America Meredith

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America Meredith
Born 1972
Nationality Cherokee Nation
Education MFA San Francisco Art Institute, BFA University of Oklahoma, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Institute of American Indian Arts
Known for painting, printmaking, fumage
Movement Cherokee art

America Meredith is a Swedish-Cherokee painter, printmaker, educator, and editor of First American Art Magazine,[1] living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[2] Her work is known for its humorous approaches to social and environmental issues and for combining Native American and pop imagery.


America Meredith was born in 1972 to Howard Meredith, a Cherokee author and American Indian Studies professor, and Mary Ellen Meredith, a Cherokee museum director and curator. Meredith's maternal grandfather was William Thomas Milam, a Cherokee photographer and aeronautical engineer from Oklahoma. W. T. Milam's uncle was J. B. Milam, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and his great-uncle was Will Rogers, a Cherokee humorist, actor, and movie producer.[3] Meredith was named for Will Roger's mother, Mary America Schrimpsher Rogers.[4]

During much of the 1990s, Meredith worked as a bike messenger in San Francisco, California, where she was active the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 6's organizing campaign of the Bay Area urgent delivery industry.[5]

Meredith earned her AA at City College of San Francisco; her BFA in painting from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma; and her MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California in 1995. She also attended the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[6]


Meredith paints with acrylic, gouache, watercolor, and egg tempera.[7] One art series, The Cherokee Spokespeople Project, involved handmade paintings and drawings illustrating Cherokee words reproduced as spokecards, which were distributed to cycle couriers and cyclists worldwide.[8]

Art career[edit]

Besides creating her own art, Meredith curates shows such as the 2006 Frybread and Roses: Art of Native American Labor[9] and Freedom of Information: The FBI, Indian Country, and Surveillance, which she co-curated with Ishkoten Dougi (Jicarilla Apache) in 2010.[10] At Ahalenia Studios in Santa Fe, Meredith and other Native American artists, such as Melissa Melero (Paiute) and Sam Haozous (Chiricahua Apache), curate shows "too edgy, too silly, or otherwise inappropriate for other local galleries."[11]


In 2006, Meredith tied for SF Weekly's Best Painter award.[12] She was award a Cultural Equity Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, and she participated in the National Museum of the American Indian visiting artist fellowship. She has won numerous awards in juried art shows at the Cherokee Heritage Center, SWAIA's Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum, and others, including the 2007 IAIA Distinguished Alumni Award - For Excellence in Contemporary Native American Arts.[13]


Meredith serves on the board of the Cherokee Arts and Humanities Council, a grassroots community organization based in northeastern Oklahoma.[14] She is active in the movement to revitalization indigenous languages. Meredith says she sees indigenous tribal people as "the future, not the past, in our globalized world."[2]

Notable exhibits[edit]


  1. ^ Staff (29 May 2013). "CN citizen launches 'First American Art Magazine'". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Face to Face: Portraits by America Meredith." Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. 2006. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Three generations of artists exhibit work at Standing Buffalo Indian Art Gallery and Gifts." NewsOK. 31 March 2010. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  4. ^ Randall, Teri Thompson. "America Meredith: Shattering Stereotypes with Cartoons." Santa Fe New Mexican: Pasatiempo via High Beam Research. 22 August 2003. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  5. ^ Curtis, Kim. "S.F. bike messengers aim to form own union They want higher wages, vacations, health benefits." Deseret News. 1998. Accessed 10 April 2011.
  6. ^ "America Meredith." Southeastern Indian Artists Association. 2011. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  7. ^ a b "America Meredith: At the Crossroads." Oklahoma Arts Council. 2007. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  8. ^ Botlz, Gina. "Cherokee Artist America Meredith Puts Words on Wheels." Native Village Youth and Education News. Accessed 10 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Frybread and Roses." 2006. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  10. ^ Golar, Staci. "Art and activism collide." Native American Times. 22 March 2010. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  11. ^ Sanchez, Casey. "Low Overhead, High Experimentation: Ahalenia Studios." Santa Fe New Mexican: Pasatiempo via Free Online Library. 31 Dec 2010. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Best Painter (Tie) - 2006: America Meredith and Mitsy Avila Ovalles." SF Weekly. 2006. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Vita." America Meredith. 2011. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  14. ^ "About Us." Cherokee Arts & Humanities Council. 2009. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Vita". America Meredith Portfolio. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Morales, Margarita. "Impacta y gusta 'Indigenous Brilliance-Spain', muestra que organizó Obsidiana TV". Social Next (25 October 2013). Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  17. ^ Native American Artists go Lowbrow in Low-Rez, Santa, accessed 8-12-2012
  18. ^ "Intrigue and Novelty." Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. Accessed 9 April 2011.
  19. ^ Sanchez, Aurelio. "Lichtenstein Show Traces Union of Pop, Native American Art." Albuquerque Journal. 12 Feb 2006. Accessed 9 April 2011.

External links[edit]