Cherokee National Treasures Demonstrate Artisan Skills on Peace Plaza

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS (August 24, 2021) - Cherokee National Treasures Lisa Rutherford, Cathy Abercrombie and Tommy Wildcat will be demonstrating and selling art at the unveiling of “Peace Circle” occurring on Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station on Saturday, September 18.

Cherokee National Treasures are citizens who the Cherokee Nation recognizes to have shown exceptional knowledge of Cherokee art and culture. The award was established in 1988 by the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee National Historical Society. Cherokee Treasures actively work to preserve and revive traditional cultural practices that are in danger of being lost. To date more than 100 artists and language teachers have received the recognition.

Lisa Rutherford, Cherokee Nation was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2018 for her work in preserving and promoting Cherokee pottery and culture. Rutherford balances her creative time between clay arts and textile arts including pottery, sculpture, southeast applique beadwork and more. She began making historic 18th century clothing to wear while she demonstrated pottery, leading to her career as a living history interpreter as well as an artist.

Her work is in museum collections including the Smithsonian Museum’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum at Oklahoma University, and the Cherokee National History Museum in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Cathy Abercrombie, also a Cherokee National Treasure, is a third-generation Cherokee loom weaver who began her weaving at Oak Hill Weavers in Piney, Oklahoma. She first learned her skill at a young age under the mentorship of her grandmother and was selling her work by age 12. She later inherited her grandmother’s and an aunt’s looms and opened Cherokee Woven Spirits. Abercrombie has competed in Native American Art shows, worked as a living history interpreter and has volunteered to share the history of Cherokee textiles.

Abercrombie carefully replicates and preserves the original weaving designs by using historically accurate yarns that have been used at Oak Hill for over 80 years. Additionally, she also enjoys creating modern textiles with her unique fibers and designs. She is the last remaining active, original weaver from Oak Hill. She is passing on the family tradition to her sons, who are award-winning fourth generation weavers, as well as to many more of her grandmother’s ancestors in hopes of continuing the legacy.

Tommy Wildcat, also a Cherokee National Treasure, is a singer, flute maker and self-taught composer of flute songs. He learned the traditional vocal songs of his tribe from his father, Tom Wildcat, who was also designated a Cherokee National Treasure. Tommy Wildcat’s company, A Warrior’s Production, has created four full-length albums. He was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2013 for his flute music, flute making and his contributions to Cherokee history and culture.

ABOUT PEACE CIRCLE

“Peace Circle” is a work of public art and an interpretation of a moment in time of a meeting of Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and 10 American Indian chiefs/ captains on the Grape Vine Prairie in 1843. The installation, located on Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station, features 11 bronze statues standing 1.25 percent larger than life size, representing Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and American Indian chiefs/ captains from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee Nations.

ABOUT GRAPEVINE, TEXAS

Historic Grapevine, Texas, centrally located between Fort Worth and Dallas, is the premier go-to destination when planning a getaway or vacation in North Texas! Step back in time on Historic Downtown Main Street with a collection of charming boutiques, art galleries and bistros and cafes. Enjoy fantastic hotels and resorts, great attractions for the entire family, a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, exquisite winery tasting rooms, world-class shopping and much more. For more information, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com.