The Choctaw Welcome Center hosted a Meet the Artist event Saturday, Aug. 23 to show off the talents of Theresa Prough.
Prough makes makes several types of artwork such as woven baskets, ceramics, bead work and leather work.
She said she has been making such things most of her life.
“My grandmother would sit on the front porch and I would stand there and watch. I guess that where my love for bead work and stuff came from,” said Prough.
She said that she spent the majority of her life giving her art away but was convinced by students at the school she taught at in the 1990s to sell her work instead.
Prough said though she tried to make money selling her work, she lived near many other Native Americans who also did bead work, so she put her art on hold to continue teaching.
She said the Choctaw Nation has recently started encouraging art more to bring back their culture and she has found a new start with this.
She said the tribe has been very supportive of local artists in recent years and she appreciates the effort the tribe has made.
She said she was asked to display her art Saturday to help promote the Choctaw arts.
“We’re trying to put our arts out there. We want people to know who our artists are,” said Prough.
“The chief really sets an example and buys from our artists,” she said. Prough added that the Choctaw leaders are making an effort to promote and display Choctaw art.
She has been making and selling her bead work and other art at shows and for people who ask for pieces specifically.
Prough is a Durant local and she said she can be found at the Choctaw Headquarters on 16th Avenue in Durant quite often.
“I just love the people there,” said Prough.
Prough said she has never entered any of her work in shows but plans to start this next year. One goal she has set is to make a pair of traditional-modern moccasins for men to enter into a show.
- Jessica Breger can be reached at (580) 634-2162 or on Twitter @jbreger_news