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Discovery Center Names Choctaw Elder as New Artist in Residence  

Wells will continue to lead workshops and activities at the museum on select Sundays up through April 30th.

The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring in Murfreesboro recently named Choctaw artist Sally Wells as the museum’s 2023 artist in residence, which will run on select Sundays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. through April.  

Wells, widely known in Tennessee and the Chocktaw community for her traditional beadwork and dressmaking, has dedicated her life and art to promoting and preserving Choctaw culture.  Her work has been displayed at the Tennessee Arts Commission gallery.    

“We’re thrilled to host such an icon of Native American culture, art and heritage at the museum,” said President and CEO of the Discovery Center Tara MacDougall.  “Creativity plays an essential role for young people to find inspiration in learning, and the opportunity to be guided in hands-on activities by such an important artist is an invaluable experience.”  

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About Discovery Center Artist in Residence Sally Wells

Wells was the first master artist chosen to teach in the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, created to support traditional artists and preserve rare and endangered art forms.

Using seed and bugle beads, Wells creates intricate Chocktaw collar necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and hanging necklaces.  She is also a founding member of the Native American Indian Association and served as the artist in residence at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga where she worked to help introduce children to the rich cultural heritage of Native Americans in Tennessee.

Sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the artist-in-residence program inspires learning through the arts and focuses on sustainable practices in Middle Tennessee. Previous artists in residence include Hilo Studios owner and ceramist Kelsey Smith and painter, ceramist Abby Hirsch Reish.  

For more information about the Discovery Center Artist in Residence, visit explorethedc.org or call 615-890-2300.


About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.