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Photo Credit: David Dietrich

Joel Queen (Primary)

Carolina Parakeet Pot

21st century
Medium & Support
Blackware ceramic
Overall: 7 1/2 x 8 x 8 in.
Object Type
Credit Line
Museum purchase with funds provided by 2011 Collectors’ Circle member Susan Holden
Accession Number
In Copyright
© Joel Queen

Black spherical pot with carved pattern; band around center of pot has stylized image of Carolina Parakeets with turquoise beads for eyes.

Label History

Ninth-generation potter Queen bridges the historical techniques of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians with contemporary design. Hand-building, polishing, and firing his pots, Queen works primarily in blackware, a traditional medium of the Eastern Band. The pristine manipulation of ceramic, detailed carving, and inlaid turquoise in Carolina Parakeet Pot are all indicative of Queen’s signature style. Queen’s work reflects his individuality as an artist and his shared connection to ancient and contemporary Cherokee culture. The Carolina parakeet was the only parrot species indigenous to Western North Carolina and became extinct in 1918 due to deforestation, hunting, and harvesting of its bright feathers for ladies’ hats in the late 19th century.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Oscar Flores-Montero

The clay of Cherokee pottery is largely mined from the earth by hand. The ceramicist literally immerses oneself in the materials of labor. It is a full-circle experience, resulting in vessels that herald both the utilitarian lifestyle and cause for celebration. Joel Queen’s (born 1967) Carolina Parakeet Pot incorporates stories not to be relegated to paper. Marking the disappearance of one of the Smokies’s most vibrant creatures, artists such as Queen remind us that our environmental balance is as fragile as his pottery. This work represents preservation of natural history, reimagined. Cherokee pottery also speaks of cross-cultural relationship building across centuries of trade and travel. From firing techniques to inlay design and shape, Cherokee pottery serves as a marker of the changing human experience. Depending on the artist or time period in which it is crafted, a single work can exhibit a myriad of influences from across the continent, just as Cherokee people continue to be influenced by a global population.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle


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