Chief Gregory Pyle of the Choctaw Nation was presented with a framed painting by Kathy Sturch of Durant entitled “Weaving Together.”
The painting was the winner of the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) American Indian Heritage Month Poster contest.
November has been designated by NRCS as American Indian Heritage Month. The aim of American Indian Heritage Month is to bring awareness to the contributions American Indians have made to the world.
To celebrate this month, a contest is held each year in which American Indians can submit a painting that represents their culture.
Sturch’s painting will be made into a poster to celebrate American Indian Heritage Month. The poster will be distributed and displayed around the country in November.
Each year a different region is selected to host the contest and the year’s winner is selected from that region.
This year the South Central Region was selected to host the competition. This included Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas
The winning painting will be made into a poster that will be distributed around the U.S.
According to Carol Crouch with the NRCS, the winning painting is bought from the artist by the NRCS for $2,000. By Crouch’s recommendation, is given back to the tribe which produced the winning painting.
The NRCS gives the painting back to the tribe to hold and display as seen fit by the tribe’s chief. The winning artist this year, Kathy Sturch, is of the Choctaw Tribe.
This is the second time Sturch has won the competition. Sturch also won in 2008 for her painting entitled “Touch of Earth…Conservation…Our Passion…Our Heritage.”
This year Sturch competed against 19 other tribal artists from the region. There is no age limit and one contestant was 10 years old.
Winners are selected by a committee within the NRCS. The committee chooses a Title and theme that each submission must try to represent.
This year’s title was “Conservation: Our Past, Present and Future.” The Theme was “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may not remember. Involve me and I’ll Understand.”
The NRCS committee felt Sturch’s painting “Weaving Together” best represented this according to NRCS representative Jamey Wood.
The painting is done in water color and acrylic paints. It displays a mother and daughter weaving together. Sitting in front of the two, are some pottery items.
According to Sturch the mother in the painting is “teaching the weaving but also telling the stories.” She said the stories and traditions handed down show the past being carried on by the children into the future.
The posters featuring the winning painting will be distributed by the NRCS to ____ starting Oct. 10 so that they can be on display by November.
The artist, Sturch, will also be doing a signing of the posters in November, although an exact date has not been set.
Any extra posters not distributed can be ordered online at ____ free of charge by anybody who wishes to own one. According to Carole Crouch the posters are usually gone before the following January