Vernan Kee's (@vernankee) work is unique and original in a way that is rare these days. Growing up without the commerical influences of TV and magazines, Vernan's creativity is instead shaped by something much closer to heart - the land and his Navajo heritage.
Vernan's powerful art form pays respect to his heritage while remaining uniquely his own
Our collaboration with Vernan reflects his admiration for traditional Navajo rug designs. His inspiration sparked when Vernan caught a glimpse of a friend's mother’s traditional Navajo rug weaving. It led him to explore a modern approach based on traditional designs, with flattened triangles, sharp edges, that are pronounced and intentional. Mixed with a striking color palette, woven into performance stretch webbing, the result is a collection that is modern, wearable, and functional.
"The outdoors and art have helped me heal.”
Vernan comes from a long line of artists. Both his father and uncles were artists, whose works drew from their surrounding nature and culture. This reverence for heritage is present in Vernan's own work, influenced by Navajo symbols, stories, and places depicted in traditional art. His art today weaves together all of those fingerprints of his people, celebrating the past and present.
Vernan's passion extends far beyond creating art. His belief in the healing power of nature comes from a deep personal connection with the outdoors, and strives to give more people the same experience through non-profit work. He is one of many talented contributors to Natives Outdoors, working to give back to not only to his community, but native communities across the country.