Artist Spotlights

Artist Spotlights

Work from the Permanent Collection

With a collection of over 45,000+ objects of global material culture, art, and design, artwork by exemplary artists in the Museum’s collection is highlighted every season. 

  • Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935) is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a distinguished Native American artist. Her works are held in museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian. Painted Desert (1986) from the collection of the Morris Museum echoes interpretive strategies WalkingStick employed in her Chief Joseph Series (1974–1976), with linear and crescent-shaped excisions through multiple layers of wax and acrylic paint.
  • American artist Phillis Ideal (b. 1942, New Mexico) paints large-scale works that pairs abstract interpretations of vast southwestern vistas with structurally detailed renditions of the vitality found in the city of New York, her home since 1982. Paint functions as both material and expressive force in Juarez/Canal Street (1988). Vibrant color and evocative shapes layered with broad brush strokes draw viewers into dialogue with the artist about the function of environment and geography in the human experience.

“My paintings take a broad view of what constitutes Native American Art. My wish has been to express our Native & non-native shared identity. We humans of all races are more alike than different, and it is this shared heritage, as well as my personal heritage I wish to express. I want all people to hold onto their cultures – they are precious – but I also want to encourage a mutual recognition of shared being. “I also want [viewers] to see my primary message in the work, that is: This is our beloved land, no matter who walks here, no matter who ‘owns’ it. This is our land. Recognize us and honor this land.”

Kay WalkingStick, 2012

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