Born in Syracuse, New York in 1935, Kay WalkingStick received her BFA degree from Beaver College in Glenside, Pennsylvania and her MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
In 1983 she was given a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship. Since 1975 she has had in excess of 15 solo exhibitions. Her work was included in Shared Visions: American Painters and Sculptors in the Twentieth Century, first held at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently one of her paintings is on view at the National Museum of American Indian as part of the Vantage Point exhibition. 12 April - 14 May 2013, an exhibition of Walkingstick's work can be viewed at the prominent New York gallery, June Kelly Gallery.
Her work is included in these permanent collections: Israel Museum; Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York; San Diego Museum of Fine Arts; National Museum of Canada in Ottawa and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Kay WalkingStick's statement:
"All of what or who we are informs our work. Two powerful ideas were continuously presented to me in childhood. The first idea was that God is a primary part of all life, and that religion is a daily experience; that spirituality is a goal to be sought and lived. The other idea was my self identity; I am an Indian, and although I was raised in a white Protestant culture, I was raised to think of myself as a Cherokee. Ideas are powerful and although I now question the existence of God, I will always believe in the possibility of spirituality, just as I think of myself as an Indian. For me, in fact, the ideas overlap.
I see my work as a primal, gutsy, spiritual art. Painting, landscape or otherwise, is not a metaphor for God, or for religious either. It is a dialogue with the mystic, the spiritual . . with that which transcends our bittersweet daily lives. And in this sense, the work is both tribal and also "romantic" as Rothko's painting is romantic. I see our earth as sacred, as life giving, as all Native Americans do. It is this earth that I want to be everlasting." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2aIMrleljs