Indigenous art. Indigenous perspectives.

2023 Mvskoke Art Market Winners Announced

Starr Hardridge

Starr Hardridge (Mvskoke) wins best of show with his painting, “Under the Oaks.” Unless otherwise mentioned, all photos: Stacy Pratt, PhD (Mvskoke).

Tulsa, Okla. — After a successful inaugural year in 2022, the Mvskoke Art Market returned to the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On Friday, April 21, Muscogee Nation Principal Chief David Hill welcomed artists and guests to the awards reception in advance of the market, which takes place on April 22 and 23. This year, more than 80 artists filled the River Spirit ballroom, representing a wide variety of styles, media, and tribal nations.

Best of Show: Starr Hardridge, Under the Oaks

Starr Hardridge

Starr Hardridge (Mvskoke), “Under the Oaks,” 2023, 30 × 20 in., acrylic on canvas . Mvskoke Art Market Best of Show Winner 2023. Photo: Starr Hardridge.

Starr Hardridge (Mvskoke) won Best of Show for his painting Under the Oaks (2023). The artist was “humbled” by the honor from his own nation.

“Winning this award in the Mvskoke Nation is overwhelming,” Hardridge said. “When I came here this morning to set up my booth, I couldn’t go three feet without shaking somebody’s hand and talking to them for 20 minutes. It’s just amazing to see everyone in such great spirits and so happy to be together, putting on this event. The chiefs and members of our national council are here. I feel such a sense of unity and pride just being involved, much less winning among so many artists I know and admire. I’m just humbled and so proud to be here and proud to be Mvskoke.”

Under the Oaks is one of several paintings featuring his friend Britteny Cuevas (Mvskoke), another Oklahoma artist. In it, she is putting on the turtle-shell shakers that Southeastern women wear for ceremonial dancing.

“The background is embellished with an oak pattern, which is significant to our people not only for the Council Oak [where the first Mvskoke council met following the tribe’s removal from their Southeastern homelands]but for the fuel that burns our sacred fire,” he explained. “I’ve painted her in the past, and she’s been so gracious to be my muse. I just wanted to honor her in this way as someone who is carrying on our traditions and is really involved in the community.”

Kenneth Johnson, Mvskoke Art Market

Mvskoke Heritage Award: Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/ Seminole), “Journey”

Mvskoke Heritage Award: Kenneth Johnson, Journey 

Last year’s Best of Show winner, Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole) is this year’s Mvskoke Heritage Award winner. The award honors art that expresses the culture and history of the Mvskoke people, and Johnson won it for Journey. Johnson also received first place in sculpture for Genesis Paddle. Mvskoke Art Market is the first time he has entered sculpture in a contest.

“I’ve been a jeweler for over three decades, and making a piece of sculpture in bronze for the Mvskoke Art Market was challenging,” he said. “It’s new territory for me, so being recognized for my work in sculpture is an honor, as is receiving the Mvskoke Heritage Award. I love our culture, I love our people, and I speak in symbols, using our Mvskoke signs and symbols, and experiences. I like to think about things — sometimes a little too long — but I appreciate those who appreciate it. We have such a large and diverse nation, and I like to use art as the medium to talk or think about concepts that we all relate to, that are common to people in cultures around the world. To be recognized for that by my own community is an incredible honor.”

2023 Mvskoke Art Market Award Winners

Best of Show

  • Starr Hardridge (Mvskoke), Under the Oaks

Click on thumbnails to view larger image.


Best of Painting: Timothy Tate Nevaquaya (Comanche), “Sacred Ground”

  1. Timothy Tate Nevaquaya (Comanche), Sacred Ground
  2. Bryan Waytula (Cherokee Nation), The Scout
  3. Micah Wesley (Mvskoke/Kiowa), Bloodlines

Diverse Art Forms

Dan Beaver, Mvskoke Art Market

Best of Diverse: Dan Beaver (Mvskoke), “Ceremonial Axe.”

  1. Dan Beaver (Mvskoke), Ceremonial Axe
  2. Richard Honyouti (Hopi), Hopi Summer
  3. Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation), Original WiFi Signals


Best of Basketry: Ronda Talbert Moss (Cherokee Nation), “Layers of Strength”

  1. Ronda Talbert Moss (Cherokee Nation), Layers of Strength
  2. Peggy Shelden (Cherokee Nation), Arrows & Twining
  3. Eva Cantrell (Cherokee Nation), Multilevel Marketing

Drawing/Graphic Art/Photography

Benjamin West

Best of Drawing/Graphic Art/Photography: Benjamin West (Otoe-Missouria/Southern Cheyenne), Missing

  1. Benjamin West (Otoe-Missouria/Southern Cheyenne), Missing
  2. Shannon Stevens (Laguna Pueblo/Hopi), Secrets
  3. Bryan Waytula (Cherokee Nation), The Fast Track

Textiles (Wearable)

Best of Textiles (Wearable): Phyllis Fife (Mvskoke), “Tvkvpvtce Traveling Coat”

  1. Phyllis Fife (Mvskoke), Tvkvpvtce Traveling Coat
  2. Tom Barnett (Mvskoke), 4 Directions Ceremonial Shaker
  3. Cynthia Yerby (Seminole), Royalty

Textiles (Nonwearable)

Mvskoke Art Market 2023

Best of Textiles (Nonwearable): Janae Grass (Sac & Fox/Mvskoke/Absentee Shawnee), Talking With Spirits

  • Janae Grass (Sac & Fox/Mvskoke/Absentee Shawnee), Talking With Spirits
  • Cathy Abercrombie (Cherokee Nation), Lavender Wool Blanket
  • Breana Hill (Mvskoke), Keeping the Prayers


Best of Beadwork/Quillwork: Patricia Belgarde-Cornelius (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), “The Mona Stolen Sisters”

  1. Patricia Belgarde-Cornelius (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), The Mona Stolen Sisters
  2. Robin Fife Jenkins (Mvskoke), Wotkulke Bandolier Bag
  3. Stephen and Robi White (Pawnee), Fancy Dance


Chase Earles (Cadd0)

Bests of Pottery: Chase Kahwinhut Earles (Caddo), “Xinesis II: Spiritual Leader”

  1. Chase Kahwinhut Earles (Caddo), Xinesis II: Spiritual Leader
  2. Erna Wilson (Jemez), Butterfly
  3. Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation), Porter Frog That Ate the Sun


Best of Sculpture: Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/ Seminole), “Genesis Paddle”

  1. Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole), Genesis Paddle
  2. Ron Honyouti (Hopi), Heheya Siblings
  3. Scott Middleton (Cherokee Nation), Booger Dance


Best of Jewelry: Sandy Fife Wilson (Mvskoke), “Along the Coosa River”

  1. Sandy Fife Wilson (Mvskoke), Along the Coosa River
  2. Mark Stevens (Laguna Pueblo), Contemporary Jewelry
  3. Mark Stevens (Laguna Pueblo), Traditional Jewelry

Special Awards

Judges’ Choice

Judges’ Choice: Jaylee Lowe (Mvskoke), “Hvkyvielke”

  • Jaylee Lowe (Mvskoke), Hvkyvielke 

Honorable Mentions

  1. Micah Wesley (Mvskoke/Kiowa), Perennial II
  2. Dana Tiger (Mvskoke), From Where We Came
  3. Jamie Bennett (Mvskoke), Ever Evolving Energy

Mvskoke Heritage Award

  • Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole), Journey

Leave A Reply