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EDDIE MORRISON - August 2000

The Highlight of the Month program at The Indian Craft Shop focuses on a particular craft area, region or artist family/group. Our aim is to illustrate the diversity of tribal groups and the wide variety of artistic expressions and traditions in the country today.

Eddie Morrison - Cherokee

Eddie Morrison is a contemporary sculptor who works in wood and stone. Born in 1946 in Oklahoma, he was raised in Tahlequah, Oklahoma by his Cherokee grandmother. Eddie first wanted to be a painter, following his brother, Jesse Hummingbird, but never felt completely comfortable with this medium. About twelve years ago he picked up some carving tools and realized that he had found his calling. Returning to school to study carving, he met guest lecturer Allan Houser, who encouraged him to continue his studies at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe. Upon graduation, he received the Faculty Department Award for Outstanding student in Three Dimensional Art. Eddie often uses red cedar because he likes the beautiful color variations. He allows the gentle curves or unusual twists naturally found in the wood to appear in the finished pieces. Another favorite material is Kansas limestone, which he collects himself. While some of his pieces are fully carved, others have the figures emerging from a rough hewn background, or on a "base" of material left uncarved. Much of this limestone contains fossils from a prehistoric sea that once covered much of North America. These fossils are often present in the rough portions of his stone sculpture. Eddie's work depicts a variety of themes. Animals are a prevalent subject, particularly eagles, bears and buffaloes. Eddie also carves human figures in traditional presentations, such as wearing a wolf skin cape, a blanket, or feathers. He strives to produce work that represents American Indian people with "pride and dignity…My ideas and themes come from the philosophies of Indians about life, spirituality, respect for life, animals, and all that is around us, and the great creator." Eddie feels that his greatest accomplishment is when a customer returns to tell him that they have been moved by his work.

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