"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
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.