Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist
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 60 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.
- 3rd Annual Gaelen Family Artist Lecture on Thursday, April 26 will highlight artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with curator Kathleen Ash-Milby.
- Spring Family Day on Sunday, April 29 will take inspiration from the artwork on view.
Winter Art Classes
- 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.
Spring Art Classes
- Studio Explorers: Art Across America is this season's themed class for MAM's youngest artists (ages 4–8). Drawing on the Kay WalkingStick exhibition and MAM’s Native American collection, students will learn about America’s rich artistic heritage and culture as inspiration for their own original works of art. This class is offered in several 8-week sessions starting April 9.
- Exploring Kay WalkingStick through Watercolor is a special topics class for intermediate watercolor students interpreting discoveries from the exhibition to inform watercolor practice for 8 weeks starting April 12.
- Parent/Child Painting Side by Side, an art workshop on Saturday, April 14, invites parents to explore landscape painting techniques and abstraction with their children.
- Linocuts Explored through Native American Design, an adult art workshop on Sunday, April 15, 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 Travel Journals, an art workshop on Saturday, June 9, takes inspiration from WalkingStick’s sketchbooks to create hand-bound travel journals just in time for summer vacation.Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is made possible with generous support from the Susan V. Bershad Charitable Fund, Brenda and Hartley Bingham, Rose Cali, Patti and Jimmy Elliott, Holly English and Fred Smagorinsky, Tracy Higgins and James Leitner, Karen G. Mandelbaum, Toni LeQuire-Schott and Newton B. Schott, Jr., Adrian A. Shelby and Edward Bindel, and Margo and Frank Walter
All MAM programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, Carol and Terry Wall/The Vance Wall Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.