Philbrook Selects Festival Artist

Philbrook Museum has selected the Native American-influenced design of Oklahoma artist Mel Cornshucker for its 2005 Festival of Trees collectible pin.

This year’s Festival of Trees, Philbrook’s annual holiday fundraiser set for Nov. 17 through Dec. 4, will take on an international flavor by celebrating “Holiday Traditions from Around the World.” Visitors will have the opportunity to view and learn about holidays celebrated by different countries—such as Japan, Norway, England and Russia—and even our Native American culture.

Cornshucker, a full-blood Native American Cherokee from Jay, Okla., uses form and design in his art that reflect not only his Cherokee heritage but the Native American spirit, both past and present. His work has been featured in gallery exhibitions across the country, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and his pieces also have been featured in the Philbrook Museum store.

The 2005 Festival of Trees pin features a variety of symbols important to Cornshucker’s Native American heritage: the pin’s tree design and warm earth tones represent Mother Earth; the star that tops the tree represents Father Sky. The swirls on the pin represent Healing Waters, and the dragonfly represents the Messenger of Peace.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as this year’s pin artist,” said Cornshucker. “Art has always been in my life, even as a child. Among my most cherished childhood memories are those times spent cane pole fishing with Grandpa Trotting Wolf on Spavinaw Creek near Jay. The sun was warm on our faces and the dragonflies were all around us. That’s when Grandpa Wolf would tell me the stories of our people.”

Updated 08-20-2005

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