Special to the One Feather
Earlier this month, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was recognized for his artistic skills at the Alabama National Fair in Montgomery, Ala.
Adam Blythe won first place and “Best of Fair” for his detailed beaded rendition of the University of Alabama football field. Measuring over six feet long and nearly three feet wide, the field weighs over 70 lbs and consists of over 35,000 faceted beads. The sculpture took four years for him to complete by stringing each bead one at a time with only a picture of the actual field as a guide. No glue was used. The entire sculpture, from each end zone to the interior supporting layer, the centerpiece logo, and the two field goals, are entirely held together by five miles of 50 lb fish line.
Blythe acquired his skill for beading from his grandmother, the late Margaret Owl, who started him out by creating beaded earrings with the image of the Indian on the horse at the end of the Trail of Tears. He considers the skill, creation, and recognition of the field to be a lasting testament to her spirit and influence not only on his life but also for passing on to him the creative artistry that has become synonymous with Native Americans.
He says his grandmother never knew that the skills she was imparting on her 8-year-old grandson would one day escalate into creations of unique and immense scale that would bring recognition to the talents of not only the Cherokee people but to all Native Americans.
In addition, Blythe is a novice photographer and his candid photo of his aunt with her cat Homer won two first place prizes.
He is a 1998 graduate of Swain County High School and graduated from the University of Alabama with his second master’s degree in 2019 for human environmental sciences with an emphasis on Safety in the Workplace. He currently works for the city of Montgomery and in his spare time continues to work on his novels as well as other beaded sculptures.