Stroud, Virginia

Virginia Stroud
Place of Birth: 
Madera, CA


     Virginia Stroud's mother died when she was eleven years old. Virginia moved to Muskogee, OK to live with her sister, who encouraged Virginia to study the heritage of all Indian tribes, especially her own. Virginia sold her first painting at the age of thirteen. Impressed by Virginia's artistlc ability, Dick West made the young girl his assistant.
     In 1969, Virginia was named Miss Cherokee Tribal Princess. In 1970, Virginia was named Miss National congress of American Indians. Also in 1970, Virginia was named "Youth of the Year" by the World Congress of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1971, Virginia was named Miss Indian America XVII. Virginia has worked as a teacher, lecturer, consultant & artist.
     Virginia studied art at Bacone College (Muskogee, OK) & subsequently at the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK) under Dick West. Virginia credits Dick West as a major influence to her work. Virginia also studied art under Ahmed Moghbel. Virginia works in tempera, gouache & prints.
     Using a modification of the pictographic style of 19th century ledger drawings, Virginia considers herself a visual orator & aims to show that the historical Indian culture survives in contemporary society. Virginia says, "I want people to look back at my work just like today we look back at the ledger drawings to see how it was then. I'm working 100 years after those people & saying this is how we still do it ... we still have our traditions."
     Virginia has exhibited extensively & won numerous awards at the American Indian Exposition (Anadarko, OK), the competitive show at the Five civilized Tribes Museum (Muskogee, OK), the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History & Art (Tulsa, OK), the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market (Phoenix, AZ), the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonials (Gallup, NM), the Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK) & the Southwestern Association on Indian Affairs, Inc. at Indian Market (Santa Fe, NM). Virginia has also exhibited at the Albuquerque Museum (Albuquerque, NM), the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wild Life Sanctuary (McKinney, TX), the Mayfest International Festival (Winston-Salem, NC), the All-Oklahoma Indian Artists Invitational show at the Oklahoma Art Center Gallery (Oklahoma City, OK), the San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, CA), the Santa Fe Festival of the Arts (Santa Fe, NM), the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of A~t at the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK) & the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (Santa Fe, NM).
     In 1982, Virginia was named the Artist of the Year at the American Indian & Cowboy Artists National Western Art Exhibition (San Dimas, CA). Virginia has been honored with solo art shows at the Southwest Plains Indian Museum & Craft Center (Anadarko, OK) & two solo shows at the Cherokee National Museum (Tahlequah, OK), including a Retrospective Exhibition in 1983. At this exhibition, Virginia announced that it would be her last show, that in the future she would concentrate on writing & illustrating children's books about Native Americans. Virginia indeed subsequently wrote & illustrated several children's books, but lucky for us, Virginia continues to exhibit her artwork today.
     In 1984-1985, Virginia participated in the Indianischer Kunstler Exhibition tour organized by the Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK). In 1986, Virginia Stroud was designated a Master Artist by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum (Muskogee, OK). In 1987, Ralph Oliver designated Virginia's paintings "as one of the best investments in Indian Art". Numerous private & public art collections feature artwork by Virginia stroud, including the Millicent Rogers Museum (Taos, NM), the Thomas Gilcrease Institute'of American History & Art (Tulsa, OK) & the Philbrook, Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK).
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