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Artist biography


Saginaw Chippewa/Grand River Ottawa
Lansing, Michigan

Image of Kayle Crampton

Kayle Crampton's family has always been deeply involved in its Native American traditions. Daily exposure to the craftsmanship of her mother, master basketmaker Anna Crampton, was a key factor in her decision to pursue art as a career. Crampton enrolled in art classes in high school, studied design at Lansing Community College, and later earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at Kendall College of Art and Design. Though she enjoys pottery, jewelry-making, and photography, she prefers to work in graphic arts. Crampton's work is inspired by both her Native American heritage and the world around her. She uses contemporary designs to link her family traditions with modern experience.

Kayle Crampton is a strong supporter of native artists, whatever their subjects, themes, or media. She is one of several women in the "Sisters" project who has experienced discrimination by the dominant culture when her work did not contain obvious references to historical and traditional Native American culture. "When I want to please myself," she notes, "I prefer to create contemporary designs and patterns. When I want to show my work at galleries or in exhibits, I often return to traditional themes."

Crampton is active in the Great Lakes Indian Artists Association, a multi-tribe organization that provides support to native artists. She recently illustrated the book Walk in Peace, written by Native American elder Simon Otto. She served as project coordinator for the "Native American Women Artists" project and is office coordinator for the Ziibiwing Cultural Society of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Artist's work

Image of Nin Giwitashim (I Dance Around) by Kayle CramptonObject measurements and display specifications:

Kayle Crampton
Nin Giwitashim (I Dance Around), 1994
Crosshatching with pen and ink on rag paper
24 1/4" x 19 1/8" (matted & framed to 26" x 24")
Sisters of the Great Lakes Collection
MSU Museum 7594.22

Piece is matted & framed - picture hooks required.