July 17, 2010

Native Fashion Designer In Chickasaw Hall of Fame

Three to Enter Chickasaw Hall of Fame

BY Dana Lance, tribal media relations

NORMAN, Okla. - An award-winning textile artist, a music educator, and a protector of tribal sovereignty will be inducted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame this year.

"Each of these individuals has made significant contributions to the Chickasaw Nation and to the larger community," said Gov. Bill Anoatubby. "It is our privilege to honor these individuals who have dedicated their lives to educating and serving others."

An award-winning weaver, fiber expert, textile artist and designer, Margaret Roach Wheeler, was one of four Native American fashion designers chosen to speak at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York where she also served as Artist in Residence. Mrs. Wheeler has exhibited works at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the National Museum of the Indian in New York, and the Institute of American Indian Arts, among many others.

She has won numerous awards, including the President’s award at Red Earth Festival and Eiteljorg Indian Market Purchase award for the feather cape and kilt she designed for the Chickasaw Nation original production, "Lowak Shoppala’." She also won "Best of Class" at the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market and placed first and second in textiles and the 2009 Southeastern Art Show and market.

Formerly an educator, Mrs. Wheeler is now owner/operator of her company, Mahota Handwovens, designing and marketing hand woven contemporary fashion, costumes, and traditional Native American regalia. She actively participates in Chickasaw Nation events and generously offers her time to teaching Chickasaw youth during the Chickasaw Nation Summer Arts Academy.

The Hall of Fame inductions will be at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, August 19, at Riverwind Casino in Norman. Hall of Fame inductees will make a red carpet entrance at 6 p.m. and the banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m.

There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required for the event, which is expected to accommodate approximately 525 guests. Reservations will be accepted beginning July 19. To make reservations, contact Nick Martinez at (580) 310-7903 or email nick.martinez@chickasaw.net.

For more information about the Chickasaw Hall of Fame visit www.chickasaw.net/hof.

To read more about Margaret Roach Wheeler, check out my previous post on her.

And check out her website.