The First Peoples of Native America

The diversity and variety of customs and beliefs of the First Peoples of North America are enormous and are the subject of this educational exhibition of oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, and drawings by Chickamanga-Cherokee/Arkansas-Quapaw artist, Richard Craker. The exhibition will feature Native American tribal nations from the southeast. Some of the tribes represented will include the Cherokee, Quapaw, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Creek, as well as many other groups which are not well known.

Others have become extinct as cultural groups such as the Yazoo and Seewee. The Seewee tribe had few descendants, and intermarried with other South Carolina tribes, and the Yazoos were eliminated completely during the 1700's in the conflict between the French and the Natches.

Interpretive text panels will feature extensive information about the ideas, beliefs, and customs of each of the tribes represented, and the drawings and graphics will be representative and accurate according to Native American traditions...

It is the artist's desire that by documenting these different tribes-- their ideas, beliefs, and customs he can help to keep the small flame of tradition burning.

A former art instructor, Richard Craker's work has appeared in many group exhibitions in Missouri and Oklahoma, and as far East as New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West to Washington and Utah. He has become well known in the Midwest as a talented Native American portrait artist and mural painter.

He was honored with a "Special Merit Award" by the Cherokee Historical Society Trail of Tears Indian Art show, Tahlequah, Oklahoma in 1988 which provided for his art to be displayed in several prominent Native American art exhibits. The Missouri Arts Council awarded funding in 1989 for an exhibition of Craker's paintings at the Area American Indian Center.