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Artist Demonstration with Tara McCoy – Cherokee Pottery

June 8, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am


Tara McCoy earned a B.S. Degree in Sports Medicine from Guilford College. Over her career she has served the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as a coach and mentor. In 2017, she became the Right Path Leadership Specialist and works to help increase Cherokee cultural identity and leadership skills through core values and cultural preservation.  Tara is a Right Path Adult Leadership Program and Remember the Removal Bike Ride alumna, and an avid Cherokee potter.

While attending high school on the Qualla Boundary, in Cherokee, NC, Tara McCoy took full advantage of the arts and crafts classes available. She learned pottery, finger weaving, beadwork, silverwork, and other arts with jewelry making being her favorite. Now, an avid Cherokee potter, Tara finds it funny that pottery making was her least favorite of the art classes she took in high school.

Tara’s love for making pottery began while she stayed at home with her young children making miniature clay vessels.  She took a Cherokee Pottery Guild class and learned the older style of making stamped pottery. With practice, Tara is now able to produce much larger pieces. Inspired by the work of Cherokee Pottery Guild founder Joel Queen, Tara sometimes incises designs into the clay surface and embeds small pieces of coral and turquoise into the pattern. Her designs combine images from Cherokee archeological sources with ideas gleaned from modern home design magazines. She remarks, “I think with my pots, I try to keep them simple, and traditional. A lot of it’s just learning your own style.”

Renowned Cherokee potter Amanda Swimmer helped Tara as she learned her craft, and fired her first pots for her. Since that time, Tara has experimented with her own fire pit, noting such elements as the day’s heat, humidity, and breezes as critical factors in pit firing.


June 8, 2019
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:


Haywood County Arts Council
86 N. Main St.
Waynesville, NC United States
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