When San Antonio artist Brenda Kingery exhibited her work at Tokyo’s Kokoten-Uano Museum of Modern Art, she was only the third foreign artist ever accepted—Marc Chagall and Joan Miro being the other two. Kingery is never much of a foreigner, as she slips into multiple cultures and immerses herself in languages and traditions. Kingery lived in Japan for nine years, studying ancient art techniques like Sumi-e brush painting, and learning new ways of incorporating color and pattern. Most recently, she has been working with women artisans in Honduras and Uganda to create collaborative tapestries based on her designs.
Kingery is also a voting member of the Chickasaw Nation and the Pow Wow has been a major influence on her work. At first glance her paintings appear to be abstract, but are actually narratives embedded with historical or cultural symbols. “I see life in a series of patterns,” she says, “that can almost be described as visual tapestries—full of as many as twenty-five thin overlapping layers.”
Kingery has exhibited widely throughout the Southwest, as well as at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis and Shuri Prefecture Museum in Okinawa, Japan. Her work is in such collections as the Bank of New England, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and Mr. and Mrs. Anish Kapoor.