(MAM) & Yard School of Art offer American, Native American, & contemporary art exhibitions, programs, & classes in NJ

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

Kay WalkingStick, Night, 1991, oil, acrylic, wax, and copper on canvas. Montclair Art Museum, purchased with funds provided by Alberta Stout. Image courtesy of the artist.

Start Date: 
February 3, 2018
End Date: 
June 17, 2018

The Montclair Art Museum will be the final stop of the national tour of Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist, the first major retrospective of the artistic career of Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935), a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the world’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry.


Featuring more than 65 of her most notable paintings, drawings, small sculptures, notebooks, and the diptychs for which she is best known, the exhibition traces her career over more than four decades and culminates with her recent paintings of monumental landscapes and Native places. Her distinctive approach to painting emerged from the cauldron of the New York art world, poised between late modernism and postmodernism of the 1960s and 1970s. Over decades of intense and prolific artistic production, she sought spiritual truth through the acts of painting and metaphysical reflection. Organized chronologically around themes that mark her artistic journey, Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist traces a path of constant invention, innovation, and evolving artistic and personal growth through visually brilliant and evocative works of art.


A seminal work by WalkingStick, Night, was borrowed from MAM’s collection for the national tour, including stops at the National Museum of the American Indian, Heard Museum, Dayton Art Institute, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Gilcrease Art Museum, concluding at the Montclair Art Museum.


The exhibition is co-curated by NMAI curator Kathleen Ash-Milby (Navajo) and associate director David W. Penney, in close collaboration with the artist. The exhibition is organized at the Montclair Art Museum by Gail Stavitsky, MAM’s chief curator.


Related Programs and Art Classes

The Vance Wall Art Education Center at MAM presents a series of programs and art classes for all ages in conjunction with the special exhibition Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist. Offerings include:

  • Studio Explorers: Places and Traces is this season's themed class for MAM's youngest artists (ages 4–8). Inspired by the work of renowned Native American artist Kay WalkingStick, students will explore the places where we live and the traces of those who have come before us. The class is offered in several sessions starting January 8.
  • Exploring Kay WalkingStick in Watercolor, an adult art class on Thursdays starting January 11, visits WalkingStick's exhibition and interprets discoveries to apply in watercolor.
  • Linocuts Explored through Native American Design, an adult art workshop on Sunday, February 4, teaches the process of making a linoleum print from studying the design patterns in Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist and the Museum's Rand Gallery of Native American Art.
  • Parent/Child Gilded Valentines, an art workshop on Saturday, February 10, uses gold leaf gilding techniques as seen in the paintings of Kay WalkingStick to create one-of-a-kind valentines for your loved ones.
  • Parent/Child Diptychs, an art workshop on Saturday, March 10, creates mixed media landscapes in the diptych style of Kay WalkingStick.
  • 3rd Annual Gaelen Family Artist Lecture on Thursday, April 26 will highlight artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with curator Kathleen Ash-Milby.



Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is organized by the American Federation of the Arts and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.