May 7 – Visitors to the US Capitol will soon be able to see an artistic tribute to the Cherokee script painted by Madison Dilley of Warner High School.
Dilley, a junior, took first place in this year’s District 2 Convention Art Competition. Warner Junior Cooper Lange placed second and Senior Felicity Hammer placed third.
District 2 Congressman Markwayne Mullin thanked the students who attended.
“I was blown away by the talent I saw in the second district submissions and am inspired by the students’ deep commitment to their craft,” said Mullin. “Congratulations to this year’s winners. I look forward to seeing your pieces at the US Capitol and in my district offices.”
Dilley said she felt her heart sink when she learned she had won.
“I’m pretty excited. I didn’t think I would be able to do it,” she said, adding that her painting is a celebration of Cherokee syllabary.
Warner art teacher Shelly Beck said Dilley also won a trip to Washington, DC
She said the painting will be displayed in a hallway beneath the US Capitol.
“It has artwork from all 50 states and the painting will be on display for a year,” Beck said.
Long pencil sketch “The Cowgirl Way” will hang in Mullin’s McAlester office.
Hammer’s work Hair in the Wind will hang in Mullins’ office in Claremore.
Beck said it was humbling that three Warner students received the top honor.
“I’m really looking forward to our students,” she said. “This year’s theme is the history of Oklahoma. Since the Cherokee Nation was in Oklahoma before we were even a state, and since Warner is a Cherokee Nation resident, we have many Cherokee students and we felt it was important to show that. The other part of our story is the cowboys.”
Beck said representatives from the Muskogee Area Art Guild were judges.
The presentation took place on the campus of Northeastern State University in Muskogee.