Discover Eastern Band Artists Through Authentically Cherokee11.16.2021
(Above: Someday | Acrylic paint on paper | By Jody Bradley)
For the past eight years, Authentically Cherokee has been a place to support Eastern Band artists blending traditional and contemporary approaches to art, honoring their cultural traditions while putting forth their own unique vision.
The program is part business accelerator and online marketplace. It grew out of the Sequoyah Fund, in response to local artists wanting to grow their businesses.
Hope Huskey, Associate Director of the Sequoyah Fund, shares how Authentically Cherokee started.
“In the beginning, we held a business development training and about 10 artists showed up. We then held a networking event and invited artists to share with us what services they would like.”
“We created the website (AuthenticallyCherokee.com) out of the feedback we received, as a way for artists to sell online. The idea is to take away some of the stress and time that it takes to maintain a website so that the artists can focus on making their work,” says Hope.
(Above: Double weave rivercane basket with O design | 4 x 3 x 4.5 inches |By Mary Thompson)
The program is open to any artist who is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). Currently, there are 13 featured artists: Preston Bark, Jody Bradley, Atsei Cooper, Letitia C. George, Jenean Hornbuckle, Katherine Jacobs, Charles Jumper, Betty Maney, Bill Radford, Rob Radford, Mary Thompson, Alicia Murphy Wildcatt, and Jeremy Wilson.
Artists can sign-up to participate, and new artists are added to the website each year. The Sequoyah Fund photographs the artists’ work, lists it on the site, ships it when it sells, and passes payments on to the artists.
Artists receive 90% of sales from the site. The remaining 10% goes straight back into the program to cover website fees, marketing and shipping materials, and website maintenance.
(Above: Masks | 11×16 matted 8×10 print: By Buffalotown)
In addition to the website, Authentically Cherokee also participates in local sales events and markets on behalf of their artists.
"We also help facilitate purchases from museums or organizations that are looking for authentic native items. When opportunities occur, we reach out to the artists in the community and help connect them. We also provide information about grants and fellowships to artists and provide assistance with applying,” shares Hope.
Hope shares that you may see more artists added to the site in early 2022. She recommends checking out social media for updates, and to discover new work as it is listed.
(Above: Spider gorget | Copper pendant strung, bone and copper beads | Bill Radford)
You can keep up with the important work that Authentically Cherokee is fostering, and shop for local Cherokee art, by visiting: