785 Arts Acknowledges that we are located on the homelands of the Osage, Kaw, Delaware, Shawnee, Potawatomi and Wyandotte peoples, and pay our respects to the elders past, present as well as future generations of all Indigenous people who have, do and will live on this land. As Tsa-la-gi/Giduwa, we pledge to mindfully care for and preserve the importance of this space to my family, the tribes, our ancestors and all of our children’s children when living here and will do so responsibly.
785 Arts opened in Topeka, Kansas in January, 2020 bringing authentic Cherokee arts to Amused Gallery located in Topeka's NOTO Arts & Entertainment district, including doublewall basketry, cornhusk dolls, red clay jewelry and contemporary arts. We also offer classes for children, adults, groups, homeschool groups, schools and creative aging. Classes include basketry, cornhusk dolls, Cherokee language, kids cultural camp experiences, and customized programs.
In January, 2022, 785 Arts reopened in Topeka's historic Columbian Building with the addition of an authentic Native American art gallery. The gallery features contemporary art from artists who are tribal citizens or certified by Federally-recognized tribal governments, following all requirements of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. You can be assured that all items claimed as Native American are genuine Native American made.
We are also proud to feature art from non-Native emerging Northeast Kansas artists.
Lisa LaRue-Baker, artist and teaching artist
Lisa LaRue Baker (Cherokee Nation) is a traditional double-wall basket
maker, taught by elders Anna Sixkiller and Thelma Vann Forrest. As a staff member of Cherokee Nation’s Cultural Resource Center and later Director of Language, History and Culture for the United
Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, she has taught thousands
of children over a 20+ year timespan in cultural arts including baskets, cornhusk
dolls, traditional clothing, jewelry, as well as guidance in the Cherokee language and
culture. She was the Director of the Keetoowah tribal museum, and an exhibit designer for the Cherokee Heritage Center. She has her work in both museums, as well as the collection of the Five Civilized Tribes
Museum and numerous Federal government and individual collections. Her other media forms include mobiography and digital manipulation, Cherokee twining and other textile arts.
She was raised in Topeka, Kansas by her maternal grandparents,
and spent most of her adult life living and working in Cherokee Nation in Northeast Oklahoma. She is currently gallerist and teaching artist at 785 Arts studio and gallery in downtown Topeka (2022 People’s Choice recipient), and a board member of ArtsConnect, a local organization that advocates for and represents artists in Shawnee County, Kansas. She is also Lead Curator of the Mayor’s Art Initiative, and Creative Aging Teacher at LULAC Senior Center and a facilitator for MidAmerica Arts Alliance.
Education has always been important to me, but creativity is my passion.
I find that creativity is often the best way to educate others. Whether it be through my music, writing, photography, bohemian art, or traditional Cherokee arts, I find a way for each piece to not only speak to someone’s soul, but leave a lasting memory of history – or hope for the future. As a Native American artist, I not only create traditional art of my tribe, but contemporary arts in many genres. Touching all cultures, experiences and goals is not only the life of the contemporary Native, but helps reach many people. Indigenous art does not always have to have an “Indian” theme, but rather, is from either our perspective or embodies traditional teachings. Art IS our culture. Everything we do is surrounded by and based on art. Being an artist is an important part of being a culture-bearer.
I am a Native Artist crossing the boundaries into the non-Native art world.
Examples of Lisa's Work