02 May 2011

"Kanutche Dogs: Contemporary Cherokee Art" at Firegod Gallery, Opens Friday, May 6th

Image: detail of Commodity, Roy Boney
Albuquerque, NM — Eleven Cherokee artists will participate in an upcoming group art show at the Firegod Gallery, 3413 Central Ave, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106.

An opening reception will take place Friday, May 6th, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public. The show will run through May 31st.

On Saturday, May 7th, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, computer animation and claymation videos in the Cherokee language by Roy Boney, Jr. and Joseph Erb will be displays, following by question and answer period about using art to preserve tribal languages. This lecture is also free and open to everyone.

Artist America Meredith will present a two-part presentation, free and open to the public, about Cherokee art history from precontact times to the present, on Saturday, May 28th, from 2:00 – 4:00pm.

The Cherokee tribe is an enigma. Over 800,000 people claimed Cherokee descent on the 2010 US Census; however, very few people are familiar with Cherokee culture or arts. Of the 300,000 actually enrolled in of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes, only about 10,000 people speak the Cherokee language–mostly in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Only an estimated 500 Cherokee people participate regularly in stomp dances, the traditional expression of Cherokee religion, at the seven ceremonial grounds in Northeastern Oklahoma.

This show hopes to share culturally-informed contemporary Cherokee art with the general public and Cherokee people in New Mexico. New Mexico has such a large Cherokee population that it is home to the Southwest Cherokee Township, a satellite community of the Cherokee Nation.

The show’s title comes from a folk term, Kanutche Dogs, for the America dingo or Carolina dog, the indigenous dog of the American southeast that has been an important part of Cherokee society. “Kanutche” (pronounced kah-NUH-chee) is a traditional Cherokee food made from hickory nuts.
  • Roy Boney, Jr. (Cherokee Nation), from Locust Grove, Oklahoma, is a painter, illustrator, digital artist, and computer animator, who uses the Cherokee language extensively in his work. He also created a series of zombie comics for Slave Labor Graphics.
  • Ross Chaney (Cherokee Nation/Osage Nation), from Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an emerging expressionist painter and draftsperson.
  • Joseph Erb (Cherokee Nation), from Gore, Oklahoma, is a painter, digital artist, and computer animator, working to preserve the Cherokee language. Mixing new and old technology, Joseph also paints on gourds, an ancient Cherokee art media, and uses imagery from the Booger Dance, a masked dance unique to the Cherokee people.
  • Lara Evans, PhD. (Cherokee Nation) is an experimental photographer and painter, as well as a professor of Native art history at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Her work was recently published in Art in Our Lives: Native Women Artists in Dialogue.
  • Fran Hill is a contemporary ceramic artist from Albuquerque, who is an active member in the Southwest Cherokee Township.
  • Daniel Horsechief (Cherokee Nation-Pawnee) is a bronze sculptor, wood carver, and painter from Sallisaw, Oklahoma. He is an alumnus of the Institute of American Indian Arts.
  • America Meredith (Cherokee Nation) is a painter and printmaker from Santa Fe, who is also an IAIA alumna. She will exhibit her recent experiments in fumage (smoke art).
  • Mary Beth Nelson (Cherokee Nation) is a painter specializing in wildlife. She lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
  • Lisa Rutherford (Cherokee Nation) of Tahlequah, Oklahoma specializes in southeastern beadwork and ceramics, but is also experimenting with traditional featherwork clothing. She showed at SWAIA’s Indian Market for the first time in 2010 and won an award for ceramics.
  • Sean Ross (Eastern Band Cherokee) from Cherokee North Carolina combines humor, social commentary, and Cherokee culture in his paintings.
  • Arlo Starr (NTA Cherokee-descent), a painter, currently lives in Albuquerque but was active in the development of the Squirrel Ridge Ceremonial Ground in Kenwood, Oklahoma. He worked with Cherokee elders to create a healthy cookbook based on traditional foods.
Firegod Gallery specializes in quality and innovative contemporary Native American art. It is owned by Silvester Hustito (Zuni), an artist and curator.


Scott Andrews said...

Thanks for sharing! This looks awesome. (I am one of those enrolled members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma who do not speak the language.)

ahalenia said...

Me too. Although there are better and better language programs and materials all the time. Cherokee Nation offers free online language classes and the next session starts May 24th (click here). Bo Taylor of the Eastern Band has an 11-day adult language immersion camp in Cherokee, NC. And more colleges are offering Cherokee languages as well.