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Press Release

Release Date: June 15, 2017

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

OKLAHOMA CITY - Chickasaw artist, writer and bladesmith Daniel Worcester won first place in the Diversity Division at the prestigious Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City. The festival is hosted by Red Earth, a nonprofit that works to promote Native American art and culture. In its 31st year, the festival took place June 9 through 11 at the Cox Convention Center downtown.

Worcester won for his piece titled “The Crow.” Forged from a variety of reclaimed materials, “The Crow” is typical of Worcester’s knife style.

“It was made out of a single piece of a railroad spike that I split, forged out into a blade and two tangs, and the handles were out of old dominoes. And I used old dominoes that I had found, Bakelite material, and I used sterling silver taken from 1830s-era-type spoons,” the artist said.

Worcester was previously selected as Red Earth’s Honored One at the 2013 festival for his influence on the Native American art community. This was his 29th year to be selected for inclusion in the show.

“The first two times I submitted work I did not get invited to participate,” he said. “The third time was the charm. I have been juried into the show every year since,” Mr. Worcester said.

Attending Red Earth Festival for the first time this year was Chickasaw artist Billy Hensley. Known for his distinct use of horizontal and vertical lines in his paintings, Hensley blends traditional imagery and modern style.

“Mainly, the lines and the striping is just a means of moving your eye in the direction that I want it to go,” Hensley said of his work.

Hensley has also been juried into the 2017 Southeastern Art Show and Market hosted by the Chickasaw Nation at the Annual Meeting and Festival from Sept. 29 to Oct. 7. Hensley stated he was very excited to be able to show his art at events like these.

“I’m just proud to be here, to be Chickasaw, and to represent my people and my tribe, in the best way that I can,” he said.

Worcester commented that the Chickasaw Nation has been a great source of inspiration and support throughout his career.

“Whatever you do, whether it be bladesmithing painting, or whatever, the Chickasaws foster that creativity in each artist, each person. So, Chickasaws are a great, great influence,” he said.