Cherokee National Holiday Art Show maintains traditions through artwork
TNE Editor

Cherokee National Holiday Art Show maintains traditions through artwork

Published 9/1/17

Trista Vaughn

TNE Writer

In 1953, Cherokee National Holiday was established to commemorate the signing of the 1893 Cherokee Constitution. Cherokee National Holiday is one of the biggest events that happens in the state of Oklahoma. Indigenous people from around the country will soon gather in Tahlequah for the 65th Annual Cherokee National Holiday. In past years, Cherokee Nation has recorded more than 100,000 visitors.

As decided by Cherokee Nation, this year’s theme for Cherokee National Holiday is Water is Sacred. Water has long been a symbol of healing for Cherokees.

“Finally we recognized how important water is, how important it always has been,” said Matthew Anderson, contestant in this year’s art show.

Anderson said water is sacred and it is used to purify.

Cherokee National Holiday spans three days and includes events such as a quilt show, a golf tournament, a film festival, a car show, a parade, a powwow and an art show.

The 12th Annual Cherokee National Holiday Art Show will show jewelry, pottery, paintings, graphics, sculpture, basketry, textiles, weavings and various traditional crafts. Native Americans are known to have a rich tradition when it comes to artwork.

“I’ve been doing this for about eight years now, and I’ve realized more and more people come out to it each year,” said Marie Smith, art show event coordinator. “Our children’s category has increased so much. This year, we have had more children’s entries than any other year.”

Youth categories are ages 1-8, ages 9-13 and ages 14-18.

Roxy Stopp, 2010 Cherokee Holiday Art Show winner, submitted her 16-month-old son’s artwork for this year’s art show.

“I want my son to start off young so he can choose whether or not to pursue art because it is fun if you enjoy making art,” said Stopp.

The artwork that is featured during this year’s art show will be available for purchase.

“Knowing someone wants to buy my artwork is better than winning a ribbon,” said Anderson. “That is the truest way an artist knows that their work is appreciated. Someone took the time to say that’s great enough for me. Art is a piece of the artist.”

The Cherokee National Holiday Art Show Friday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 3 at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center.

For more information, call Smith at 918-453-5524 or visit

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