Cahoon Museum of American Art Celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November with the Exhibition “Brenda Kingery: Weaving Messages”
The Cahoon Museum of American Art celebrates National Native American Heritage Month in November with the exhibition Brenda Kingery: Weaving Messages. On view through December 19, 2021, the exhibition features a series of narrative abstract paintings whose vivid expressions draw from the artist’s global cultural vision and Chickasaw heritage.
Brenda Kingery: Weaving Messages features 12 large-scale artworks ranging from the artist’s formative pieces, contemporary mature works, and new paintings. Kingery’s paintings are mixed media, sometimes acrylic and sometimes oil, with occasional additions of mica and small found objects, applied and hidden within many layers of paint. Kingery paints using the sumi-e (ink wash) style conveying stories of classical Odori dancers and tribes in Central Africa, along with stories of Chickasaw powwow dancers her grandmother told to her as a child. Her work, filled with life, movement, and memories, is a celebration of indigenous cultural traditions.
Kingery has traveled widely and influences on her work include the artists of the Ryukyuan Islands of Japan, indigenous communities in Mexico and Central America, remote villages in Uganda, as well as powwow celebrations in her native Oklahoma. Kingery’s perspective is both international and humanitarian; her artworks refer to textile, dance, drum and song traditions as living reminders of peoples’ resilience and strength in preserving and celebrating their cultures. Kingery has cultivated a global identity while remaining tied to her Chickasaw history.
“Kingery blends global experience with her own painting style,” said Sarah Johnson, Executive Director of the Cahoon Museum of American Art. “She celebrates the transformation that occurs when imagination collaborates with memory, and uses her canvas to explore time, place, and culture.”
Brenda Kingery: Weaving Messages is curated by Heather K. Lunsford, Director of the School of Visual Art, Oklahoma City University.
About Brenda Kingery
Brenda Kingery was born in Oklahoma City in 1939 into the Chickasaw Nation and educated in fine art painting and drawing. Kingery was first introduced to Abstract Expressionism as it rose to popularity in the United States. She later evolved this style while studying Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma where she graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor’s degree. Kingery migrated to Okinawa, Japan, in 1968 where she befriended weavers and potters, and was inspired to paint Okinawan textiles, textures, and tales into her artwork. While in Japan, Kingery studied beneath a renowned sumi-e painter and honed her skill in the ancient Japanese art of ink, water, and brush. Kingery’s work is included in many private, corporate, and public collections worldwide. She is a founding member of Threads of Blessing International and travels to Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda to teach textile design in workshops that encourage women to use their indigenous artistic skills. In 2007, Kingery was appointed by the President of the United States to the Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has exhibited in Milan, Italy; Paris, France; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan; Indianapolis, Indiana; Washington, DC; and San Antonio, Texas.
About the Cahoon Museum of American Art
The Cahoon Museum of American Art presents historical and contemporary art exhibitions in the landmark Crocker House in Cotuit, MA. The Museum welcomes visitors of all ages to learn about art and art history, to enjoy fun, family friendly events, to delight in creative programming, and to embrace the enduring story of the important folk artists Ralph and Martha Cahoon. The Museum is committed to its mission to celebrate American art in ways that expand knowledge, enrich the spirit, and engage the heart.