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Brenda Kingery: “Copper Treasure: A story of Remnants and Cultural Survival”


Join artist Brenda Kingery as she speaks about her recent large-scale painting, Copper Treasure, inspired by her Chickasaw heritage and the indigenous women weavers of Okinawa and their experiences with preserving their traditional culture in post-war Japan. Okinawa had a strategic role in military expansionism in Asia and the Pacific for the US, China, and Japan. During the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, women weavers and potters buried their treasures to hide and preserve them from the destruction of war. As the ground of Okinawa was hit with bombs, precious buried textiles exploded into pieces. Kingery considers these remnants as a metaphor of the impact of occupation and how survivors, including women and children, piece their culture back together from broken fragments. Kingery draws a connection to her Chickasaw heritage, as her ancestors buried cultural treasures in large earth-made mounds in their homeland of Tupelo, Mississippi.

Kingery received her master’s degree in fine arts and art history from the University of Oklahoma and completed post-graduate studies in fine arts from Ryukyuus Daigaku University in Okinawa, Japan. She returned to Oklahoma to teach painting and drawing, later teaching art history for the San Antonio College. In 2007, she was appointed by the US President to the Institute of American Indian Arts’ (IAIA) Board of Trustees.

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Cahoon Museum of American Art
4676 Falmouth Road (Route 28)
Cotuit, Massachusetts

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