Emerging Artist 2021 - Dennis Chuculate


     Oklahoma City, OK – Dennis Chuculate, Acoma Pueblo/Cherokee jeweler, and metalsmith, has been named winner of the 2021 Red Earth Emerging Artist Award. He will be recognized during the 35th Annual Red Earth Festival, scheduled June 12-13, at the Grand Casino and Hotel Resort, 777 Grand Casino Blvd, Shawnee, OK, and exit 178 on 1-40.
     Inaugurated in 2018, the Emerging Artist Award provides grants funding to emerging American Indian artists, allowing them to participate in Oklahoma City’s award-winning Red Earth Festival. 
    The winner of the award is provided a booth space at the Festival Art Market, an opportunity to compete in the Red Earth Festival art competition and a stipend to assist with expenses. 
    Paula Cagigal, Red Earth President, stated “The Emerging Artist Award offers new opportunities to assist in the growth and promotion of remarkable Native American artists and introduces them to new collectors and audiences and encourages them to share their story through their art. It is an honor for us to recognize these artists, and it supports Red Earth’s mission to promote and educate to all the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures, and of the artists and artisans creating them.”
     Dennis Chuculate grew up on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina, and attended a reservation school where he was taught traditional Cherokee art forms. These included wood carving, beading, finger weaving and pottery.  In the summers, he would travel to Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico and, through his Grandparents teachings, he learned more about traditional southwest art forms.
    Chuculate stated “Being immersed in the cultural arts from both of my tribes, my young mind blended designs and created a style that was unique to me.  Just like the first artists of the Qualla Boundary, I enjoyed creating something ornate in texture and stamp work while maintaining traditional straightforward designs.”
    Moving to New Mexico, Chuculate began taking metalsmithing classes at the local community college which led to creating statement rings and bracelets out of gold, silver, and copper. Heavy gauges cut and filed into eye-catching designs are set with beautiful semi-precious stones and gems and are combined in playful and striking color combinations.
     “The beauty of being a metalsmith,” noted Chuculate, “is that no matter the physical, spiritual or mental exhaustion you may go through, at the end of the day when you have that piece of artwork sitting on your bench after the final polish, you know that every step was worth it.”
     The award winner attended Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is currently a member of the Native American Artisan Program, under the auspices of the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. 
     As the 2021 Emerging Artist, Chuculate will join Past award winners including Amber Duboise-Shepherd (Navajo/Sac and Fox/Prairie Band Potawatomi), Steven Morales (Cherokee) and Kaitlyn Tingle (Choctaw) at this year’s event.
     The 35th Red Earth Festival art market is open on Saturday, June 12, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and on Sunday, June 13, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  
    The premier event hosts hundreds of the most recognized and awarded American Indian artists from throughout the nation. 
    The festival, also, offers lectures, demonstrations and activities for the entire family. A dance showcase, featuring some of the finest tribal dancers in the nation, will be presented, and the Grand Entry and Opening Ceremony will be held at 11:00 am each day.
     General admission day tickets, available at the door, are $15 per person and include admission to the Red Earth Art Market, along with general admission seating for the Red Earth Dance Showcase. 
    A $25 two-day ticket is, also, available. 
    Children, ages 6 and under, are admitted free of charge.
    Red Earth, Inc. is an Allied Arts member agency and is funded in part by the Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Red Earth, Inc. is a 501 ©3 non-profit organization with a mission to promote the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premiere festival, a museum and fine art markets. 
    Email info@redearth.org or call (405) 5228 for additional information.
     The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts.  The agency’s mission is to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma’s thriving arts industry. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides more than 400 grants to nearly 225 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state’s arts and cultural industry and manages works of art in the Oklahoma Public Art Collection and the public spaces of the state Capitol.  Additional information available at arts.ok.gov.
    Emerging Artist 2021 - Dennis Chuculate
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