B.F.A., Western Carolina University
Luzene Hill, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and a graduate student in the MFA Program at Western Carolina University. Ms. Hill is a sculptor, painter, and illustrator. Her work is included in private and corporate collections across the United States and is featured in Susan Power’s book Cherokee Art: Prehistory to Present and Josh McPhee’s book, Celebrate People’s History!: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution.
In 2007, she illustrated three books for the Language Revitalization Project in Cherokee Studies at Western Carolina University. The Cherokee Preservation Foundation funds the series, and WCU’s Cherokee language program oversees production. The books are presented entirely in the Cherokee language, with no accompanying English translation. The first book, “The Grouchy Old Lady,” was published in fall 2007 and was illustrated with a combination of collage and pen-and-ink drawings. “Spearfinger” was published in March, and “Bear Man” is upcoming, both illustrated with cut-paper collage. “Spearfinger” is “beautifully bound and nicely done,” Hill said. “As we were working on the book, that was one of the most important things in my mind. I feel as though the children deserve a first-rate book in their own language.” A planned series calls for a total of seven books, all based on Cherokee legends. Presenting the works solely in the Cherokee language conveys a message of the language’s importance, said Hartwell Francis, director of WCU’s Cherokee language program. “Recognizing the status of the Cherokee language as a full language is very important in this project,” Francis said.