Planning a trip to Asheville? Two centrally-located exhibitions, on view through springtime, offer a closer look at enduring Cherokee culture through the work of contemporary artists.

Weaving Across Time: Contemporary Cherokee Basket Making, Land, and Identity

On view at Center for Craft December 18, 2021–April 18, 2022

ᎢᏛᏍᎦ  ᏫᏥᏤᎢ  ᎠᎵᏰᎵᏒ Weaving Across Time features a recent resurgence of contemporary Eastern Band Cherokee artists who are creatively building on a centuries-old practice of basket making. Learning from mothers, grandmothers, and mentors, these nine artists sustainably harvest, prepare, and dye materials found throughout Western North Carolina, and weave them into exquisite baskets.  This exhibition features over forty rivercane and white oak baskets, mats, and miniatures made between 2000-2021. Exhibiting Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Artists include: ᏚᏍᏓᏯᎫᎾᏱ Gabriel Crow, Faye Junaluska, Lucille Lossiah, Ramona Lossie, ᏯᏗ ᎺᏂ Betty Maney, ᏗᎳᏂ Dylan Morgan, ᎺᎵ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ Mary W. Thompson, ᏎᎳᏂ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ Sarah Thompson, Patricia Welch. MCI Director of Education Dakota Brown served as a curatorial advisor for the exhibition.

Center for Craft is located at 67 Broadway St. in Asheville and is open from Monday through Friday from 10am-6pm. The Center offers free, unguided visits and affordable tours of its exhibitions to the public. Guests can reserve a 30-minute visit to explore the current exhibitions here.

A Living Language: Cherokee Syllabary and Contemporary Art

On view at Asheville Art Museum November 19, 2021–March 14, 2022

A Living Language: Cherokee Syllabary and Contemporary Art  features over 50 works of art in a variety of media by more than 30 Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and Cherokee Nation artists. The exhibition highlights the use of the written Cherokee language, a syllabary developed by Cherokee innovator Sequoyah (circa 1776–1843). Cherokee syllabary is frequently found in the work of Cherokee artists as a compositional element or the subject matter of the work itself.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians artists include Joshua Adams, Jody Lipscomb Bradley, Nathan Bush, Kane Crowe, John Henry Gloyne, Shan Goshorn, Luzene Hill, Christy Long, Louise Bigmeat Maney, Christopher McCoy, Tara McCoy, Joel Queen, Sean Ross, Jakeli Swimmer, Rhiannon Skye Tafoya, Mary Thompson, Stan Tooni Jr., Alica Wildcatt, and Fred Wilnoty. Cherokee Nation artists include Roy Boney Jr., Jeff Edwards, Joseph Erb, Raychel Foster, Kenny Glass, Camilla McGinty, Jessica Mehta, America Meredith, Jane Osti, Lisa Rutherford, Janet L. Smith, Jennifer Thiessen, and Jennie Wilson.

This exhibition is organized by the Asheville Art Museum and Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and curated by Hilary Schroeder, assistant curator at the Asheville Art Museum, with assistance from curatorial consultant Joshua Adams (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians).

Asheville Art Museum is located at 2 South Pack Square in downtown Asheville and is open daily 11am–6pm, late-night Thursdays until 9pm, and is closed Tuesdays.

The Asheville Art Museum offers several events in conjunction with A Living Language:

Wednesday, January 12:, 12pm: Discussion Bound: Even as We Breathe: A Novel by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle. Asheville Art Museum’s monthly discussion is a place to exchange ideas about readings that relate to artworks and the art world, and to learn from and about each other. On January 12, join author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle with moderator Hilary Schroeder to discuss Even as We Breathe, the 66th winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

Sunday, January 23, 2pm: Art Break. Join assistant curator Hilary Schroeder for an informal gallery talk and presentation on the exhibit.

Saturday, February 12, 1pm: Public Tour. Touring docent Shana Hill leads a tour of the exhibition.

Thursday, February 17, 5pm: Evening for Educators. Western North Carolina K–12 visual arts teachers are invited to participate in a casual and collaborative professional-development workshop. This workshop will include an in-gallery talk with the exhibition curator, Zoom presentation and Q&A with exhibition artist Skye Tafoya, and related artmaking with museum educators in the AAM studio. Educators can register here. Lessons plan included.