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News > Press Releases > Press Release

Press Release

Release Date: February 06, 2020

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • The ARTesian Gallery & Studios is a space for creating, appreciating and sharing fine art.

SULPHUR, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation offers an assortment of classes and workshops for both experienced and aspiring artists throughout February at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios, 100 W. Muskogee St.

The roster of expert artists and artisans teaching these classes include Patta Butcher, Leanne Parker-West, Donna Welch, Margaret Roach Wheeler and Ashley Wallace.

Students develop skills in arts and crafts such as silk painting, pastels, journal making, calligraphy, gourd art, loom weaving and creating pucker toe moccasins.

Patta Butcher - Silk painting, surface design

Students in Choctaw artist Patta Butcher’s silk painting classes will handcraft a wearable and unique art piece by applying dyes on silk. Butcher will lead the group as they design their fabric with a fusion of contemporary concepts and traditional Native American motifs.

Butcher’s silk painting classes are planned two per day, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m., Feb 15. Students in these classes will practice surface design, or creating patterns and designs meant to be applied to the surfaces of fabrics.

An enrollment fee of $25 includes instruction and materials. Pre-registration is encouraged. Class size is limited.

Leanne Parker-West – Multimedia

Leanne Parker-West, a Muscogee (Creek) artist and teacher, has planned hands-on multimedia art classes at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios.

Drawing from her history as an art teacher, Parker-West has taught in multiple art media at the ARTesian, including oil pastels, soft pastels, book page crafts, mini canvases, quill ink, watercolor, calligraphy, origami, weaving, cartooning and wax resist, among others.

She spends the fall and spring semesters teaching junior high and high school art at Dickson Public Schools in Ardmore. Since 2012, Parker-West has also taught art during the Chickasaw Arts Academy. Now she is sharing her 24 years of art education experience with the community.

Parker-West said she plans her classes as child-friendly and accessible to everyone. All skill levels are welcome.

Her classes in February will be available 4-6 p.m. and include: journal making Feb. 10 and 13, calligraphy Feb. 19 and 21, and oil pastels Feb. 24, 27 and 28. An enrollment fee of $10 per class includes instruction and supplies.

Donna Welch - Gourd art

Multi-talented Chickasaw artist Donna Welch crafts gourds into colorful vessels that can be functional or works for display.

Welch’s art has been exhibited in California, Utah, ARTesian Arts Gallery in Sulphur and in the Chokma’si Gallery located at the Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division building in Ada. She also provided gourd artwork for the 2018 Dynamic Women of the Chickasaw Nation Conference.

Welch is a traditional Chickasaw storyteller. She incorporates ancient motifs in her work, including her gourd art, which is the chosen medium in which she hopes to expand, grow and flourish.

Welch has planned a fine gourd art class 1-5 p.m., Feb. 27.

This class will cost $50, which includes materials and instruction focusing on branded and beaded gourd necklace earrings.

Margaret Roach Wheeler - Loom weaving

Margaret Roach Wheeler is a Native American hand weaver, fiber expert and textile artist of Chickasaw-Choctaw descent.

She has created costumes for film production, designed garments for fashion shows and exhibited around the world. She also lectures, instructs workshops and leads seminars on Native American fibers and her unique style of weaving.

She grew up in a household where fibers were a part of daily life. Her mother and grandmother knitted, sewed, quilted and crocheted. The loom and the act of weaving brought memories, not only of childhood, but also an awareness of her Chickasaw heritage.

Wheeler developed as a painter, sculptor, educator, Native historian, weaver and 2010 Chickasaw Hall of Fame inductee.

She has won numerous awards, including the President’s Award at Red Earth Festival and textile awards at the 2009 Southeastern Art Show and Market. Wheeler is the owner of Mahota Handwovens, where she designs contemporary fashions and traditional Native American regalia.

Her class from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 22, at the Artesian Gallery & Studios will have students creating a frame loom woven sampler. Cost is $50, which includes materials and instruction.

Tana Washington Exhibit

Visitors and students are welcome to browse the works of Tana Washington, on exhibit at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios through March 9.

Washington is a self-taught Cherokee artist who was born and reared in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She was introduced to art at a young age and has practiced this craft throughout her life.

Washington’s work can be found in a variety of media. She has been awarded in several categories including scissor-cut, brushwork, graphite, wood and alabaster carvings.

About the ARTesian Gallery & Studios

Located in the heart of downtown Sulphur, the ARTesian Gallery & Studios is a space for creating, appreciating and sharing fine art. The 7,400-square-foot facility features an art gallery, classroom space, reception and retail space.

The facility was designed to assist and promote Chickasaw and other Native American artists. The gallery provides an excellent venue for artists to display and market their work. A reception area houses art shows and meet-the-artist receptions. Five separate studio spaces are also occupied by various resident artists.

The ARTesian Gallery & Studios offers public art classes for all levels. Students can learn many different art media such as painting, weaving, dyeing, crafts, drawing, beading, printing, soapstone carving, moccasin making, quillwork, needle punch and embroidering with French knots taught by world renowned artists.

The ARTesian Gallery & Studios is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. To register for classes and workshops, or for more information regarding other upcoming events, call (580) 622-8040.