Oklahoma City’s Red Earth Museum features an exhibition of visually stunning and culturally significant Cherokee pottery on view through August 31 at the museum located inside Omniplex in northeast Oklahoma City’s Adventure District. “Cherokee Pottery: People of One Fire” is currently on a nationwide exhibition tour organized and circulated by the Cherokee National Museum in Tahlequah, OK. The Red Earth Museum exhibition is the exhibition’s first stop on a multi-year tour. It will travel to the Five Points Museum in Cleveland, TN following the Red Earth Museum exhibition.
A public exhibition reception featuring a conversation and pottery demonstration with Master Artist and Cherokee Living Treasure Jane Osti will be held Monday, August 13 from 5-8 pm at the Red Earth Museum, 2100 NE 52nd Street in Oklahoma City to celebrate “Cherokee Pottery: People of One Fire.”
Osti has her home and art studio in Tahlequah where she graduated from Northeastern State University with a Bachelors of Art, Fine Arts Magna Cum Laude and a Masters of Science Education.
“I began making wheel thrown pottery and sculptures at NSU with instructor, Jerry Choat,” said Osti. “I met Cherokee potter Anna Mitchell, who introduced me to traditional Cherokee pottery where I learned the basics of coil building and wood firing.
“In 1993 I studied with John Reeve (of the Barnard leach school of pottery, London, England) in Santa Fe. I have been blessed to have had such wonderful teachers, whose inspiration, knowledge and creativity have given me a diverse and powerful connection to clay.”
“Cherokee Pottery: People of One Fire” features more than 80 pieces of pottery created by the Cherokee people spanning centuries of dramatic culture change. The exhibit was inspired by the partnerships of Cherokee potters who create by looking to their ancestors for inspiration. The concept for the exhibit came from a class conducted in 2006 about traditional building, design and firing techniques.
Cherokee people, who live in the southeastern portions of North America, have taught themselves how to shape, decorate, mold and fire clay deposits for various uses. The Southern Appalachians transformed the clay into cooking pots, bowls, pipes, water jugs and more. This art form is important because it symbolizes a tradition of being passed from one generation to the next.
From its utilitarian, ceremonial, and decorative uses in prehistoric times to its contemporary appeal as fine art, the pottery of the Cherokees has continued as a vibrant and distinct part of their culture. The exhibition marks the first time Cherokee master artisans from different areas of Cherokee culture have collaborated to share pottery with the public.
“We are so pleased to have the opportunity to host this culturally significant exhibition at the Red Earth Museum” said Connie Hart Yellowman, Red Earth executive director. “I know those who view the exhibition will be impressed with the beauty and artistry of the pieces on display.”
The Red Earth Museum is open every day inside Omniplex at 2100 NE 52nd Street in Oklahoma City. Visit the web at www.redearth.org for additional information. Red Earth, Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, a museum and fine art markets.