The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is known for its talented
artists. Two EBCI tribal members proved that to be true as they
won awards at this year's SWAIA (Southwestern Association for Indian
Arts) Santa Fe Indian Market.
Joshua Adams took first place in the Abstract Sculpture Division
Wood Category and Shan Goshorn won a second place ribbon
in the Outside the Southwest Baskets Division Contemporary
Face God", a wood carving by EBCI artist Joshua Adams took
first place in the Abstract Sculpture Division Wood
Category at this year's SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Art Market.
(Photo courtesy of Joshua Adams)
"It being my first year entering sculpture, I had zero expectations
for an award this year," said Adams. "The sculpture category is,
by far, one of the strongest classes at Indian Market and to be
recognized by the judges at SWAIA is a dream come true. I was honored
just to be in the same category with some of my favorite artists."
He won for a piece entitled "False Faced God".
"It is an attempt to create a vision of God through Cherokee
culture pre-Christian assimilation," said Adams. "Very little remains
of our ancient religion, and the importance of a god head figure
in any religion is extremely important. I chose to carve seven faces
in honor of the seven clans and the sacred number seven each
face having its own independent space, yet ultimately being part
of one ultimate being."
On the title of the piece, he related, "The title is based upon
a culture term I continually ran across in my study of traditional
Cherokee mask lore False Face being the description of Cherokee
masks carved by our ancestors for ceremonial use. It is my vision
for the great Creator or God."
Goshorn won for a unique basket entitled "Swept Away".
"The idea for this piece including the title visited
me in a dream," she commented. "The resulting work is a 3-D interpretation
of the basic Cherokee basketry pattern called 'Water', a design
which is included around the base and the rim. The finished basket
is woven in a familiar Cherokee weave but expanded so the entire
basket assumes the zig-zag of the pattern."
Away", a unique basket by EBCI artist Shan Goshorn took a
second place ribbon in the Outside the Southwest Baskets Division
Contemporary Category. (Photo courtesy of Shan Goshorn)
She said that basket arose from a trip she took with her daughter
to the Carlisle Indian Boarding School site in Pennsylvania. "Wrapping
around the basket is a mournful, evening photo of the Tuckaseegee
River flowing through the ancestral Cherokee homeland. This image,
along with the river-like shape of the basket and plunging blue
interior, epitomizes the deep sorrow and dark tide of removal experienced
by Indian communities throughout the northern hemisphere over the
sweeping loss of their children and way of life. The interior features
reproductions of the Carlisle student roster as evidence that we
remember and honor the sacrifices these children were forced to
Both artists have placed in Santa Fe previously. Adams won a
first place award in Diverse Arts Woodcarving at least year's
event and Goshorn won a first place award in basketry at the event
in 2014 and 2015 and was named Best in Class in 2013.
Next year's Santa Fe Indian Art Market is set for Aug. 19-20,
2017. Info: www.swaia.org