Brenda Kingery


Brenda Kingery was raised in Oklahoma and is of Chickasaw and Anglo descent. She is a contemporary artist and refers to her experiences while living or working in Okinawa, Japan, Uganda, Africa, and attending powwows in Oklahoma as subjects of her work. Kingery’s travels led her to complete an MA in fine arts and art history at the University of Oklahoma, writing a master’s thesis on Ryukyuan folk art. Her postgraduate studies in fine arts were done at Ryūkyū Daigaku University in Okinawa, Japan, and studies in Chinese language at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. While in Okinawa, Kingery taught painting, drawing, and Okinawan and folk art cultures at the University of Maryland, Far East Division. She later taught art history at San Antonio College before starting her career as a full-time artist.

Kingery has exhibited internationally at the Ryukyuan Prefectural Museum, Okinawa, Japan; the Salon D’ Automne, Paris, France; and the Ueno National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan. In the United States she has exhibited at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; the Dadian Gallery at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma; JRB Art Gallery, Oklahoma City; the San Antonio Museum of Art, New Mexico; the Mississippi Museum of Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe. Her current schedule of exhibitions includes the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles; the Briscoe Western Art Museum; Orenda Art International; and Salon D’ Automne.

Kingery is the founding member of Threads of Blessing and has traveled to Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda and to teach textile and design workshops. The workshops are designed to encourage woman of developing countries to use their Indigenous artistic skills. Kingery’s paintings have been described as narrative symbolism. They begin with thin acrylic washes. The next stage in the process may be as many as 25 layers of thin, hand-painted lines, and finally, more layers of washes that define the composition. “The lines are almost like tapestries that are telling stories visually. Textile and dance are major components of my paintings. The paintings begin abstractly and move as in a dance, becoming a visual record of cultures. Art becomes the embodiment of culture; visually recording a cultural event.”

At the 2023 Masters of the American West, Kingery won the Gayle Roski Stories of the West Award. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Cultural and Arts Development in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is an appointment by the president of the United States.

She is currently represented by Calloway Fine Art & Consulting, Washington, D.C.; Glenn Green Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Hunt Gallery, San Antonio, Texas; M.A. Doran Gallery, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Orenda Art International, Paris, France.

View the Autry’s interview with Brenda Kingery here. Recorded live January/2023.

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