The Chickasaw Nation offers an assortment of classes and workshops for both experienced and aspiring artists throughout March at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios, 100 W. Muskogee St., Sulphur.
The roster of expert artisans teaching classes include Donna Welch, Eric Smith and Leanne Parker-West. Interested students can plan to develop skills in arts and crafts.
Fine gourd art classes with Welch will take place from 1 to 5 p.m March 19. Participants will make an apple gourd lidded box. Each class is $50 per person.
Welch is a Chickasaw artist whose primary art form utilizes a gift from the earth: the gourd.
Welch’s art has been exhibited in California, Utah, ARTesian Arts Gallery in Sulphur and in the Chokma’si Gallery located at the Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division building in Ada. She also provided gourd artwork for the 2018 Dynamic Women of the Chickasaw Nation Conference.
Welch is a traditional Chickasaw storyteller. She also designs customary Chickasaw regalia, sewing garments from scratch. She creates quilts and handbags, draws with colored pencils and is experienced in beadwork.
She incorporates ancient motifs in her work, including her gourd art, which is the chosen medium in which she hopes to expand, grow and flourish.
A two-day moccasin making workshop presented by Smith will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 6 and 7. Students will be exposed to various styles of moccasins and shown how to measure, cut and stitch a pair of traditional moccasins of their choosing. The class is $100 per person and includes materials. Participants must attend both sessions.
Smith is a world-renowned Chickasaw artist, bowyer, archery historian, author and teacher. As an instructor at Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, he taught the only class of bow making and archery in the history of a school operating under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Education. In addition to teaching at Riverside, he has taught many Native American youths from reservations across the United States.
Muskogee (Creek) artist West will be instructing a variety of classes at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios. These include a quill, ink & watercolor class from 4 to 6 p.m. March 2 and 3; pastels March 10 and 11; and book page crafts March 23, 24, 26 and 27. She will also be teaching scratchboard March 30 and 31.
West is a junior high and high school art teacher at Dickson public schools in Ardmore, Oklahoma. She has taught K-12 students for 22 years. West has worked with the Chickasaw Arts Academy since July 2012.
For more information on the classes, visit www.Chickasaw.net/ArtesianGallery or call (580) 622-8040.
About the ARTesian Gallery & Studios
Located in the heart of downtown Sulphur, the ARTesian Gallery & Studios is a space for creating, appreciating and sharing fine art. The 7,400-square-foot facility features an art gallery, classroom space, reception and retail space.
The facility was designed to assist and promote Chickasaw and other Native American artists. The gallery provides an excellent venue for artists to display and market their work. A reception area houses art shows and meet the artist receptions. Five separate studio spaces are also occupied by various resident artists.
The ARTesian Gallery & Studios offers public art classes for all levels. Students can learn many different art media such as painting, weaving, dyeing, crafts, drawing, beading, printing, soapstone carving, moccasin making, quillwork, needle punch and embroidering with French knots taught by world renowned artists.
Nearby attractions include the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Chickasaw Visitor Center and the Oka’ Chokma’si Sculpture Park, all conveniently located near the Artesian Hotel.
The ARTesian Gallery & Studios is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
To register for classes and workshops, or for more information regarding other upcoming events, call (580) 622-8040.