TAHLEQUAH, OK --- The Cherokee Heritage Center has just launched its 2011 season with the unveiling of “Resurgence,” a specially designed statue by Cherokee artist and citizen Daniel HorseChief.
Following the unveiling, guests were also provided a private tour of the pilot homes and area of the new outdoor living exhibit. The project planning and design phase was recently completed following a three-year process and is now in preliminary development. The Cherokee Heritage Center plans to involve the Cherokee speaking community along with the general public in the naming of the new village. The Cherokee Heritage Center is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, OK 74451.
Carey Tilley, Executive Director at the Cherokee Heritage Center, led the statue unveiling and new season kick-off. Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, attended along with Cherokee Heritage Center Board of Directors and Cherokee Nation Tribal Council.
“This year marks our 45th season and we look forward to another successful year of providing guests with the knowledge and experience of Cherokee history and culture,” said Tilley. “It’s also a privilege to reveal the center’s newest work of art by such a renown Cherokee artist.”
“Resurgence” by Daniel HorseChief is now on permanent display in the atrium of the Cherokee Heritage Center. The nearly 12 feet tall artwork features a Cherokee stickball player leaping for a goal and represents an old style of craftsmanship blended with a unique new design.
According to HorseChief, “Resurgence” represents the Cherokee people’s ability to overcome adversity with pride and integrity.
As a child HorseChief visited art shows at the Cherokee Heritage Center with his mother and aunt and soon developed a desire to someday be fortunate enough to have a piece on display.
“With the history of the pillars and the seminary there’s just so much here,” said HorseChief. “I grew up loving this place with the trees and the activities that were here, and still are - it’s surreal.”
The Cherokee Heritage Center entrance is framed by three tall columns, remaining signatures of the 1850 Cherokee Female Seminary that was once located on the site and was the first institution of higher learning for women west of the Mississippi. The Cherokee Heritage Center, which sits on a 49-acre complex, first opened to the public in 1967 under the leadership of Chief W.W. Keeler and the Cherokee National Historical Society. Today, in addition to the outdoor exhibits, the center is home to thousands of tribal historical objects, documents and photographs.
About Cherokee Heritage Center
The Cherokee Heritage Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture, and the arts. Located in the heart of the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Okla., it was established in 1963 by the Cherokee National Historical Society to preserve and promote the Cherokee culture. The Cherokee Heritage Center is also home to the Cherokee National Archives, which is the Nation’s foremost collection of historic tribal related documents and artifacts from the 1700s through present day. The Cherokee Heritage Center is situated on the grounds of the original Cherokee Female Seminary, which is one of the first institutions of higher learning for women west of the Mississippi and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service has designated the Center as the interpretive site for the western terminus of the Trail Of Tears for the Cherokees and other tribes forcibly removed to Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, during the 1800s.