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Ledger art breaks rules at Turquoise Tortoise


This year in Sedona, four-time Academy Award nominee and multiple Emmy Award-winner Jane Alexander will receive the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

This year in Sedona, four-time Academy Award nominee and multiple Emmy Award-winner Jane Alexander will receive the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.


Originally Published: April 1, 2019 12:46 p.m.

The 1st Friday reception April 5, 5-8 p.m., at Turquoise Tortoise opens “Dolores Purdy: Brilliant Ledgers” introducing the new gallery artist who gives an Artist Talk at 6:15. As a trained watercolorist it was Purdy’s discovery of ledger art, and immersion in its history, that found her breaking gender barriers in this usually male-dominated genre.

Modern day ledger art – which re-creates the reservation-era tradition of painting scenes on any available document, such as ledger pages, long after buffalo hides were no longer available – generally retain imagery of battle scenes and bravery. Purdy brings in a Native American woman’s perspective.

A member of the Caddo Nation, Purdy, with a career Air Force father, spent much of her childhood relocating often. It was her time spent with family in Oklahoma listening to stories passed down for generations that inspired her art. Purdy spent years researching the history and art of her tribe including the presence of her own ancestor among the warriors imprisoned at Florida’s Ft. Marion in 1875 – a location that generated much of the most significant original ledger art.

Dolores Purdy has enjoyed a number of museum exhibitions including at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian where, years before she had been a visiting artist and demonstrator. She has been featured at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market and is in collections that range from the NMAI to the White House, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, and the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

While Purdy is an experienced presenter at universities and museums, visitors are welcome to join Turquoise Tortoise for what is sure to be a fascinating and informative Artist Talk at the gallery during 1st Friday. The exhibition runs through April 21st.

For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/TurquoiseTortoiseGallerySedona; or follow Instagram.com/TurquoiseTortoiseGallery. Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, 928/282-2262, www.TurquoiseTortoiseGallery.com, located at Hozho, 431 S.R. 179, Sedona.