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Virginia Stroud
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"I paint for my people", according to Virginia Stroud, "Art is a way for our culture to survive... perhaps the only way. More than anything, I want to become a visual orator, to share with others the oldest of Indian traditions."

" I want people to look back at my work just like today we're looking back at the ledger drawings and seeing how it was then. I'm working one hundred years in front of those people and saying this is how we still do it... we still have our traditions", Stroud relates.

Stroud has had her share of honor. She has received awards, ribbons and medals for her painting and lithography. The Cherokee artists has been honored as Miss Indian American and Indian Arts and Crafts Association 1982 Artist of the year. She has been featured on the cover of "Southwest Art" magazine and was the feature artist in the first issue of "Four Winds" magazine.

At age 11, after the death of her mother, Stroud lived with her sister, who was the superintendent of an Indian orphanage in Oklahoma. She began to study the history and traditions of her people and became familiar with her Indian heritage. Later, she was adopted into a Kiowa family. Her new grandfather was an orator for the tribe and taught her many lessons and legends of the Plains Indians.

From this background and her studies, Stroud has drawn the material that she transforms into art. She paints the happenings of an earlier day and time. Her scenes are drawn from the daily lives of the Indian people. Through her paintings, we can feel the tread of our universal link with the past and each other. Children still play, women still visit and warriors still battle. She brings life down to its elements, she lets us see our fellow human beings in a new light and she gives us a new look at history and a different culture.

To Stroud, these things are more important than awards, ribbons and medals. When someone likes her work, it is her reward.

River Walk

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