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Press Release

Release Date: May 03, 2017

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • More than 100 esteemed artists representing 25 Native American tribes throughout the United States and Canada will be featured during the Artesian Arts Festival, Saturday, May 27. A record crowd of more than 6,500 attended the 2016 Artesian Arts Festival. Photo by Jacquelyn Sparks.

SULPHUR, Okla. – More than 100 esteemed artists representing 25 Native American tribes throughout the U.S. and Canada will be featured during the Artesian Arts Festival, Saturday, May 27 in Sulphur.

Hosted by the Chickasaw Nation at the Artesian Plaza, the festival is one of the fastest growing arts markets in the U.S.

A live paint by distinguished Chickasaw artist Mike Larsen will begin at 10:30 a.m., in the ARTesian Art Gallery. Other noteworthy artists giving demonstrations and discussing their craft include Jimmie Harrison, Venaya Yazzie, Daniel Worcester, Kimberly Ponca, Merlin Little Thunder, Buddy Parchcorn, J. Nicole Hatfield, Tyra Shackleford and Josy Thomas.

The fourth annual Memorial Day weekend event features diverse art media and a variety of visual art such as painting, basketry, jewelry, sculpture, metalworking, bead work, photography, textiles and pottery.

Open to artists from all federally-recognized tribes, a total of 116 Indian artists selected for the juried show will compete in as many as 21 categories.

Artists scheduled to participate include Chickasaw jewelry designer and California native Kristen Dorsey; national award-winning Cherokee ceramicist Troy Jackson; E. Dee Tabor, of Tulsa, a Chickasaw artist who specializes in 3D art and is inspired by nature and her Chickasaw heritage; and contemporary Comanche artist J. Nicole Hatfield, a native Oklahoman who draws inspiration from historical photos of proud tribal women.

Artwork will be displayed in dozens of booths along the length of Muskogee Street in downtown Sulphur.

A variety of musical entertainment is planned, as well as tribal dance demonstrations and regalia. Bands will provide continuous entertainment on two stages.

The musical line-up for the event includes a range of entertainment, including children’s music, alternative rock, pop, Latin pop, country and more.

A 10 a.m. opening ceremony and demonstration by the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe kicks off the entertainment on the main stage, followed by performances by “Injunuity,” “Sugar Free Allstars,” “Highwater Gamble,” “John Bomboy and the Underscores,” “Boyd Street Brass,” “Tequila Azul,” and the “Conner Hicks Band.”

Bands scheduled for the Plaza stage include “Overdrive,” “Conflict of Interest,” “Church of the Saturday Saints,” “The Hideouts,” “Billy K. Band,” and “Right Place, Right Time.”

Three Native American Dance troupes including the Chickasaw Nation Stomp Dance troupe, Aztec Dancers and Magic Circle Entertainment are scheduled to demonstrate Native dances on both stages.

Several food trucks and food booths will be serving festival fare such as Indian Tacos, corndogs, barbecue, funnel cakes, roasted corn, kettle corn, fried Oreos, pie, ice cream and more.

A special area for children’s activities and a senior citizens’ arts and crafts booth are also planned for the day.

Open to the public at no charge, the Artesian Arts Festival welcomed more than 6,500 to last year’s festival.

Cash awards will be presented for first, second and third place in each category, as well as “Best of Show.”

Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

For more information about the Artesian Arts Festival, contact Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities at (580) 272-5520, or by email at

The Artesian Plaza is located adjacent to the Artesian Hotel and Spa, 1001 W. First Street.

Artesian Arts Festival Artists 2017

Absentee Shawnee/Seminole
Ben Harjo, Jr.

Wayne Earles, Chase Earles, Chad Earles, Yonavea Hawkins

Verna Bates, Karen Berry, Martha Berry, Eva Cantrell, Toneh Chuleewah, Melvin Cornshucker, Vivian Cottrell, Mike Dart, J. Ross Davis, Gary Farris, Matthew Girty, Bill Glass, Jr., Daniel Horsechief, Troy Jackson, Dino Kingfisher, John Knotts, Tonya Lowrance, Ron Mitchell, Jane Osti, Buddy Parchcorn, Traci Rabbit, Tama Roberts, Jerry Sutton, Mary Beth Nelson-Timothy, Kristie Vann, Karin Walkingstick, Tana Washington, Jeffrey Watt, Bryan Waytula

Cherokee/Otoe Missouria
Tom Farris

Merlin LittleThunder

Steve Adamietz, Mary Ruth Barnes, Melvin Burris, Misti Butler, Larry Carter, Margaret Dillard, Kristen Dorsey, Linda Edgar, Wayne Edgar, Sr., Ellen Etzler, Sue Fish, Garry Harrison, Billy Hensley, Lisa Hudson, Tyson Hudson, Peggy Immohotichey, Elihu Johnson, Stephanie Kauffman, Brian Landreth, Paula Loftin, Dustin Mater, Doneeta Nowlin, Tyra Shackleford, Rena Smith, Vicki Somers, Jetawn Spivey, Lance Straughn, E. Dee Tabor, Richard Thomas, Ben Trosper, Jim Trosper, Joanna Underwood, Jeremy Wallace, Ashley Wallace, Ben White, Daniel Worcester

Tracie Davis, Norma Howard

Courtney Parchcorn

Danielle Fixico

Chickasaw/Mississippi Choctaw
Nancy Johnson, Uriah Looney

Chickasaw/Pueblo Jemez
Marcella Yepa

Dylan Cavin, Paul Hacker, Doug Maytubbie, Candace Shanholtzer, Brenda Mackey-Musgrave

Rita Heath

J. Nicole Hatfield

Jon Tiger

Les Berryhill

Venaya Yazzie, Jicarilla Apache, Damon Neal

Laguna Pueblo
LuAnne Aragon

Mississippi Choctaw
Randy Chitto
Gene Smith

Mississippi Choctaw/Laguna Pueblo
Hollis Chitto

Muscogee (Creek)
Leslie Deer, Johnnie Diacon, John Timothy II, Jimmie Fife(Stewart), Sandy Fife-Wilson

Esther Belin, Norris Chee, Suzanne Hudson

Jimmie Harrison

Northern Arapaho
Jackie Sevier

Josy Thomas

Clancy Gray, Anna Jefferson, K (Wendy) Ponca

Otoe Missouria/Kiowa
Lester Harragarra

Regina Waters, Rhonda Williams

Sid Armstrong

Prairie Band Potawatomi/Chickasaw
Mitch Battese

Sac and Fox
Tony Tiger

San Felipe Pueblo
Jennifer Garcia, Ray Garcia

Last Updated: 09/16/2016