ᏗᏓᏂᏏᏍᎩ ᎦᏓᏆᏟ Didanisisgi Gadagwatli: A Showcase of Pottery from the Mud Dauber Community Workshop at the Museum of the Cherokee People
Enjoy the very first look at MotCP's new exhibition of work by emerging Cherokee potters, and support the artists directly by shopping at a one-night-only pop-up market.

ᏗᏓᏂᏏᏍᎩ ᎦᏓᏆᏟ Didanisisgi Gadagwatli: A Showcase of Pottery from the Mud Dauber Community Workshop at the Museum of the Cherokee People

An exhibition of work by students in the Museum of the Cherokee People’s annual community learning pottery workshop, led by renowned ceramic artist Tara McCoy (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Didanisisgi Gadagwatli showcases the dedication of a new era of Cherokee artists.

McCoy developed her pottery workshop three years ago when she noticed a decline in practicing ceramic artists in the Cherokee community. Compelled to do her part in ensuring that there are future generations of Cherokee potters, she developed a three-month intensive workshop that invites aspiring potters from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and other federally recognized tribes to learn all facets of Cherokee ceramics.

Exhibited Artists: Mona Taylor (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Faith Long-Presley (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Steven Long (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Chelsea Hemphill (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Hope Long (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Jake Stephens (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Lori Sanders (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Monique Taylor (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Juanita Paz-Chalacha (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Kaliya Wachacha (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Adelia Crowe (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

About the Instructor: Tara McCoy (Eastern Band Cherokee), graduated from Cherokee High School and furthered her education at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.  She graduated with a B.S. degree in Sports Medicine. After graduating, she returned to the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina and worked in various programs including Cherokee High School/Coaching, UNITY Treatment Center, Dora Reed Daycare and Women’s Health before settling down into a role at Cherokee Choices, a Diabetes Prevention Program, for 14 years. She currently serves as the Right Path Leadership Specialist at the Ray Kinsland Leadership Institute where her role is to help develop selfless leaders deeply rooted in Cherokee culture identity and leadership through teaching Cherokee values, culture, history, and language.

She is a 2011 Right Path Program Alumni, a 2011 Remember the Removal Bike Ride Legacy Rider, founder and supporter of the Cherokee Cancer Support Group, artist member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. and promotes Cherokee art by organizing and teaching art shows and classes in her community.  A member of the Wolf Clan, she has a lifetime’s experience in multi-medium Cherokee arts and is dedicated to teaching others both traditional and contemporary forms.

She began formally studying pottery, finger weaving, and beadwork in high school and has expanded her skills in the area of shell carving in the last four years after studying with renowned shell carver Dan Townsend. She has studied with Tammy Beane of Alabama and admired other Cherokee potters for their work, such as Joel Queen and the late Amanda Swimmer.  McCoy is inspired by her culture, Cherokee legends, and nature as she crafts her designs. Her art has won multiple awards and ribbons in North Carolina and Oklahoma as well as being exhibited in museums across the country. McCoy believes everyone is an artist. She lives in the Birdtown community of Cherokee.