tribal member Shan Goshorn has been named a United States
Artists Fellow. She created this basket as a result of studying
historic Cherokee baskets at the National Museum of the American
Indian through a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. (Photo
courtesy of Shan Goshorn)
Shan Goshorn, noted EBCI artist, has been named one of the 37
new United States Artists (USA) Fellows and will receive an unrestricted
$50,000 grant. USA tasks the artists with "opening up exciting creative
possibilities through the transformative power of unrestricted financial
The artists were chosen in nine various disciplines including:
architecture and design, crafts, dance, literature, media, music,
theater and performance, traditional arts, and visual arts.
"USA Fellowships are awarded to innovative artists of all ages
and at all stages in their careers," Carolina Garcia Jayaram, United
States Artists chief executive officer, said in a statement. "What
continues to set the USA Fellowship apart is the unrestricted nature
of our award. USA's mission is to put artists first as they are
the core of our organization."
Goshorn, who was named a USA Fellow in the traditional arts
category, commented, "It is an unbelievable thrill to receive this
award. Each USA artist whether within the genre of visual
arts, dance architecture, etc. is nominated anonymously by
an authority' in the field. So, in my case, it was probably
someone from within a museum setting or a master artist. This feels
especially gratifying because I look around the art world and know
that someone out there has honored me in this way."
She is also excited that the Fellowship does not limit her scope
of work or theme. "It validates that a prestigious, national organization
has elevated me to the level of top artists in this country. It
validates to me and others that the work I am doing to educate audiences
about the issues of Native America are legitimate."
Over the years, Goshorn has won awards at many art competitions
and shows including winning the AT&T Grand Prize at the 25th
Annual Red Earth Festival, and in 2014, she received a Native Arts
and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship in the traditional arts
She is grateful for her successes and for those who have helped
her gain them. "Although I did not learn weaving the traditional
way of sitting at a relative's knee to learn this skill by observation,
I acknowledge and thank all the people whose work I have examined
to understand the math and rhythm of basketweaving."
"The Cherokee are known for their exquisite basketry," she added.
"These baskets have fascinated me ever since I worked at the Qualla
Co-Op as a teenager and learned the lengthy process of gathering
and preparing supplies as well as identifying the variety of intricate
patterns. I am grateful to all the ancestors who aided and literally
directed my research in museum archives. They continue to inspire
me. I would also like to thank my family and friends who also inspire
me daily. The work I do is for the entire tribe."
As for the USA Fellowship, Goshorn noted, "Receiving this award
has not changed my plans nor lightened my intensive work schedule.
I will keep making baskets as long as I can challenge myself artistically
and intellectually, and as long as they continue to inspire others
to learn about issues affecting us in Indian Country."
Goshorn with a selection of her baskets. Photo by Adela Sanchez
Eastern Band Cherokee artist Shan Goshorn has lived in Tulsa since
1981. Her multi-media work has been exhibited extensively in the
US and Canada and is in prestigious collections such as the National
Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution, Washington
DC), Gilcrease Museum (OK), Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (NM),
CN Gorman Museum (UC Davis, CA), Minneapolis Institute of Art (MN),
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (IN) and The
Museum of the Cherokee Indian (NC).
Each year, United States Artists (USA) awards $50,000 fellowships
to the countrys most accomplished and innovative artists working
in the fields of Architecture & Design, Crafts, Dance, Literature,
Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts and Visual