Buffalo Kite "Resurrection" by Angela Babby at the Washington State International Kite Festival.
For this is all art's desire:
To lead man’s mind to something higher,
And raise him from the ground
To where no compass points are found.
Without fearful hesitation
He rises, heaven his destination.
And, amid these higher spheres,
Even whispers reach his ears,
Distant world that eye can see
And the heart beats strong and free.


ZeeLee Kites, Inc.
102 Lewis Avenue
Billings, MT 59101
Sacred Springs of Texas Kite Exhibit
Austin City Library - Austin, TX

The Lighting of the Tipis - Billings, MT
Installation was created by The Pretty Shield Foundation, The Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council and ZeeLee Kites.

Hello Friends,

Thank you for visiting my kite site.

I would like to introduce you to my art kite activities, available services and STEM education programs for 4th, 5th and 6th graders.

In 1992, while on the Billings Chamber of Commerce board, I became concerned about how our new airport looked to tourists visiting our city. The baggage claim area was bright, high ceilinged and clean but was void of any artistic flair or color. After seven years of pondering cost-effective possibilities, I decided to hang large, beautiful kites from the ceiling. They were painted or appliquéd by famous kite builders from all over the world. The exhibit was a huge success.

The display opened in 1999, celebrating the new millennium, and was the beginning of fifteen major art kite exhibits spanning America and the next twenty-four years. For twenty years the 90’ x 190’ space was filled with color, history and interest for everyone traveling through the Billings Airport and I learned how extraordinary art kites can deeply impact a community and visiting tourists.

All this work was done as a non-profit corporation called Sky, Wind and World, Inc. Some subjects I’ve focused on are Lewis and Clark, cellular kites, flags of the world, the history of buffalo, honoring the Native Nations, Clark on the Yellowstone, honoring Pompey’s Pillar, birds of America, water conservation and the history of aviation.

Now I reach out to museums, interpretive history centers, airports and communities across America, beautifying public and private buildings and educate populations about local or national issues, historical and recent. Numerous times the kites were displayed in one location and sometimes they are spread throughout the downtowns, creating a KiteWalk.

Sometimes a new exhibit is created, like the “Sacred Springs of Texas” that was created in 2021, alerting Texans about aquifer water shortages occurring because of over-development in the Hill country.

Sometimes the exhibits feature the thirty “Visions of Lewis & Clark” kites so that Americans remember the arduous journey the Corps of Discovery experienced. We always honor all the tribes that assisted, guided, provided food and shelter and protected the Corps members by including fifteen pieces that honor and thank them for their assistance.

Sometimes the “Flying Buffalo” kites fly at State and National parks and at buffalo jumps, creating special recognition for our National Mammal during yearly kite days. The hand painted buffalo kites, painted by some of America’s most famous Indigenous artists, are also used at conferences and conventions to enhance the gathering rooms with energy, beauty and relevance. The buffalo kites can completely change the dynamics of any room.

Sometimes the exceptionally beautiful bird kites fly across ceilings and grace the walls for Audubon fundraisers across the country. This collection, built by fine artist Pete Shurgy, features songbirds, raptors, owls, cranes, and many more.

An important element of any exhibit in a new community are the kite building classes that can be a part of the program. Building a well flying kite takes knowledge about science, technology, engineering and mathematics and my classes always makes sure that every child has a successful experience.

These classes are also available for any school, art museum or event wanting a dynamic, affordable program that leaves children with a kite they build, knowledge about how to fly it and a feeling of great self-confidence.

Please contact ZeeLee Kites for more detailed information about how your organization can benefit from using my art kites and my experience to enhance your event, your facilities and your children’s education.

ZeeLee Kites is a for profit business with a highly active non-profit arm. I would love to bring the beauty of art kites to your community.

Best Winds,

Terry Zee Lee

Kite Exhibits

The Bird Kites

Human’s age-old fascination with flying has never diminished and the same emotions apply to art and birds of the world. People’s spirits are lifted worldwide by art placed on kites of all shapes and sizes. Bird kites combine flight, art, and our feathered friends and everything about them makes people smile.

Modern day art kites, with their complex 3,000-year-old history, combine childhood innocence with modern science. STEAM programs for children get them excited about math, science, technology and engineering while building a kite and understanding why it flies. Valerie Govig used to say, “Kites are only superficially trivial.” The history of the kite in play, aviation, warfare and signaling is so much more.

Maybe though, another important use of kite is just emerging. The visuals on the kite can be educational as well as artistic, making them powerful signage in the air. The bird kites show species diversity, the buffalo kites show human and animal connections, and the Lewis and Clark kites show people working hard together on a common goal.

Flying Buffalo Project

The American West has ancient buffalo jumps scattered throughout it. A buffalo jump is where the animals were lured onto a high plateau and spooked into running off the ledge to their death below, where people gathered to harvest the meat, hides and bones. Before having guns, many Native American nations used this method to gather enough provisions to sustain them through the harsh winters. Since the strong smell of blood lingered for many years, numerous jump sites were used because the buffalo would not return to any location if the blood odors lasted.

In 2014 I visited the First Peoples Buffalo Jump in Elm, near Great Falls, Montana. With me were five large buffalo themed kites that had been painted by prominent Native American artists, representing tribes that ranged in Montana territory. The original oil and acrylic art had been enhanced with a wide border and sparred to fly well.

Allen Knows Gun (Crow), Delores Purdy (Cato), John Cadotte (Blackfeet), Daniel Long Shoulder (Sioux) and D.G.House (Cherokee) painted the first of fourteen canvases that became kites that now fly yearly at numerous buffalo jump sites across America and Canada. State parks use the kites to pull record crowds to the historical locations and all offer STEM based kite building education, indigenous foods, dancing, and craft exhibits on the days when the buffalo are in the air.

The Flying Buffalo Project kites were flown in Dieppe, France in 2019, where two of the Native artists, Alaina Buffalo Spirit (Northern Cheyenne) and Angela Babby (Sioux) accompanying the collection sang, danced, and gave prayers and blessings for the massive crowds that thronged to the yearly fall festival. The buffalo kites are also exhibited in large conference/banquet rooms used for gatherings of indigenous people. A plain space turns incredibly dynamic when enhanced by wonderful art featuring our National Mammal. This collection is still growing, with several kites added every year. Mona Medicine Crow, granddaughter of the famous Crow warrior chief Joe Medicine Crow, is our newest featured artist.
Why Lewis & Clark?

I hope to remind people of the unselfish values of these great men when they view our exhibit and learn the historic stories behind each kite. Lewis & Clark and the marvelous multi-racial members of the Corps of Discovery continue to have my grateful admiration and this exhibit salutes them.

Visions of Lewis & Clark

The Visions of Lewis and Clark kite display is based on Lewis and Clark journal quotes or as tributes to either people, events, or natural resources the Corps of Discovery encountered on their journey. It emphasizes the many times that the American Indian people assisted the Corps during the arduous journey. All thirty, large art kites in the exhibit can fly well. Kite builders from across America researched their assigned Lewis or Clark quote and created flying history that tell many fascinating details about the expedition.

The kites have been on six month displays in several Montana locations since they were originally at Billings Logan Airport for the three years of 2004-2006. They have hung in the Oregon Historical Society, the St. Louis Capitol Building in the rotunda, the Joslin Museum and two other buildings in Louisville, Kentucky, eight locations in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, and were scattered throughout Salmon, Idaho for six months before being flown at the Sacagawea Center.

STEM based kite building lessons for hundreds of children in the public schools always are given when the exhibit visits a new city. And each community selects a local artist to paint a kite sail reflecting the community’s Lewis and Clark connection. The new kite is added to the traveling collection.

"I am continually amazed at how kites can be used as an art medium, reflecting not only color, shape and design, but also for interpreting history. They have been enjoyed by millions of people across America while on display inside a wide assortment of indoor locations. Then, when we take them outside, into their natural element, and fly them, they take on a radiance that only appears when they are soaring high in the sky with the sun shining through them."

