Cherokee Cultural Outreach Brings Ceramist Bill Glass Jr. to RSU Campus

Bill Glass Jr. standing with one of his art pieces

Photo credit: Bill Glass Jr.

Bill Glass, Jr., an honored Cherokee Artist Elder and the first contemporary artist inducted as a Cherokee National Treasure, will be presenting on the Rogers State University campus Tuesday evening starting at 6 p.m. in the Health Sciences Atrium.

Free and open to the public, the event is brought to RSU in partnership with Cherokee Nation’s Community and Cultural Outreach Office, Tahlequah. Refreshments provided.

Glass, who refers to himself as a contemporary ceramist, will share the story of his life’s work, how his pieces have evolved and the work he is currently doing.

In 2011, Glass was the first contemporary artist inducted as a Cherokee National Treasure. He was categorized as a sculptor but calls himself a ceramist. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico (1973-1975).

His time in Santa Fe was “just enough time to wet your whistle,” Glass said. He established The Bill Glass Ceramic Studio in Locust Grove in 1978.  His son, Demos, joined him in 2001 to establish the Glass Studio where they collaborate on “monumental scale works.”

Glass’ work can be found in noted museum collections across the south and southwest as well as the Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington, D.C.

In 1976, under Principal Chief Ross Swimmer’s administration, Glass worked for the Cherokee Nation as the Arts and Crafts director, a program that taught various cultural classes in Cherokee communities throughout the 14-county Cherokee Nation jurisdiction. In 1978, he became a full-time artist and has done so for the past 38 years. As of late, he is proud to be recognized as an honored Artist Elder.

Learn more about Glass’ work at www.bdglassstudio.com/bill-glass–jr..html

Cherokee Nation CCO-COTTA program intent is to “collect, preserve, archive, and share all things pertaining to Cherokee language, history, and culture … We want to show you locations where our history was made; interview elders, statesmen, and Cherokee Treasures, so that you have the opportunity to hear and see firsthand what our culture values.”

This event is coordinated by CCO Officer Dawnena Squirrel Mackey in partnership with the RSU Foundation, co-hosted by the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club.

A printable RSU campus map is available at www.rsu.edu/campusmap.