The artist discusses the artwork chosen for the design of the Cherokee Phoenix Homecoming t-shirt | New

TAHLEQUAH — The designer for this year’s Cherokee Phoenix Homecoming T-shirt is Andrew Mathis of Mount Pleasant, Texas.

The 38-year-old artist said he wanted to incorporate as much Cherokee symbolism as possible into his design, especially the Cherokee syllabary.

“So I wanted to incorporate that into my art somehow, and also with the Cherokee Phoenix delivering the news, and while it exists, it was good to incorporate our syllabary into the work. of art.”

At the bottom of the bird, he added colors for each of the tribe’s seven clans and included the seven-pointed Cherokee star above the bird.

He added that he did his research to help him choose the appropriate colors for the artwork and said he wanted to incorporate the Cherokee’s great sacred fire under the bird.

He showed up last year to design the t-shirt and wanted to try again this year.

“I wanted to do it and be part of it. I knew when this year came around that I wanted to start over, but I tweaked my design a bit to represent our culture,” he said.

Because the Cherokee language has been highlighted a lot by the Cherokee Nation in recent years, Mathis said he thinks it’s especially important to use the language in his design.

“It’s a way to help people learn our language, so that’s what inspired me to incorporate it into my artwork,” he said.

He has been drawing and making art since he was young.

“I drew all through high school and a bit after, but I kind of gave up for a long time. When I started getting into researching Cherokee culture and things like that, I wanted to learn more about my ancestry and our way of life. I picked it up and started drawing stuff, so that’s how I got back into it,” he said. , now I want to get into the art exhibits that they (the Cherokee nation) have.

He added that he prefers to use charcoal and also pastels. For his winning design, he said he drew the design in pencil and then filled in the colors.

Lately he has been studying the art of realism and how to draw people.

“I worked on it just trying to get better,” he said. “I have some pieces I want to do like for the Trail of Tears Art Show. It’s hard to find the time to have kids and have a busy work schedule.

Mathis currently lives in Senoia, Georgia, but plans to return to Mount Pleasant where he grew up. And the Cherokee Nation citizen wants to continue learning more about his Cherokee heritage, but for now, he’s happy his artwork was selected for this year’s Cherokee Phoenix Homecoming t-shirt.

“I am happy that my piece was selected. I feel very honored to have been chosen for this. It feels good to be able to represent our people and the Cherokee Phoenix and be recognized by them. It’s a great honor for me and I really appreciate it very much,” he said.

The 2022 Cherokee Phoenix Homecoming t-shirt is available for purchase by calling 918-453-5743 and will soon be available through the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop. T-shirts will also be available during the Cherokee National Homecoming at the Cherokee Phoenix booth inside the Cherokee Casino Tahlequah Chota Center on September 2 and 3, as well as at a Cherokee Phoenix booth inside the WW Keeler Tribal Complex on September 3.

About Catharine C. Bean

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