Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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10 / The Natural World

Wallowa Mountains Memory
Wallowa Mountains Memory
Artist / Origin Kay WalkingStick (American, Cherokee, b. 1935)
Region: North America
Date 2004
Material Oil and gold leaf on wood
Medium: Painting
Dimensions H: 36 in. (91.44 cm.), W: 72 in. (182.88 cm.)
Location The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Credit Courtesy of the artist

expert perspective

Kay WalkingStickArtist

Wallowa Mountains Memory

» Kay WalkingStick (American, Cherokee, b. 1935)

expert perspective

The landscape affects the way I choose color and the way I use light. But the light also carries meaning. The way you light things implies certain things. Whether it’s moonlight or daylight or morning, I think the mood of the piece is affected by those things. But I think that for me, I came to landscape out of abstraction. And the abstraction was becoming more, in my head, like a landscape. But the landscape has always carried significance to me.

I think our earth is sacred. We are so much a part of this earth, evolved to live here, in this atmosphere. I also think that the shapes in the landscape are abstract enough so that they can carry implied meaning that I can impart through that. It’s transcendent in that it can refer to the unknown, those big questions of life—birth and death and our existence here on earth. All of those things can be implied, those profound ideas can be implied through nature.” 

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