Chickasaw Culture Keepers

Every time Chickasaw artist Vicki Somers sees a discarded piece of wood while out on a hike or camping expedition, she begins to imagine the potential forms that she can craft from it. A master of the traditional art of woodturning, Somers feels she is the instrument to find the spirit in the wood and draw it out. She credits her Chickasaw heritage for her attraction to the art, which she employs to make beautiful pieces like segmented wooden bowls, cedar boxes and writing instruments out of discarded bits of lumber. For Somers, shaping her artworks is a meditative experience during which she communes with the spirit of the wood. By teaching woodturning to young people, she hopes to get more Chickasaws interested and keep it from becoming a lost art.