Indigenous art. Indigenous perspectives.

Inaugural Mvskoke Art Market Winners Announced

Kenneth Johnson and friends

From left to right: Pogie Sampson (Mvskoke), Andra Freeman (Mvskoke), Christina Burke, Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole), and Bobby C. Martin (Mvskoke).

“It’s been a long time coming.”

Muscogee Nation Principal Chief David Hill was among those who shared that sentiment at the Mvskoke Art Market awards ceremony on Friday, April 22, 2022, at River Spirit Casino and Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

More than 60 artists representing several tribal nations will fill the ample market area over the weekend of April 23 and 24. At the awards ceremony, artists and guests expressed that they hope the market will become a long-standing institution.

The First Annual?

Star Woodpecker Triple Gorget, Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole)

Metalsmith and designer Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole Nation) won Best of Show for his Star Woodpecker Triple Gorget.

“I’m humbled. I’m honored,” he said. “Sandy Fife Wilson, Joy Harjo [three-term U.S. poet laureate, Mvskoke], and I formed the Muscogee Arts Association many years ago hoping to get this ball rolling. To be honored at the first show with this award is incredible.”

Fife Wilson, Mvskoke shell carver and textile artist, received the Judge’s Choice award for her incised shell gorget Cetto Mekko and third place in Textiles (Traditional Dress/Regalia) for Split Arrows of Peace.

ShaVon Hill (Mvskoke)

ShaVon Hill (Mvskoke), program manager for the Muscogee Nation, addressing the crowd.

“Kenneth is right,” she said. “We’ve been talking about this a long time, and I’m glad ShaVon Agee [program manager with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Cultural Center and Archives]and the rest made it happen after so much planning and then two years of pandemic restrictions. I think it’s going to be a good market from now on.”

Respect for Art and Artists

Jimmie Carole Fife (Mvskoke) received the Mvskoke Heritage Award for her painting This is Our Homeland, Our Home. Fife’s work often reflects or comments on Mvskoke history.

Jimmie Carole Fife (Mvskoke) with Mvskoke Heritage Award–winning Our Homelands, Our Home

“I was watching coverage of the war in Ukraine on television, and I saw an old man who said, ‘This is our homeland. Our home,'” she said.”That made me think of our people, the Mvskoke. The same thing happened to us…. We were also forced to leave our homeland. That’s why I used the colors of the Ukrainian flag in the painting. I am honored it was recognized with the Mvskoke Heritage Award here in the Mvskoke Nation.”

George Alexander (Mvskoke) whose Don’t Call My Name placed second in the painting classification, said he was pleased with the respect shown to artists at the market.

“I am honored to be a winner, and I’m very honored to have my tribe hold a market,” he said. “To be honest, this is one of the smoothest markets I’ve ever done. Usually, you have to bring in your own stuff and hike it all the way up to the venue. Here, they arranged for people to help us bring in our work, and that in itself has been a major contribution. Also, for them to allot so much award money is phenomenal. It’s very competitive, and it is well-deserved for the quality of the art at this market.”

Beverly and Randy Kemp

Beverly Kemp (Navajo) and Randy Kemp (Choctaw Nation/Mvskoke/ Euchee) and their family will exhibit at the market.

Close to Home

Bryan Waytula (Cherokee Nation), whose Golden Eagle Woman won first in Drawing/Graphic Art/Photography, appreciates attending a market close to home.

“All the pain, the hours, charcoal all over the place was worth it to be juried into the inaugural market and to be recognized,” he said. “I feel so fortunate. Like a lot of artists, I travel to markets outside Oklahoma – Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico, Heard Museum’s market in Arizona, Eiteljorg Museum’s in Indiana, Autry Museum’s in California. It’s nice that we can come together at the Mvskoke Art Market so close to home, and I think this market will have a lot of support from the community and from artists.”

Winners of the 2022 Mvskoke Art Market

Best of Show

Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole Nation), Star Woodpecker Triple Gorget


Micah Wesley (Kiowa/Muscogee)

Micah Wesley (Kiowa/Muscogee), “Sister of Mercy,” acrylic on canvas.

  1. Micah Wesley (Kiowa/Mvskoke), Sister of Mercy
  2. George Alexander (Mvskoke), Don’t Call My Name
  3. Jimmie Carole Fife (Mvskoke), This is Our Homeland, Our Home

Diverse Art Forms

Dan Beaver (Mvskoke)

Best of Diverse Arts: Dan Beaver (Muscogee)

  1. Dan Beaver (Mvskoke), Gunstock War Club
  2. Tony Tiger (Sac and Fox/Seminole Nation/Mvskoke), Community Arbor
  3. Richard Honyouti (Hopi), Hopi Sunrise


Mvskoke Art Market 2022

Mary E. Smith (Mvskoke), “Southeastern Mat,” commercial reed, dye.

  1. Mary Smith (Mvskoke), Southeastern Mat
  2. Vivian Cottrell (Cherokee Nation), Southeastern Traditional Cane Basket
  3. Vivian Cottrell (Cherokee Nation), Pretty Basket

Drawing/Graphic Art/Photography

Brian Waytula

Brian Waytula (Cherokee Nation), “Golden Eagle Woman,” charcoal on canvas.

  1. Bryan Waytula (Cherokee Nation), Golden Eagle Woman
  2. Tony Tiger (Sac and Fox/Seminole Nation/Mvskoke), Okemah 1910
  3. Morgan Cain (Mvskoke), Watusi

Textiles (Traditional Dress/Regalia)

Catherine Abercromie (Cherokee Nation)

Catherine Abercromie (Cherokee Nation)

  1. Cathy Abercrombie (Cherokee Nation), Respect to Muscogee Nation Blanket
  2. Cynthia Yerby (Seminole Nation/Mvskoke), 1800s Patchwork Coin Dress
  3. Sandy Fife Wilson (Mvskoke), Split Arrows of Peace

Textiles (Modern/Contemporary)

Star Robideau

Starr Robideau-Morales (Cheyenne-Arapaho/Ojibwe/Lakota), “Stomp It Down,” grass dance regalia. Image courtesy of Steven Morales (Cherokee Nation/Lakota).

  1. Starr Robideau-Morales (Cheyenne-Arapaho/Ojibwe/Lakota), Stomp It Down
  2. Cynthia Yerby (Seminole Nation), Turtle Dress
  3. Starr Robideau-Morales (Cheyenne-Arapaho/Ojibwe/Lakota), Every Child Matters


Pati Belgarde-Cornelius (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe), Makwa's Stormy Starry Night

Pati Belgarde-Cornelius (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe), “Makwa’s Stormy Starry Night,” seed beads, deer hide, felt hat

  1. Pati Belgarde-Cornelius (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe), Makwa’s Stormy Starry Night
  2. Janae Grass (Sac & Fox/Mvskoke/Absentee Shawnee), Vcokrvnwv Bag
  3. Janae Grass (Sac & Fox/Mvskoke/Absentee Shawnee), Body Chain


Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation)

Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation)

  1. Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation), Lizard Bowl
  2. Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation), 3 Sisters Tripod
  3. Mary Smith (Mvskoke), Grandma’s Fresh Picked Corn


A. Wayne Earles (Caddo), “Nup-bah-dikv (Blackknight),” etched stone mace.

  1. A. Wayne “Tay Sha” Earles (Caddo), Nup-bah-dikv (Blacknight)
  2. Matthew Girty (United Keetoowah Band), Duck Creek Effigy Bowl
  3. A. Wayne “Tay Sha” Earles (Caddo), Ibat’-Ni-ke” (Grandfather Fire)

Jewelry (Stone/Metal)

Jolene Bird (Kewa Pueblo)

Jolene Bird (Kewa Pueblo), “Inlaid Arrowhead Necklace,” turquoise, spiny oyster, coral, lapis, onyx, and other natural stones.

  1. Jolene Bird (Kewa Pueblo), Inlaid Arrowhead Necklace
  2. Kenneth Johnson (Mvskoke/Seminole), Song of the 4th World Star Necklace
  3. Jesse Robbins (Mvskoke), Mindful Patterns Cult

Special Awards

Cetto Mekko by Sandy Fife Wilson (Mvskoke)

Judges’ Choice:

  • Sandy Fife Wilson (Mvskoke), Cetto Mekko

Honorable Mentions:

  • Harry Beaver (Mvskoke), Fat Fish
  • Dan Beaver (Mvskoke), Upper World
  • Leslie Deer (Mvskoke), Resilient Blue

Mvskoke Heritage Award

  • Jimmie Carole Fife (Mvskoke), This is Our Homeland, Our Home

Mvskoke Heritage Award Honorable Mention:

  • Jon Tiger (Mvskoke), Moon Dance


  1. Will the article on Muscogee Art be at n your magazine or is it only on line? I would like to have a hard copy if available. Thank you, Mary Smith, Muscogee Artist for the woven mat.

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