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October 10, 2013

Chickasaw artists delight festival patrons

Tishomingo —

Frequent waves of thunder, periods of heavy rain and squishy footing didn’t stop throngs of art lovers from soaking in the varying delights on display at last Saturday’s Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM).

Paintings, carvings, bows, drums, flutes, photographs and much more were painstakingly positioned on tables lining the walls of the tent that served as a temporary gallery and market.

It is not easy to acquire table space at SEASAM. Artists are juried in, which means art experts have deemed their work worthy of participation.

Chickasaws were well represented.

Jeremy Wallace, a cultural instructor for the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, worked numerous hours at this year’s Chickasaw Nation 53rd Annual Meeting and 25th Annual Festival.

His master craftsmanship ensured his involvement, but plenty of friends were asked to substitute for him at his art table piled high with handmade bows, arrows, blow dart guns, drums, and more.

Wallace was frequently busy playing stickball with school children who ventured to the festival to learn about Chickasaw history, culture and tradition.

His is one of the most familiar faces at the cultural center and he exudes a love of all things Chickasaw.

“It is an honor to be here; an honor to have your art judged by others as being good enough for inclusion,” Wallace said while he sat lashing rabbit fur-tipped darts to blow guns he crafted from scratch.

In front of Wallace – as well as all Chickasaw artisans -- was an array of multi-colored award ribbons visually telegraphing to visitors and buyers the traditional Chickasaw crafts stacked before him were judged among the very best.

Across the aisle from Wallace were photographs, a more modern form of artistic expression.

James Wallace embraces the shutterbug within himself that complements a well-traveled, highly-educated thespian, writer, actor and playwright that all seem to coexist as one.

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