By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Heard Museum, located in Phoenix, Ariz., is known for its collections of outstanding American Indian art and their features of legendary artists. The artwork, in various mediums, of several Cherokee High School students won awards and was sold at the recent Heard Museum Guild American Indian Student Art Show.
The students attending included: Fabian Crow, Gabe Crow, Zakarias Perez, Kimmemelah Perkins, Blake Wachacha, Laurel Welch and Dylan West.
Alyne Stamper, Cherokee High School art teacher, said her students have been participating in the Heard Show for ten years. “It’s an experience that will be with them for a lifetime, and it makes them want to go to college.”
Stamper said the trip helps to open the student’s eyes to new opportunities. “I think it’s not only educational, it helps to snap the family ties. It’s good to have family ties, but sometimes it limits our kids from going somewhere else. They’re kind of afraid to do that, but if they go with someone that they trust, like a teacher, they see that it’s ok to leave home, that they can always come back.”
She went on to say that her students are “loaded with talent” and have bright futures. “It’s amazing how much talent we have here at Cherokee High School, and it comes easy to them.”
Gabe Crow, who has been doing basketry for six years, won a blue ribbon for a basket entitled “Snake on the Limb” and a red ribbon for one entitled “Eye of the Sacred Bird”.
“It’s relaxing for me,” Crow said of his basketry. “I can just sit there and do it and put my mind somewhere else and just sit there and weave all day and lose track of time. A lot of times, I might start at 9 o’clock at night, and I’ll be going until 4:30 in the morning.”
In addition to his baskets, Crow also does weaponry, wood carving and pottery. He is planning on furthering his education at Haskell Indian Nations University where he plans to study artwork and teaching.
West won a green ribbon and a Judge’s Choice Award for a drawing entitled “Old Cherokee Indian Fair” and a green ribbon for a basket entitled “Fish Bone”.
He says he’s been drawing “ever since I could pick up a pencil” but says he was really inspired in his artwork after watching the movie “Titanic”.
West, whose artwork can be seen weekly in the Cherokee One Feather through his cartoon “Yohn and Yona”, said of his winning drawing, “It just took me several days to draw it, ink it and color it – not even a week.”
He said his artwork takes him to a peaceful place. “My favorite thing is focusing and getting away from daily life and being able to do something that you love.”
Like Crow, West has big plans after high school that involve his art. A huge fan of the anime’/manga drawing style, West is hoping to go to school in Japan. “I want to major in all kinds of art, and I want to come back and be a teacher for those who are enthused by art as well.”
In addition to Crow and West, the following Cherokee students won awards at the show:
- Fabian Crow, red ribbon for “Traditional Bear”
- Zakarias Perez, red ribbon for “Wolf Clan Mask”
- Blake Wachacha, white ribbon for “Diamonds and Mountain Peaks”
- Laurel Welch, white ribbon for “Pipes”