BYNG — Chickasaw artist Courtney Parchcorn won Best in Show in the 16 to 18-year-old division at the recent Red Earth Youth Art competition.

After receiving the award, she said, “This feels great, but I’m still kind of in shock.” 

Courtney, who is a sophomore at Byng High School and a student in the Chickasaw Nation after- school arts program, also won third in the cultural division.

She won the Best in Show award for a beaded flute which incorporated a complicated stitch she learned from her father, Buddy.

Shortly after winning first place for a beaded bracelet she entered in the 13-15 year old division last year, Courtney began planning her entry for this year’s competition.

Courtney’s mother, Francine, said her daughter decided she would make a beadwork design with a three-dimensional look.

Achieving that effect requires using three shades of each color incorporated into the work as well as a special type of stitch.

“Her dad taught her the hardest stitch, the Peyote stitch,” Francine said. “He told her if she could do this stitch she could do anything. She worked on it until she got it right.”

Courtney said it took her about a week to make the beaded flute.

“This was my first time trying to do this. It took hours of work,” she said.

Courtney was one of several Chickasaw students who won awards in the competition. Students in the Chickasaw Nation after-school arts program swept the cultural category in their age division.

Brandon Blankenship, a Chickasaw sophomore at Byng High School, won first place in the cultural division. Lisa Eidson, a Choctaw freshman at Byng Junior High, won second place in the division.

“We are very proud of these young Chickasaw artists,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “While the recognition they have received is great, it is even more gratifying to see them taking an interest in their culture and carrying on the tradition of a long line of excellent Chickasaw artists.”

Another Chickasaw artist, Me-Way-Seh Greenwood, won first place in beadwork.

Chickasaw artist Micah Hart of Ada, also a student in the after-school arts program, won second place in painting in the 13-15 year-old division.

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