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Cherokee artists celebrated in annual homecoming art show

Winning artists from the 27th annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show gather for a photo following the reception. Front Row: Cherokee National Treasure Cathy Abercrombie, Kindra Swafford, Jerry Sutton, Cherokee National Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Miss Cherokee Chelbie Turtle, Jr. Miss Cherokee Leah Gardner, CNHS Board Chairman Christy Neuhoff, Hattie Lee and Cherokee National Treasure Tonia Hogner-Weavel. Back Row: Devin Dry, Steven Morales, Daniel Horsechief, Greg Stice, Scott Middleton, Cherokee National Treasure Lisa Rutherford, Laney Culley and Taylor Johnson-Martinez.

Monday, August 15, 2022 - Cherokee artists, collectors and community members gathered Friday evening at Cherokee Springs Plaza to preview the 27th annual Homecoming Art Show and Sale.

The show is on display through Sept. 10 in a dedicated gallery located next to the Cherokee National Research Center.

“This is a special time for our Cherokee artists, and this show is designed to recognize and celebrate their craftsmanship and their service as storytellers, culture keepers, innovators and historians,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This year, we pause to remember the artists who are no longer with us and, together, we share the responsibility of continuing their legacy with our work to preserve, protect and promote the Cherokee story through engaging and authentic art.”

The juried show and competition feature 104 pieces by 74 artists, including seven Cherokee National Treasures.

Cherokee Nation citizen Carolyn Pallett was awarded the grand prize for her bandolier bag, titled “Still We Rise.” The wool trade-cloth bag features silk trim and is adorned with glass beads (shown above).

This is a back-to-back win for Pallett, who also took home the grand prize in 2021 for a bandolier bag, titled “Southeasternly Shine."

“It’s not often that we see back-to-back winners with a competitive and prestigious show like this, but considering the time and effort that go into a quality bandolier bag, we’re not surprised to see this artist take home top honors once again,” said Callie Chunestudy, cultural programs and events project manager. “We enjoyed hosting artists and collectors in person at our opening reception, and we hope the public will take advantage of our new gallery space being so accessible and stop in to see us soon.”

Pallett was among many participating artists competing for their share of nearly $16,000 in prize money in two divisions, traditional and contemporary, alongside several specialty awards.

The traditional division is defined as “arts originating before European contact” and consists of three categories: basketry, pottery and traditional arts.

The contemporary division is defined as “arts arising among the Cherokee after European contact” and consists of seven categories: visual arts, sculpture, pottery, basketry, beadwork, jewelry and textiles.

First-place winners in each category are as follows:

Traditional Arts: Harry Oosahwee, “Frog Effigy Pipe” Traditional Pottery: Crystal Hanna, “Three Sisters” Contemporary Pottery: Lisa Rutherford, “We Remember” Traditional Basketry: Vivian Cottrell, “Large Storage Basket” Contemporary Basketry: Hattie Lee, “Clothed with Celestial Grace” Visual Arts: Daniel Horsechief, “Will Rogers” Sculpture: Charlie Nichols, “Never Try, Never Know” Textiles: Cathy Abercrombie, “This IS My Calm” Jewelry: Steven Morales, ““Idanetsoiga” – Let’s Play Stickball” Beadwork: Stephanie Dugger, “Bee”

Other special awards include the following:

Bill Rabbit Legacy Award: Cathy Abercrombie, “Almost Persuaded”

Betty Scraper-Gardner Elder Award: Ron Mitchell, “Time of the Crying Moon”

Jennie Ross Cobb Photography Award: Jennifer Yates, “Welcome to Lookout Mountain”

Emerging Artist Award: Jeanne Webber Al-Ghamdi, “Water Spider in the Fire”

All artwork is available for sale, and the public is encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice Award. For a complete list of awardees, please visit

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