Cherokee Nation Hosts Intertribal, Collaborative Art Show

Boney Hensley The Shifter
“The Shifter,” a collaboration between Billy Hensley and Roy Boney Jr. for the “Collective Wisdom” traveling exhibition.

TAHLEQUAH, OK –  First Americans iconography showcased through figurative and abstract works are now on display in a new collaborative exhibition at the Cherokee Springs Gallery as of Saturday, Jan. 14. Curated by Chickasaw Nation citizen Billy Hensley, “Collective Wisdom” features the work of more than 20 Indigenous artists, including five Cherokee Nation citizens, who came together to discover and celebrate commonalities and relationships through their culture and craft.

Each piece featured within the exhibition is a unique collaboration between two or more artists, incorporating their own respective mediums and interweaving cultures, experiences and relationships. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the work of these talented artists and their connection to each other, their tribes and their craft,” said Callie Chunestudy, Cultural Programs and Events Project Manager for Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism. “While each piece was influenced by more than one artist, they all have a cohesive feel that extends throughout the exhibit, which provides a fun and interesting exercise for viewers to identify each artist’s contributions.” 

“Collective Wisdom” opened to the public at 10:00am on Saturday, Jan. 14, followed by a reception and gallery walk with the curator and participating artists. This is the second stop for the traveling exhibition, which runs in Tahlequah through Feb. 25. 

“The goal of ‘Collective Wisdom’ was to bring together all of the skill and vision in this group of artists in a collaborative way,” said Hensley. “Each piece is a combination of the strengths and style of those who created it. It is wonderful to see how those individual strengths stand out and also complement the other artists’ contributions to create a unique, one-of-a-kind work of art.” 

The traveling exhibition is managed by Ashlee Ray and guided by an exhibit board that includes Billy Hensley, Dustin Mater and Brenda Kingery. Contributing Cherokee artists are Roy Boney Jr., Tom Farris, Nathalie Standingcloud, Kindra Swafford and Bryan Waytula. 

More information, including a full list of participating artists and work available to purchase, can be found at