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.
Growing 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 and 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.”
Cathy 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.