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Brenda Kingery was raised in Oklahoma and is of Chickasaw and Angio descent. She is a contemporary artist and refers to her experiences while living or working in Okinawa, Japan, Uganda, Africa, or powwows in Oklahoma as subjects of her work.
Kingery’s travels led her to completing a 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 completed at Ryukyu Daigaku University in Okinawa, Japan, plus graduate studies in the Chinese language at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. While in Okinawa, Kingery taught painting, drawing, 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 at the Ryukyuan Prefectural Museum, Okinawa, Japan; the Ueno National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; Dadian Gallery at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas; JRB Art Gallery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; and the Salon D’ Automne, Paris, France.
Her current schedule of exhibitions includes the Briscoe Museum of Western Art, San Antonio, Texas; Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, California; the Salon D’ Automne, Paris, France; and Orenda Art International, Paris, France.
Kingery is the founding member of the Threads of Blessing and has traveled to Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda to teach textile and design workshops. The workshops are designed to encourage women of developing countries to use their Indigenous artistic skills.
Kingery’s paintings have been described as narrative symbolism, beginning with thin acrylic washes. The next stage in the process may be as many as 25 layers of thin, hand-painted lines and more layers of washes to 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 indent.”
Kingery 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.
Brenda Kingery is represented by Calloway Fine Art & Consulting, Washington, D.C.; Glenn Green Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico; 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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