Dolores Purdy

New Mexico

A member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, Dolores’s images can be humorous or serious. They are immersed in Native American heritage, iconography, and Pop culture. For over two decades, Dolores has employed the traditional Ledger Art form from a female perspective, using the same medium of antique paper and colored pencils. Peter Max and the psychedelic Pop Art movement, the Art Deco movement, and Asian textiles are great influences on her work.

Purdy’s images of warriors riding horses, performing ceremonial tasks, or driving pickup trucks are inspiring and elegant, working to convey the mindset that empowers Native people as powerful and resilient. She does this while keeping a sense of humor with whimsical imagery that is light-hearted, conveying to the viewer that this is a genre scene that speaks to the simple joys of everyday life. Her work veers far from the imagery that typically is seen in Ledger Art and is unexpected and adaptive.

Dolores is one of four subjects in a book titled Women and Ledger Art, written by Dr. Richard Pearce of Wheaton College and printed by the University of Arizona press in 2013.