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Call For Choctaw Artists

The Choctaw Nation is actively seeking Choctaw artists working in all styles and media, including paintings on paper and canvas, dimensional work, murals, drawings, photography, sculpture, basketry, pottery, beadwork, carvings, and weavings for the new Hugo Tribal Services building expansion. We will carefully select artwork for its significance and connection to the project’s vision. Currently, the existing facility artwork includes historical photography. High-quality works with similar or complementary themes are appreciated, but diversification is welcome. The vision for the Hugo Tribal Services building expansion art project is to curate a collection of Choctaw-driven artwork that reflects historic themes, highlights traditional foods, and showcases the unique perspectives and rich history of the Choctaw Nation.

BACKGROUND:
We’ve carefully designed all the services provided by the Choctaw Nation to ensure that each tribal member can look forward to a bright, prosperous future. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is honored to present tribal members with an extensive list of programs and services available to the Chahta people. At the Hugo Tribal Services building, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma associates will continue to work hard to ensure that we meet the needs of tribal members through various services.

To better understand the significance of this project, it is also essential to acknowledge the history of the area where this building is. Found in Hugo, Oklahoma, the expansion of the Tribal Services building is indicative of growth within Choctaw County. Before Oklahoma statehood, Choctaw County was part of Jackson, Kiamichi, Cedar, and Towson Counties of the Choctaw Nation. In 1824, the U.S. Army established Fort Towson, the second oldest fort in Indian Territory, in present-day Choctaw County.

Choctaw people began settling in this area in 1831–32 after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed, and they forced Choctaw people to walk the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory. Another significant moment in the county’s history is the founding of Goodland Academy. Tracing its roots to an 1848 Presbyterian mission, the Goodland Presbyterian Children’s Home, four miles south of Hugo, is one of Oklahoma’s oldest such agencies. We will directly connect the newly expanded Hugo Tribal Services building to these and other significant moments of Choctaw history.

While not a requirement, it is this history and the core value of service that this commission of public artwork seeks to honor, reflect upon, and explore.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is the largest of the three federally recognized bands of Choctaws and is the third largest federally recognized Tribe in the United States. In August 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in McGirt v. Oklahoma that the federal government never officially dissolved the Muskogee Creek reservation, a decision that extends to the Choctaw Nation as well. The Choctaw Nation’s reservation covers nearly 11,000 square miles in Southeastern Oklahoma.

The region’s topography includes the Kiamichi mountains, prairies, cypress swamps, rivers, and woodlands. Fishing, hunting, and camping are popular activities, especially in the eastern part of the reservation. It is a place rich in natural resources and home to people of deep faith, strong ties to family, and a resilient cultural heritage. The Choctaw Nation’s Tribal Headquarters building is in Durant, but the capital of the Choctaw Nation is in Tuskahoma. The Tuskahoma Capitol building now houses the Tuskahoma Capitol Museum, and the grounds host thousands of people at the annual Labor Day Festival each year. The Tribal Council also holds monthly meetings at Tuskahoma. The Tribal Council comprises one representative from the Nation’s 12 districts. Both the executive and judicial branches of the Choctaw Nation’s government operate in Durant near HQ. The tribal nations of Oklahoma were responsible for an incredible economic impact of more than $15 billion in 2019 alone. The Tribe employs over 12,000 people and operates several businesses, including three casino resorts, multiple casinos, travel plazas, and restaurants. In addition, the Nation owns and operates health, manufacturing, and recycling facilities.

ELIGIBILITY:
This invitational call is open to Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma tribal members or Choctaw CDIB holders. Artists will apply with available works for acquisition and confirm if they are open to commissions and licensing.

SELECTION PROCESS:
A panel will oversee the selection process directly from submissions. The artists whose works are selected will be notified by June 2024. If an artwork is selected for purchase, the artist must hold it until it is procured. We base the selection on the following criteria:

  • An Artistic merit
  • An Appropriateness for Public Setting
  • An Artist and artistic diversity in the collection

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
Choctaw artists are invited through an open call to submit ambitious work that embodies the requirements listed.

  • A Completed application form
  • Image of work
  • This is a PDF of current available works, including photographs of works labeled with the artist’s name, title of artwork, size, medium, and pricing.
  • An Artist’s resume or CVAn Artist statement, up to two paragraphs, should articulate the rationale.
  • A drives the artist’s process.Links to websites are also welcome.
  • You can send artist materials in one of the following ways:
    A link in the submission form below to a Cloud storage folder (i.e., Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.)
    An email to Public Arts Manager Claire Green Young. (ccyoung@choctawnation.com)

A Mailed to:
Choctaw Nation Public Arts Department Attn: Claire Green Young
180 Chukka Hina
Durant, OK 74701
Postmarks are acceptable as proof of meeting the deadline.
__________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
First Name (Required) Last Name (Required)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Address (Required)
________________________________________________________ ____________________________ _____________________
City (Required) State (Required) Zip Code (Required)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Email (Required)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Phone (Required)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Link to Submission Material (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.)
Are you open to licensing? (Required)
□ YES
□ NO
Are you open to commissions? (Required)
□ YES
□ NO
Submission Checklist (Required)
By checking off each box, you acknowledge that you have included the corresponding material in your link shared above, which you emailed to Choctaw Nation Public Arts (ccyoung@choctawnation.com) or will be physically mailed by April 18th, 2024, at 5:00 pm PT.
□ Photos/images of work
□ PDF or list of available works
□ Artist resume
□ Artist Statement
Member Status
□ I confirm that I am a Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma tribal member or Choctaw CDI