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Southern Plains Indian Museum, Anadarko, Oklahoma

Melvin C. Cornshucker, Ceramic Artist

April 19 - May 14, 2011

“I want my work to bridge the traditional with the contemporary and convey the idea that Native American art has neither boundaries nor strict conventions.”

Melvin C. CornshuckerMelvin C. Cornshucker is an award winning Cherokee potter, who works in stoneware, porcelain and raku clay. Mel's work can be found in collections across the United States, Europe, and Africa, and he has been invited to exhibit at museums in Illinois, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, California and Kansas. Mel also participates in annual juried shows and exhibitions including the Santa Fe Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Eiteljorg Indian Market in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Pueblo Grande Museum Indian Art Show in Phoenix, Arizona, the Contemporary Indian Art Show at Cahokia, Illinois, and many other notable venues. In 2007, he participated in the cultural exchange in South Africa sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation and Institute of American Indian Art. Mel shares his knowledge with students as an artist in residence, pottery instructor, and guest speaker at fine art museums in Oklahoma and Missouri.

Mel was born near Jay, Oklahoma, in 1952. Early in his life, the Cornshucker family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he attended Kansas City public schools and spent many weekends and summers in the hill country of northeastern Oklahoma. It was during the time spent with his extended family on the rivers and in the woods of northeastern Oklahoma that his deep appreciation for nature, art, and his Cherokee heritage was developed. After graduating high school, Mel furthered his education at Bacone College in Muscogee, Oklahoma, and Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. It was a college art class that sparked Mel's passion for pottery.

In 1975, Mel accepted an apprenticeship under master potter, Gary Mortensen, in the pottery shop at Silver Dollar City, an 1880's theme park in Branson, Missouri. It was not long before he was named head potter and assumed responsibility for all production and demonstrations in the pottery shop. In 1977, Mel decided to set up his own studio. Since that time, he has been creating unique, functional, and aesthetic art pieces decorated primarily with Native American motifs and his signature designs influenced by the generations of jewelers and weavers in his family. Mel strives to make his stoneware, porcelain and raku clay pieces visually pleasing as well as functional. It is his desire to create pieces that communicate the Native American spirit both past and present. Every form and design he creates reflects his heritage and honors the creativity of man throughout the ages.

Mel lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife, Michele, who is also a potter and an elementary school teacher. They have a daughter, Morgan, who teaches third grade in Texas and a son, Lincoln, who holds a management position in Tulsa.

The pieces shown and additional pieces in the exhibit may be purchased through the Oklahoma Indian Arts and Crafts Cooperative gift shop located in the museum. The OIACC gift shop may be reached at (405) 247-3486. After the exhibit closes, please contact Melvin Cornshucker at Cornshucker Pottery, 23 East Brady Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103 (918) 313-7952 or by email at dragnfly58@aol.com.

The Southern Plains Indian Museum is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board. For hours of operation call the museum at (405) 247-6221.


stoneware, hand-built, slab construction
12" width x 29" height x 5" depth


Porcelain, wheel-thrown, high-fired
14" diameter x 2" depth

Porcelain, wheel-thrown, high-fired
5.5" base diameter x 20" height w/ 5.5" opening


Stoneware with beaver stick
Hand-built, slab construction
5" width x 20" height x 5" depth

Star Vase
Star Vase

Porcelain, wheel-thrown, high-fired
5.5" base x 19" height w/ 5" opening


Southern Plains Indian Museum Related Pages:

Click on one of the following to view information on the Southern Plains Indian Museum.

- Current Exhibitions
- Previous Exhibitions
- Locations, Hours of Operation, Admission Fees and Additional Information Page
- Rosemary Ellison Gallery
- Local Events




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- Sioux Indian Museum

- Museum of the Plains Indian

- Southern Plains Indian Museum

- Museum Exhibitions

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Indian Arts and Crafts Board
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C. Street, N.W.
MS 2528-MIB
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Telephone: (202) 208-3773
Toll Free: (888) ART-FAKE
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Director: Meridith Z. Stanton