Trail of Tears Art Show & Sale

Cherokee Heritage Center announces the 43rd Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale

The Chickasaw Nation,  Bank of Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation Businesses and Rabbit Studios are sponsoring the 43rd Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale

The longest-running Native American art show in Oklahoma returns to the Cherokee Heritage Center, when the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show opens April 12.

The annual event runs through May 26 and features a variety of authentic Native American art competing for $15,000 in award money, presented by Cherokee Nation Businesses and Chickasaw Nation, Bank of Oklahoma and Rabbit Studios.

“The Trail of Tears Art Show is nationally known for the abundance of breathtaking art created by Native American artists from across the country,” said Candessa Tehee, executive director of the Cherokee Heritage Center. “We’re proud to display so much great work in various art forms that gets better each year. This is a must-see event for Native art enthusiasts.”

Last year’s annual exhibition included 79 Native American artists from 14 tribal nations, featuring 144 art pieces. Native American citizens from federally recognized tribes competed in several divisions and categories, including painting, sculpture, pottery, basketry, graphics, jewelry and miniatures.

New to this year’s competition is the CNB Emerging Artist Awards. These awards will go to original works in any medium or category by artists who have shown in fewer than three previous Trail of Tears Art Shows. Eligible artists cannot have won any previous Trail of Tears Art Show awards.

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.

For additional information on the 2014 season and programs, please contact the Cherokee Heritage Center at (888) 999-6007, email at or visit

2014 Winners Announced HERE
Congratulations to Troy Jackson for his piece “5:00 Friday” on winning the 2014 Grand Prize!

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”