A firm grasp on history

Students from Oconaluftee Institute of Cultural Arts recently visited the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and got to put their hands on some of the oldest forms of Cherokee art.

The students, under the direction of museum Education Director Barbara Duncan, were allowed access to the Museum’s extensive artifact collection that includes pieces thousands of years old.

Duncan chose Cherokee art from the Mississippian period and other time periods and discussed their functions and cultural contexts: two atlatl weights, a bannerstone, two birdstones, a chunkey stone, a discoidal, a marble, a shell gorget, a bear effigy water bottle, a three-color resist painted water bottle, and a fire pot.

“It was great to have the OICA students and teachers visit the museum and access our collections to learn about Cherokee art and culture from Cherokee artifacts,” said Duncan.

The two classes from OICA were the Art History Survey I taught by Phyllis Jarvinen and 2 D Design taught by program instructor Brian Kane.

“It was an amazing experience for our students to be able to see and touch something that someone made thousands of years ago,” said Jarvinen. “You truly got a sense of the physical connection as well the level of craftsmanship.”

Southwestern Community College offers an Associate of Fine Arts degree program at The Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts. The Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts is located on U.S. 19 North, behind Tribal Bingo at 70 Bingo Loop in Cherokee.

828.497.3945 or southwesterncc.edu/finearts/.

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