Trail of Tears Art Show & Sale


44th annual Trail of Tears Art Show opens April 18

2015 TOTAS Winners List

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. The longest-running Native American art show in Oklahoma returns to the Cherokee Heritage Center, when the 44th annual Trail of Tears Art Show opens April 18.

The annual event runs through May 23 and features a variety of authentic Native American art competing for $15,000 in award money, presented by Bank of Oklahoma and Chickasaw Nation.

“Each year, the Trail of Tears Art Show showcases breathtaking art created by Native American artists from across the country,” said Candessa Tehee, executive director of the Cherokee Heritage Center. “Last year, the show featured 144 pieces from more than 75 artists who come from 14 tribal nations. This is a must-see show for Native American art enthusiasts.”

Native American citizens from federally recognized tribes compete in several divisions and categories, including painting, sculpture, pottery, basketry, graphics, jewelry and miniatures.

The Trail of Tears Art Show began in 1972 as a means of fostering the development of painting as a form of expressing Native American heritage. Initiated before the completion of the museum, the Art Show was held in the rain shelter of the Tsa-La-Gi theater. 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, Okla.

For information on the Trail of Tears Art Show, 2015 season events, operating hours and programs, please contact the Cherokee Heritage Center at (888) 999-6007 or visit It can also be found on Facebook by searching “Cherokee Heritage Center.”


Trail of Tears Art Show Grand Prize Winners.
1972 Solomon McCombs “Untitled”
1973 Freeman Mitchell “Come on Granny”
1974 David Williams “The Trail of Tears”
1975 Freeman Mitchell “Why Did They Do That To Us?”
1976 Johnny Hawks “Reflections- Yesterday and Today”
1977 Solomon McCombs “The March”
1978 Mike Wimmer “Trail of Tears”
1979 None
1980 Charles Pratt “Indian Territory – Now We Rest”
1981 Jason Stone “Great Blue Heron”
1982 C. A. (Cathy) Rutledge “Her First Basket”
1983 Valjean McCarty Hessing “Journey to Indian Territory”
1984 Parker Boyiddle, “True Dog”
1985 Valjean McCarty Hessing “Trail of Tears”
1986 Gary Montgomery “The Teacher”
1987 Manyi-Ten “Final Harvest in the Palo Duro”
1988 Murv Jacob “Tennessee River Village”
1989 Troy Anderson “Bird Maiden”
1990 Donald Vann “Leaving the Memories”
1991 Barthell Little Chief “Brothers of the Night”
1992 Diana Beach “Tears for Her Children”
1993 Tillier Wesley “Color of the Spirit”
1994 Dorothy Sullivan “She Speaks for Her Clan”
1995 Robby McCurtry “Coke and a Smoke”
1996 Daniel Horsechief “Going Snake’s Trail”
1997 Troy Anderson “Ani-tsa-squa”
1998 Brad McLain “Something Borrowed & Blue”
1999 Bill Glass Jr. “Forced Removal”
2000 Bob Thomason “Spellbound-Ancient Cherokee Ways”
2001 Sonja Ayres “Spiro Chief”
2002 Talmadge Davis “The Headress”
2003 Fred Trompler “Spirit Prayer”
2004 Norma Howard “Gathering River Canes”
2005 K. Henderson “Son of the Earth”
2006 Roy Boney “Our Father”
2007 Joel Queen “In His Own Hand”
2008 Joel Queen “Industrial Strength Basket”
2009 Gary Allen “The Cherokee Birdman”
2010 Norma Howard “Untitled”
2011 Troy Jackson “Putting the Pieces Together”
2012 Dan Corley “Reflections”
2013 Troy Jackson “Waiting on the Tractor”
2014 Troy Jackson “5:00 Friday”
2015 Bill and Demos Glass “Warrior’s Doorway”