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Press Release

Release Date: June 20, 2019

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



  • Kaylee Martin poses with her award-winning items at the 32nd Red Earth Festival. Kaylee’s pewter sculpture “The Lone Buffalo” was judged Best of Show and she won third place for beaded deer antlers.

OKLAHOMA CITY – A 2019 Byng High School graduate’s buffalo sculpture was named Youth Division “Best of Show” at the renowned Red Earth Festival here in June.

The honor marks the third time in four years a Chickasaw youth has won the top honor.

Kaylee Martin hammered, pounded, soldered and shaped “The Lone Buffalo” during the 2018 Chickasaw Arts Academy.

She selected pewter as her medium, a malleable metal alloy 85-99 percent tin, with the remainder consisting of copper, antimony, bismuth and - less common - lead. The art depicts a single buffalo departing a wallow.

Kaylee is drawn to buffaloes culturally, but also because her mother would take her to see bison frequently on trips to national wildlife refuges.

Kaylee said she was “shocked” to find her work on a tall pedestal with a purple ribbon announcing it was the best piece of art submitted in the youth division.

“It felt great,” she exclaimed, “but I wasn’t expecting it.”

In 2018, her metal sculpture “Ascension” placed first in division competition. In 2019, Kaylee also placed third in the cultural division with colorful beaded deer antlers, adorned with black, red and blue glass seed stones.

It marked the second year in a row a Chickasaw youth artist has captured “Best of Show” at the premiere Native American art exhibition, which celebrated its 32nd anniversary this year.

In 2018, Miko Milligan’s hanging sculpture “The Warrior” was named “Best of Show.” Miko also was honored in 2016 with a “Best of Show” award for a sculpture titled “Shaman.”

On July 11, Kaylee will depart the Chickasaw Nation.

She will attend California State University, Bakersfield, this autumn, according to her mother, Lacey Horning, a nine-year Chickasaw Nation employee.

The teenager is interested in studying forensic psychology with an eye toward joining the ranks of the Federal Bureau of Investigation upon college graduation.

Native artists from across the country participated in the prestigious Red Earth Juried Art Market.

The 2019 Red Earth Festival was June 7-9 at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

In total, 17 Chickasaw youth artists were cited for quality art festival submissions.

Winners have participated in the Chickasaw Arts Academy, Chickasaw Young Artist Studio, After School Arts Program and Beadwork Studio classes offered by the Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division.

The study of arts and humanities highlights culture by expressing the beauty, strength, intelligence and spirit of the people and enhances the rich legacy of who Chickasaws were, who they are and who they will be.

The classes offered by the Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division seek to enrich the heritage of the Chickasaw Nation and its citizens by creating and developing awareness, understanding and enjoyment of Chickasaw visual, performing and literary arts.

2019 Red Earth Youth Art Competition Chickasaw Winners

Division 1 (9-12 years old)

First Place-Adison Lippard, Cultural Item

First Place-Camden Oliphant, Sculpture

First Place-Hunter Risdon, Basketry

First Place-Camden Oliphant, Painting/Drawing/Graphics

Second Place-Sophie Mater, Beadwork

Second Place-Davion Wilson, Cultural Item

Second Place-Camden Oliphant, Pottery

Second Place-Peyton Horton, Sculpture

Third Place-Jadyce Burns, Beadwork

Third Place-Avyn Johnson, Cultural Item

Third Place-Sophie Mater, Photography

Third Place-Issac McCoy, Jewelry

Division 2 (13-15 years old)

First Place-Gabrielle Cleveland, Beadwork

First Place-Madison Crispin, Photography

First Place-Drennan Jesse, Photography

Second Place-Micah Postoak, Photography

Second Place-Gabrielle Cleveland, Jewelry

Third Place-Micah Postoak, Painting

Division 3 (16-18 years old)

Best of Show-Kaylee Martin, Sculpture

First Place-Macy Smith, Painting/Drawing/Graphics

Third Place-Kaylee Martin, Painting/Drawing/Graphics

Third Place-Kaylee Martin, Beadwork