STEM Education

Kites in the Classroom

Kites are a marvelous tool for teaching art, science, history, materials, mathematics, creative play, aerodynamics, technology, engineering, and teamwork. Plus, it gets children outside, smiling and laughing as their kite soars into the sky.

For twenty-five years I have been teaching kite building in public and private schools, along with classes in libraries, at board retreats, for community events and for team building seminars across America. Since kites are loved by all ages, there really isn’t any limit to the groups that receive great pleasure by learning to build one that flies perfectly.

Several different shapes, sizes and difficulties of kite are taught, depending on the ages and competence of the students. All the kite patterns I teach fly beautifully when mild wind is available. Prices vary depending on the kite kit used but usually run about $10 to $15 per student with scholarships available for all who cannot afford the fee.

When used for team building, the kites are connected into longer and longer trains, showing how individual efforts can combined to create one spectacular, reaching into the heavens object. Classes are usually two to three hours long, which includes an hour of flying time. Students paint the kites, fly them, plus learn flying skills that add to the enjoyment. Up to 100 students per day, or four classes, can be accommodated.

Please contact me for more information about how kite education will fulfill necessary scholastic STEM requirements while putting new information in student minds and huge smiles on their faces.
By far the highlight of our Evening Under the Big Sky gala were the gorgeous 26 hand-made bird kites provided by Terry Zee Lee with ZeeLee Kites. As a longtime birdwatcher, I was absolutely blown away by the attention to detail as each kite depicted a different species of bird that I would describe as field guide quality as far as color, shape and field marks of each bird. I highly recommend them for your next event as they are sure to wow the crowd!
Larry Berrin, Executive Director
Montana Audubon
Terry Zee Lee, nationally renowned kite designer and flyer, shares the magic of kite building and flying with kids and adults, alike. From schoolyards to parks, beaches to cultural landmarks, Terry inspires a special connection between landscape and skyscape. You will love it.
Maggie Carlson
Art educator on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations
It is my honor to recommend Terry Zee Lee, a gifted curator and educator. As founder of the Lewis and Clark Kite Collection, the Flying Buffalo Project Kite Collection and the acclaimed Sacred Springs Kite Exhibition, Terry masterfully rallied 100’s of artists to create stunning flying artworks highlighting the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the heritage of the buffalo in America and their important connection to the land and to our sacred springs and vital waterways here in Texas. Her creative vision and passion for the environment educated hundreds of thousands of young and old alike. Terry also empowers children through hands-on kite-building workshops that teach design, engineering, and creative confidence. She is a patient, dedicated teacher. Terry's leadership, curatorial talents, and commitment to community enrichment would be an asset to any arts organization or cause seeking to create positive change through the power of art. I enthusiastically recommend her to help design or curate your next art exhibit or event.
David Baker, Executive Director
Watershed Association

Event Enhancement

The Flying Buffalo Kites adorn the walls at The Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council Annual Health Conference.
The Flying Buffalo Kites adorned the arena at a UVU Powwow - "Buffalo Tracker" by Allen Knows His Gun (Crow)

Boardrooms, Powwows, Museums, Banquet Facilities, Commercial Spaces and much more!

Are you looking for a way to make your convention space memorable?

Do you need a way to make everyone walking into your facility or event say, “WOW! This room is gorgeous.”

Kite making & flying fun for attendees available - a great team building exercise.

ZeeLee Kites owns numerous large collections of beautiful art kites that can make any room change from ordinary to extraordinary. Buffalo, birds, Native designs, Lewis & Clark, horses, bears, and so much more can hang from the ceiling and be placed on the walls to turn any room, no matter the size, into a wonderland of color, design and beauty.

In one day, the ZeeLee crew will go to work, designing a dynamic historical exhibit, a colorful aviary, a western plain full of buffalo and so much more.

Please contact Terry Zee Lee to discuss how your event can become a vivacious, energetic meeting by enhancing the rooms where all the people gather.