The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 10, 2013

An artist’s eye

Oakwood woman’s photos, crafts on display

What’s great about Sherri Easley’s office is that there’s no overhead — unless you count the clouds in the sky or the leafy branches on the trees.

“My studio is what God created outside,” said Easley, photographer, artist and creator of Native American items. “I observe nature. I love watching wildlife.”

Easley’s creative work is on display for at least two months at the Westville Public Library.

Dorothy Fava, who is in charge of exhibits at the library, first noticed Easley’s art at the Georgetown Fair last year, and asked if she’d like to have a display at the library.

“If people have an interesting collection, we want to get the community involved,” she said. An exhibit committee selects artwork, which is on display for two months. Fava also is a member of the Danville Art League.

Referring to Easley’s artwork, Fava said, “It’s beautiful.”

Late last week, Easley and her husband, Douglas, were busy sorting through dozens of photos, trying to decide which to hang on the library walls. Several display cases will hold her Native American handiwork.

Fava was instrumental in helping the couple set up the exhibit.

Easley, who lives outside Oakwood, runs Mitakuye Oyasin Creations, which specializes in photos, calendars, slide shows, specialty crafts and other items. Mitakuye Oyasin is Lakota Sioux for “All My Relations.”

Easley is adopted into a Lakota family in North Dakota, and she has Native American blood. Her paternal grandmother, born in Oklahoma, was Choctaw, and her family moved to this area when she was 3. Easley’s mother has some Cherokee blood.

Of all her siblings, Easley said she feels her Native American heritage most strongly. Her home is filled with paintings, statues, dolls, artwork and other items reflecting her background.

She has a special affinity for bison because of her heritage, and she and her .husband used to help out on a bison farm near Williamsport, Ind.

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