Keeping Traditions Alive: “Renewal of the Ancient: Cherokee Millennial Artists” Art Exhibit Opens | Cherokee, NC

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Keeping Traditions Alive: “Renewal of the Ancient: Cherokee Millennial Artists” Art Exhibit Opens

At any age, artists bring their own perspective and experience to their craft. In addition to learning from those who came before, makers within the same generation can impact each other’s work. “Renewal of the Ancient: Cherokee Millennial Artists” will open September 1 at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, NC. This new exhibit features more than 60 works from 25 artists who are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, ages 40 and under. The exhibit includes traditional and contemporary media; masks, baskets, beadwork, copper work, pottery, clay sculpture, stone carvings, wood carvings, feather textiles, paintings, and photography.  

“We want to feature young Cherokee artists in the first exhibit in our new gallery,” says Bo Taylor, Executive Director of the Museum. “They are keeping our traditions alive and making them meaningful for this generation.” The exhibit and the new gallery renovation have been funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Inspiration from the Past

“As a Cherokee artist, I am humbled by the forms and techniques of our ancient culture,” says Joshua Adams, guest curator for the exhibit. “Art has always been the vessel used by our people to solidify our unique vision of the world. As technology and mediums continually change, the common thread of Cherokee culture only strengthens with each artist’s contribution. We must all encourage young Cherokee artists to discover the unprecedented amount of inspiration found within the past.”

Joshua works in wood carving, stone carving, painting, photography, 3-D printing, pottery, and videography (view his work). He is a fourth generation woodcarver, as well as a student of James Bud Smith; he was inspired by Cherokee master artists Amanda Crowe and John Julius Wilnoty. A graduate of Western Carolina University, Joshua is also a juried member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual Cooperative. His work has been shown at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., the Cherokee Art Market in Tulsa, the Santa Fe Indian Art Market, the Asheville Art Museum, the Bascom Center, the Art in Embassies project and in a solo show currently at Western Carolina University. “Booger of Rebellion” wood sculpture (above) by Joshua Adams.

When asked what inspires him, Joshua shares, “Once I really dug into Cherokee culture, i found an unlimited amount of inspirational material to draw from.”

Carrying On a Legacy

When conceiving of this exhibit, Joshua says he “wanted to highlight ancient forms being brought back by younger artist.” He adds that a large selection of younger artists whose work is in the exhibit come from families of artists and are carrying on their families’ art and traditional works. “Death to Power, Death to Politics” mask (above) by Joshua Adams.

Other millennial artists in the show include John Henry Gloyne, John “Bear” Allison, and Madison Hye Long. John Henry Gloyne is a painter, musician, and tattoo artist whose imaginative paintings of traditional masks and gorgets will appear in the show. John Henry works as a tattoo artist at Spiderweb Tattoos in Asheville. John “Bear” Allison is a photographer and video artist whose photograph “Booger’s Courthouse” is one of the featured images in the show. His series of photographs shows traditional masks used in the “Booger Dance” appearing in locations around the mountains. John is a partner in Raven’s Eye Media. Madison Hye Long, a young photographer, uses Cherokee models at beautiful locations in the mountains (we’ve featured her on the blog). She is currently studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and her photographs have been featured at the Asheville Art Museum on the Slope as well as on the Travel Channel and in the New York Times.

Price of admission covers entry to three exhibits at the Museum: “Story of the Cherokee People,” “Emissaries of Peace,” and “Renewal of the Ancient.”

Want to go?

What: “Renewal of the Ancient: Cherokee Millennial Artists” art exhibit

Where: Museum of the Cherokee Indian at 589 Tsali Blvd in Cherokee, NC.

When: September 1, 2018, until March 1, 2019.

Hours: Open year round, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Cost: $11 for adults, $7 for children ages 6–13. Children ages 5 and younger are free. Discounts are available for groups, and for AARP members, AAA members, and the military.

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