Lloyd Carl Owle uses his knowledge of legends and stories to carve masks, birds, and animals, describing his work as “realistic with subtle emphasis on the mystical.” He demonstrates stone and wood carving, and uses a slide program to discuss carving and other Cherokee arts. He speaks on Cherokee culture, history, and spirituality.
Born in 1943 and raised on the Qualla Boundary, Lloyd Owle went to Birdtown Day School, Cherokee High School, Swain High School, and Western Carolina University. He took wood carving classes in high school, and was inspired by Mose Owle, who worked for the Cherokee Historical Association and made stone pipes carved with animal figures. Lloyd Owle also learned from John Julius Wilnoty, an internationally known Cherokee carver. Since 1990, Lloyd Owle has worked at the Unity Regional Youth Treatment Center, where he applies the teachings of Cherokee arts, crafts, history, and culture to help youths who are battling alcoholism and drug addiction. Art, he believes, is a way of communication. A spiritual man himself, Lloyd Owle also uses the Cherokee sweat lodge to aid troubled youths. Indian Health Services of the United South and Eastern Tribes employs Lloyd Owle as their Cultural Intervention Specialist, the first position of this sort to make use of traditional teachings and knowledge in youth rehabilitation.
Lloyd Owle has taught carving classes all across the country, including New York City, Washington D.C., and at the Arrowmont Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as well as in numerous community colleges and public schools. He has taught in the teacher training programs and Elderhostel programs at Western Carolina University, and he demonstrates carving at the WCU Mountain Heritage Day. His carvings are available for sale directly from him and also at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian Gift Shop, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, and other shops in Cherokee. He has been featured in articles in Mountain Living and Appalachian Heritage magazines.
Lloyd Owle will travel anywhere to present programs, as his work schedule allows. Call him for information about fees. In addition, all travel, food, and hotel expenses must be covered. He requests payment at the time of service.