Red Cloud students win prizes in Arizona art show

posted on April 4, 2012

Four Red Cloud students have taken honors in the 23rd annual Heard Museum Guild American Indian Art Show and Sale in Phoenix, Arizona.

Student pieces selected for awards include January Tobacco’s piece, “Walking Zoo”, which took a white ribbon in the beadwork division, Shelby Clifford’s “Wacipi” (“Powwow”), which took a green ribbon in the collage & mixed media division, and Justina Bagola’s “Waawanyanka” (“Guardian/Protector”), which took a green ribbon in the category of computer-generated art.

The big winner of the day, however, was senior Charlie Cuny. Her piece, “Married Woman”, won first place in the sculpture category, as well as an overall Chair’s Award. Her “Married Man” won both an overall Judge’s Choice Award, and the Andy Eisenberg Memorial Award.

This was the second year that Red Cloud students have entered the art show. Last year, two seniors took first places in two categories, and Cuny – then a junior – received a Judge’s Choice Award.

The goal of the event is to give emerging young Native artists a venue that will allow their talents to be shown and recognized, often for the first time. Many professional artists have gotten their start at the annual event. The show itself features a vast array of traditional and fine art, as well as unique contemporary pieces in creative mediums.

In recent years, more than 1,000 pieces from some 650 artists representing dozens of tribes from at least a dozen states have been received and showcased. The entries are judged by a panel of distinguished and knowledgeable art scholars including professional artists, college professors, curators, and collectors. In addition, each piece is priced by the student who created it and made available for sale during the show. Proceeds from the show and sale are returned to the students, and also support grants and scholarships.

High school art teacher Leah Maltbie says she is very proud of her students’ work: “It’s really exciting to know that about half of our entries won some sort of prize, especially since it is a national art show and the interest in this event is so great.” She added, “The students who entered the show definitely have an interest in art, and the craftsmanship and dedication it takes to do really good work.”