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Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation)

Best known for her majestic landscape paintings, Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick is famous for incorporating various elements into her paintings that are viewed as being distinctly Native American like well-known chiefs, warriors and influential figures. Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935 Syracuse, NY) is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, she has Cherokee/Anglo heritage. She received a BFA from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) Glenside, PA in 1959 and an MFA from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY in 1975. She lives and works in Pennsylvania.

Over a career spanning six decades, WalkingStick’s practice has focused on the American Landscape and its metaphorical significance to Native Americans and people across the world. WalkingStick draws on formal modernist painterly traditions as well as the Native American experience to create works that connect the immediacy of the physical world with the spiritual. Attempting to unify the present with history, her complex works hold tension between representational and abstract imagery. Her paintings represent a knowledge of the earth and its sacred quality.

WalkingStick has been included in many exhibitions, including Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, AR; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Heard Museum, Phoenix, AR; Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN; Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ; Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, Greenwich to name but a few. Her work is in many collections, including the New York Historical Society, NY; Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; Cherokee Heritage Foundation and various other prestigious institutions. WalkingStick was a Professor of Fine Arts at Cornell University from 1988 until her retirement as a Professor Emerita in 2005.

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