“People of the Clay: Contemporary Cherokee Potters” Opens at The Museum of the Cherokee Indian | Cherokee, NC

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“People of the Clay: Contemporary Cherokee Potters” Opens at The Museum of the Cherokee Indian

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian welcomes a new exhibit, “People of the Clay: Contemporary Cherokee Potters,” featuring more than 60 Cherokee potters and more than a hundred pieces of pottery from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Cherokee Nation, from 1900 to the present.

“This exhibit is an attempt to trace Cherokee pottery from its humble beginnings to its prestigious place in the Native American art world,” says Lambert Wilson, Guest Curator and member of the Board of Directors of the Museum. “Hopefully this exhibit will inspire others to collect, create pottery and art of any form; and in some small way help to preserve and celebrate the culture of the Cherokee people.”

Many of the works in the exhibit come from Wilson’s personal collection, as well as from the collections of potters, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The exhibit and the new gallery have been funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
(Clay turtle by Jane Osti)

Featured Artists

Well-known potters like the Bigmeat family from the Qualla Boundary, Amanda Swimmer (1921-2018), and Cora Wahnetah (1907-1986) are included, and it features pottery by Amanda Crowe (1928-2004), who was internationally acclaimed for her woodcarving. From Cherokee Nation, Anna Mitchell (1926-2012), Jane Osti, Bill Glass, and others are included. Mitchell is credited with keeping pottery traditions alive, while Glass, Osti, and others have developed colorful, new styles that draw on traditions.

Throughout the next year, the Museum will be offering pottery workshops and special events in conjunction with the exhibit, and a catalogue with photos of the pots and more information will be published at a later date.

(Woman and child by Amanda Crowe)

Plan Your Visit

“People of the Clay: Contemporary Cherokee Potters” will be on display until May 2020. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is open year round from 9 am to 5 pm, and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Cost of tickets is $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 6-13. Children ages 5 and under are free. Price of admission covers entry to two exhibits: “Story of the Cherokee People; 13,000 Years” and “People of the Clay.” Audio tours are available in English, Spanish, and German languages, and discounts are available for groups, and for AARP members, AAA members, and the military.

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