of the Artist
Wildcat has painted all his life. He is self taught. He is
originally from Coffeyville Kansas.
Wildcat is half Native American, half White.
His father was full blood Euchee, a tribe,
children of the Sun, who once lived in the southeastern
United States, before their relocation on the Trail of Tears
to Indian Territory, now near Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The government listed them on the Creek rolls.
His mother's family homesteaded in Indian Territory,
now Oklahoma. Perhaps this mixed ancestry accounts for the
balance & perspective
in the portrayal of historic forces in his paintings.
has maintained an artist's studio in Lawrence Kansas for 25
years. He began
exhibiting his art publicly only six years ago.
In that time, he has had 8 one man exhibits.
He was the first to exhibit an epic size painting in
the Topeka Kansas Capitol building, except for John Curry.
was on exhibit the
1999 entire legislative session .
For conferences and lectures at the University of
Kansas, he has exhibited paintings for Desmond Tutu
Freedom), Yolanda King, & Pulitzer Prize winning author
Richard Rhodes (Einstein & Oppenheimer, as Rhodes spoke of
The Making of the Atomic Bomb).
The exhibit of The Strategy
other paintings transformed the KU Ballroom, for Minority
Affairs Graduation Banquets.
He exhibited the Strategy & Ceremony
at a National Conference at Haskell Indian Nations
University at Lawrence Kansas.
Fall 2000, he was commissioned to create the art,
Visions of Leadership, featured
in the Indian Leaders Conference at the University of Kansas,
Indigenous Studies Program.
session 2001, Wildcat had a series of Native American
portraits on exhibit in the Topeka Capitol, at Senator Sandy
Praegers request. Wildcat was asked by the Lied Center,
University of Kansas, to exhibit
his portraits of children from the Indian Boarding
October 2001 while Carlos Nakai & Paul Horn played
flute music. Wildcat
was a part of an Artist Forum with Carlos Nakai and Paul Horn
and other Lawrence artists.
Quest for Freedom, a 30 ft. painting of the civil
rights struggle, will be on exhibit at the LBJ Presidential
Library and Museum in Austin Texas, fall 2002, in conjunction
with a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Museum.
The painting was
on exhibit during the
summer 2001, at
the Lawrence Public Library for
the local public and the curator of the LBJ Presidential
Museum to visit it. Wildcat
exhibited his paintings, including a
portrait of Langston
Hughes, at the International Symposium on Hughes at the
University of Kansas, Feb 7-9, 2002 -
Let America be American Again.
paints history and ideas, often by blending realistic
portraits into an ideological landscape.
He paints large so that viewers will have to look
closely at this moment of history, look into the faces of
those whose life and fate he captures. He always paints in oil
on canvas or linen, so that the paintings will have a long
life, and so that they can be moved to other exhibit sites.
Wildcat believes and hopes that his paintings can
actually change history, not merely portray it.
art serves as catalyst for history.
The artist mines history for photos, and often finds
living relatives. The
artist looks deeply at photographs for information.
Then the research begins, in museums and in the
community to find out more about the people and their stories.
The process of researching for and creating his art serves as
a catalyst for a community to go even deeper into their
history. This is
especially true in paintings done as artist in residencies,
with student apprentices. The painting records history
discovered through his research, but the painting also records
a community's experience of discovering and exploring, with
one more deeper look at,
their own history.
Public art, created during artist in residencies,
such as his paintings
are records of such portrayals of history and the
process of community experiences with art & history.
Wayne Wildcat discusses his
paintings with a group of students and teachers form Central
Junior High in Lawrence Kansas who visited his one man Pictures
At An Exhibition at the Lawrence Arts Center in 1994.
Their school commissioned a Wildcat painting after visiting
this exhibit. The Kansas Arts Commission awarded a grant in
1995 for students to raise funds, design, research, and paint
the historical mural with Wildcat in 1995-96.
Wayne seen here with Gov. Bill Graves, won The Kansas
Governor' s Award, Visual Artist, 1998
Wayne working on Solidarity as an
Artist in Residency at Pittsburg Kansas. The finished work is
now on exhibit in The Pittsburg Public Library.