Cathy Smith is now painting the Native American West, the subject
she knows and loves, though she is best known for her authentic costumes
in films such as Dances with Wolves, Comanche Moon, Geronimo and
Son of the Morning Star – for which she won the Emmy for
Excellence in Costume Design.
up on a ranch in western South Dakota, bordering two Sioux reservations,
led to her relentless pursuit of authentic, traditional Native American
art forms, design, and techniques – which have become a much sought
after commodity for everyone from museum curators to international collectors
to Hollywood producers.
Cathy has spent her lifetime participating in the ceremonies and cultural
life-ways of relatives on the Cheyenne River Reservation and refining
her skills in the sacred art of porcupine quillwork
“Maintaining these traditional arts is imperative as they are
a part of our American heritage in danger of being lost. Not only are
they beautiful and useable, but when made with integrity, they are imbued
with power & spiritual meaning.”
lectures on the art & culture of the Western Plains at museums and
events, from the Smithsonian to Christy’s in NYC. She has consulted
on a majority of the Western genre films of the past 20 years and exhibited
at the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame and the Charlie Russell
Show, among others. She restores original artifacts for museums &
collectors and creates custom clothing and accoutrements not only for
film and museums, but for clients worldwide.
Cathy has a studio in Nambe, NM and the Black Hills of South Dakota.