Cherokee artist Robert Queen practices traditional forms of woodcarving that were handed down to him through the community, both at home and in classes at the schools he attended. He makes ceremonial masks, flutes, rattles, and a variety of weaponry including bows and arrows. Queen worked for many years in a factory in Cherokee, but like so many North Carolinians, he lost his job when the factory closed its doors a few years ago. A benefit that has emerged from this otherwise unfortunate event is that Queen now finds he has more time than before to devote to his art.
Robert Queen grew up speaking Cherokee as his first language, and remains a fluent speaker today. Though he does not teach the language formally, he has at times assisted instructors and served as a resource for those learning it.
A frequent demonstrator in the Oconaluftee Indian Village, Queen has also exhibited his work at a gallery in Asheville’s Grove Arcade, and at other galleries and art shows throughout the region. He does much of his work, which also includes cabinetry, at his home workshop. Queen is a member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual Cooperative in Cherokee.
Robert Queen is available to demonstrate and teach traditional Cherokee woodcarving, and can assist in the instruction of the Cherokee language.