About Vickery

Vickery Ottaway
Born in Kansas, Vickery and her two brothers were raised both in Wichita and in the family adobe in Ranchos de Taos. The daughter of two anthropologists, she was first introduced to Taos when she was two months old. Her mother, an archaeologist, excavated Pot Creek Cultural Site in Carson National Forest for her Master’s thesis. Her father, an ethnologist, studied the Los Hermanos Penitentes of northern New Mexico for his doctoral dissertation. Not surprisingly, Vickery developed an appreciation for the people, art forms, and landscape of New Mexico at an early age, and that appreciation has deepened profoundly through the years. She has fond memories of times spent with her parents’ friends—artists, book lovers, art collectors, scholars, as well as laborers and craftsmen and craftswomen. Vickery remembers that when she was growing up other kids went to Disneyland or the beach for their vacations, but her family always went to museums, archaeological sites, galleries, Pueblo dances, and the mission churches of New Mexico. Now a mother of two, Vickery continues that family tradition with her own children.

Of these varied influences, art in all forms emerged as Vickery’s greatest love and led her to evolve as a professional artist. New Mexico became her full-time home when she was 18 years old. She attended the University of New Mexico-Taos Branch, where she studied drawing and painting under Ray Vinella, metalsmithing under Marilyn Nicholson, and photography under the late John Rudiak. Because UNM-Taos did not offer the curriculum needed to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she transferred to Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. After earning her BFA, she taught Color and Design as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, Oklahoma State University, and Pastel Drawing at the Multi Arts Center in Stillwater. She also taught private lessons and served as a home-design color consultant. She continued to produce paintings and tinwork, as well as using her metalsmithing and enamel-working skills to design jewelry.


After her return to New Mexico, Vickery was represented by a local Taos gallery which displayed her paintings, tinwork and jewelry. Her tinwork was also carried by the Museum of New Mexico’s museum’s shops. Upon returning to Kansas—with frequent visits to the family home in Ranchos de Taos—she designed fabrics for handbags, which were sold by Sedgwick and CAB brands. In recent years, she has designed, hand carved, and hand-printed block prints on various mediums, which include paper, wood, and fabric.


Although dedicated to all forms of art, Vickery’s first love is painting. She is especially fascinated with patterns and the layering of patterns. She sees patterns in many items used in the home, manmade objects outside the home, and those found in nature, as well as iconic symbols associated with Spanish-American and Native American cultures. She enjoys the challenge of discovering and merging similarities of design that occur in diverse objects that allows the viewer to attach his or her personal significance evoked by her work.


Several artists inspire the vision of Vickery’s work. She is interested in the 1970s pattern painters, like Miriam Shapiro, Joyce Kozloff, and Philip Taaffe. In addition, the reknowned works of Agnes Martin and Taos artist Gisella Loeffler influence her art.