Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Wendy Ponca:
Osage Fashion Designer and Instructor

Kimberly "Wendy" Ponca in ribbon shawl at IAIA, ca 1977. IAIA Archives.

“Many people do art for money. Others do art for arts sake. I do art for history’s sake. I want to preserve my traditional culture, while reflecting the signs of contemporary America.” – Wendy Ponca (Osage)

Kimberly ‘Wendy’ Ponca attended IAIA from 1976 to 1978 as a high school student and enrolled in the Traditional Techniques courses. She also participated in many fashion events taking on leadership roles. After earning her B.F.A. in 1982, she returned to Santa Fe and joined the IAIA staff as the new Traditional Techniques instructor. Ponca transformed the clothing curriculum and developed it into an important fiber arts and fashion design program.


 (L to R)

‘Osage Friend Shawl’ by Wendy Ponca (Osage), ca. 1977.  Ponca made this red shawl when she
was a student at IAIA.  It features the Osage hand design.  Wool fabric, beads, and ribbon. MoCNA.

‘Traditional Osage Wearing Blanket’ by Wendy Ponca, ca. 1991. Mixed media. MoCNA.

‘Wah-Sha-She’ wearing blanket by Wendy Ponca, ca. 1995. Wool and felt fabrics. MoCNA.