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Cherokee Heritage Center

Winners of the 48th Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale were announced Friday during an awards celebration at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

Cherokee National Treasurer Troy Jackson received the grand prize for his sculpture “Faith in the Creator.” This marks the sixth grand prize win for Jackson at the Trail of Tears Art Show. 

“Being recognized at this show means so much to me,” Jackson said. “It took me a long time to get to this level and every year the competition gets better and better. This year’s show is proof of that. This is a large show filled with quality work and I am honored and humbled to receive this award amongst so many talented artists and friends.” 

The sculpture stands about 5 and a half feet tall and is made of clay and steel. Jackson used both traditional and contemporary methods combining wheel throwing and hand building techniques and used oxides to give the clay its earth-tone finish.  

“The piece was influenced by my Cherokee and European family backgrounds,” Jackson explained. “Each had different beliefs and different ideas, but both had strong ties to Christianity. While religion can sometimes be a hard subject to tackle, I found the shared belief in a creator inspiring. I hope this piece helps others recognize that there is a way for families to share a belief and find unity in faith.” 

The Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale is the longest-running American Indian art show in Oklahoma, featuring a variety of authentic Native art. The show features 153 items from 89 artists, representing 19 tribal nations. 

“The Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale continues to be one of the heritage center’s most popular exhibitions,” said Dr. Charles Gourd, executive director for Cherokee Heritage Center. 

“We take great pride in this longstanding show and in the value and quality of the authentic Native American art that is showcased within it. We hope the public will join us as we reflect on this significant time in our history and celebrate the talented artists that are dedicated to preserving, promoting and teaching that history through art.” 

The 48th Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale runs through May 5, and all artwork featured in the show is available to purchase. 

The following summary highlights the grand prize and first-place winners:


Winners were also announced for the Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition. The annual youth competition features art by Native youth in grades 6-12. The artists recognized with the Best of Show award will also receive a booth space at the annual Cherokee Art Market in the fall.

The following summary highlights the 2019 Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition first-place winners and judge’s choice awards:


The 48th Annual Trail of Tears Art Show is made possible through the generous support of Chickasaw Nation, Bank of Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Garner-Cottrell Family, BancFirst, Rabbit Studios, and Holiday Inn.

For a complete list of awardees and additional photos, please visit

The Trail of Tears Art Show began in 1972 with the intent to create a venue where diverse art forms can be used to exhibit American Indian heritage. Initiated before the completion of the museum, the art show was held in the rain shelter of the Tsa-La-Gi Amphitheater. In 1975, it became the first major exhibition in the present museum.

The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture, and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, Oklahoma.

About Cherokee Heritage Center

The Cherokee Heritage Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the premier cultural center for Cherokee history, culture, and the arts. Located in the heart of the Cherokee Nation in Park Hill, Oklahoma, it was established in 1963 by the Cherokee National Historical Society to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture.

For more information, please visit

About Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is managed by Cherokee Nation Businesses and was created in 2007 to preserve and promote the history and culture of the Cherokee people. Efforts by the Cherokee Nation include award-winning cultural, specialty and event tours and operation of three Cherokee Nation museums, six Cherokee Nation gift shops and two Cherokee Nation welcome centers. 

For more information, please visit

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Cherokee Heritage Center accepting submissions for Trail of Tears Art Show 2019