Meet World-Class Alumna, Kay WalkingStick ’59
One measure of the University’s great success is the achievement of its world-class alumni who are making their marks on the world in notable ways. Among these distinguished alumni is Kay WalkingStick ’59, award-winning Native American artist. Her artwork spans 40 years and is testament to her personal quest to connect uninhabited landscape with abstract shapes and the human figure.
The first woman to receive the Distinguished Artist Award from the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians andWestern Art, WalkingStick also has been honored for her work by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts NYSCA grant and the Rockefeller Foundation Residency in Bellagio, Italy. WalkingStick’s work is owned by more than 30 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. A former Professor of Art at Cornell University, she earned her B.F.A. from Arcadia University and her M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute in New York. “Painting is a language that speaks visually of that which cannot be stated verbally,” she says.
“My wish has been to express our Native and non-native shared identity. I want all people to hold on to their cultures — but I also want to encourage a mutual recognition of a shared being.” Through her art, WalkingStick is building cultural bridges and understanding.