ROLAND, Okla. - Renovation efforts at the Cherokee Travel Plaza's art gallery and theater are now complete.
The $60,000 renovation efforts began in June 2008 and were led by Resource Design of Rogers, Ark., and Takoda Development of Ponca City.
''We now have an art gallery that is aesthetically on par with the quality and authenticity of the Cherokee artwork that is displayed and sold there,'' said David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises, which operates Cherokee Casinos and multiple other retail businesses.
With the renovation, the art gallery showcases Cherokee art on pedestals with intricately placed lighting, and custom shelving allows more art to be displayed in the gallery. Also as part of the renovation, the gallery is enclosed by elevated, frosted glass, etched with Southeastern designs.
The 10-seat theater plays Cherokee films on demand, using a self-serve touch screen. It is currently showing ''Stories of the Cherokees,'' a short film produced by Cherokee citizen K.A. Gilliland and directed by Andrew Sikora. Featuring Cherokee storytellers and actors David Scott, Robert Lewis and Chris Smith, the film is about how the Cherokees viewed European explorers and their customs upon arrival in North America. Shot entirely on location within the Cherokee Nation in both English and Cherokee, it is the first Cherokee language film to be featured at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
The full-service travel plaza is located at Interstate 40 and State Highway 64 on the same street as Cherokee Casino Roland and Cherokee Casino Inn. The 13,000-square-foot facility is outfitted with 12 multi-gas pumps of gasoline, six transport diesel pumps, food and beverage items, gift and sundry items, Internet connections, a drivers' lounge, truck parts, telephones, laundry facilities, showers and a Subway restaurant.
For more information, visit www.CherokeeTourismOK.com or www.CherokeeCasino.com.