Proud of her heritage and passionate about creating art forms that can be appreciated in relation to both expressive and social contexts, Christy Long’s skill and knowledge in time-honored craftsmanship has been practiced and handed down in her family for generations.
That’s because Long comes from a long line of traditional Cherokee woodworkers and carvers with a background in information technology and creative design. She utilizes local and contemporary resources and materials to develop her authentic and functional pieces while incorporating more modern methods of production such as laser engraving and pattern making into her creative process.
A proud member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Long thrives on building stronger connections between her art forms and the larger human issues that affect modern Native communities. She cherishes the collaborative process to gain perspective and share inspiration, wisdom, and knowledge and considers it her calling to combat stereotypes by producing authentic art forms that can be shared with positivity and respect to a living culture.
“As with language, art objects contain the code of tribal identity. They remind us of what it means to be Cherokee. They speak in the Cherokee natural tongue of how their makers are related to a tribal family and how that family is anchored in community. Objects are also guardians that pass down the fire of knowledge to future generations so they may think about and see the world in the way of their forebears. They honor the past and anticipate the future. Yet it is equally important to remember that the human qualities required to advance the community are gifts of the divine.” – Rennard Strickland, Building One Fire
Long resides on the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. Her works have been showcased by the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, and her designs are continually on display in the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual. Her submissions to the Cherokee Indian Fair have won first place for consecutive years in a row. Additional works can be seen in the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, the Asheville Art Museum, and on display in private collections around the world.
Some of Christy’s newest work: