Kayla R. Wanatee

Kayla Wanatee is a Visual Artist from the Meskwaki Tribe based in Iowa. Currently she is studying for a Bachelors in Studio Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kayla enjoys working with many mediums and creating illustrations in acrylic paint, graphite, Ink, digital art and exploration into different mediums in classes provided at IAIA.

Kayla’s expertise lies in her talent for creating traditional outfits and beadwork. She began creating beadwork at the age of 13 and found a fascination with creating pieces in the likeness of traditional regalia with her own modern twist. While learning to create from her grandmother, Carmen (Lasley) Wanatee, Kayla was able to learn how to tell stories in the images she created in any piece.

While storytelling is a big component in Kayla’s creative process, she does take great joy in making jewelry with her own unique touch. Constantly being on the lookout for diverse and lovely materials allows each piece to stand out and truly be one of a kind. Each piece is made with the thought of the future wearers feeling like they are the most beautiful person they know.