the past with the present and have contemporary design with a hint of the past," said Hogner-Weavel.
The show has two divisions of artwork: traditional and contemporary.
The traditional division features "arts originating before European contact," and the categories include basketry, pottery and traditional arts. There were no entries this year in the traditional pottery category. First-place winners in the other categories were: Traditional Basketry, Mike Dart, "Fishin' Basket"; and Traditional Arts, Phyllis Jimmeye, "Gathering Bag."
Defined as "arts arising among the Cherokee after European contact," the contemporary division has seven categories: basketry, beadwork, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, textiles, and visual arts.
First-places winners in this division were: Contemporary Basketry, Vicki Coppedge, "Peaceful Journey"; Beadwork, Carolyn Pallett, "Southeastern Resound"; Jewelry, Toneh Chuleewah, "Everglades Bracelet, Braided Cord Motif"; Visual Arts, Dino Kingfisher, "Provided For"; Contemporary Pottery, Crystal Hanna, "Tradition Keeper"; Sculpture, Troy Jackson, "The Passing of a Generation"; and Textiles, Karen Berry, "Riverbank."
Hanna has been doing pottery for 20 years, and won Best of Show in 2006.
"I'm always inspired when I come here," Hanna said while looking at the exhibit. "They really do a good job hanging the show."
DeAnn McDaniel was awarded the Emerging Artist Award for the piece "Crazy Dog."
The Bill Rabbit Legacy Award went to Julie Brison for "New Beginnings Are Coming."
Judge's Choice Awards went to: Ernie Lee Poindexter, "New Life"; Brandi Brown, "Woman, Survivor, Warrior #MMIW"; David Pruitt, "Hopewell Traditions"; Julie Thorton Brison, "New Beginnings Are Coming"; and Roy Boney Jr., "Ogaligoha."
"The dedication and commitment these Cherokee people make ensures that our cultural traditions, styles and techniques will survive and thrive into the future," said Gourd.
The award winners were announced outside in Adam's Corner, with Stacy Leeds as master of ceremonies.
Visitors to the gallery and internet users can vote for the People's Choice Award.
A box is available at the front of the gallery for in-person voting.
Images of all of the artworks will be put on the Cherokee Heritage Center's Facebook page and votes will be collected via "likes." The winner will be announced at the end of the exhibit.
Most pieces are available for sale, and quite a few were sold Friday evening.
Check it out
The show will run until Sept. 21. The Cherokee Heritage Center, 21192 S. Keeler Drive, is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Labor Day; and Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Labor Day through Memorial Day. For more information, visit www.cherokeeheritage.org or call 918-456-6007.