Erin Genia (SMACT ’19) was recently named one of the Urbano Project’s Fall 2019 Artists-in-Residence. As part of her residency, she will lead Youth Artists Projects exploring the theme Creative Conditions, as well as have a solo exhibition in Urbano’s gallery.

Erin Genia: Okoŋwaŋžidaŋ
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 24, 6:30-8:30PM

Genia’s exhibition Okoŋwaŋžidaŋ means oneness, being of one mind in Dakota language. How can we create Okoŋwaŋžidaŋ as we seek to address the issues of climate change, mass ecological destruction and sociopolitical disparities?

In Dakota philosophy, all things exist within a continuum of life, and the concept of mitakuye oyasin – we are all related, extends not only to other people, but to animals, plants, minerals, electricity, air, objects, and everything in existence. As we operate within political and economic systems that divide us, people have forgotten that we are not separate from the earth – we are the earth. With this in mind, how can we respect the agency of the inherent life in everything around us?

By questioning the ways we think, act, and produce work, Genia addresses a historical legacy built upon centuries-old colonial assumptions and systems of violence towards indigenous people. She reorients her process towards the laws of the natural world and the evolutionary potential of human beings. To explore these concepts, Genia will create an installation of sound vessels, paintings, and video projection of her performative character, “Earthling.”

As Artist-in-Residence, from October 15 to December 19, 2019, Genia will share with Urbano’s youth artists stories from Native American peoples and the history and work of Indigenous peoples of our region, and teach storytelling through a variety of artistic methods: painting, printmaking, sculpture, performance, sound, and public art.

Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist whose practice merges cultural imperatives, pure expression, and exploration of materiality, with a response to past, present, and future matters. She uses her artistic voice as a Dakota person to explore the human implications of oppression and the intersections of beauty and power; invoking an evolution of thought and practice aligned with the cycles of the natural world and the potential of humanity.

Genia has a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT and studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts and The Evergreen State College. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at the 2019 Venice Art Biennale, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Wiesner Gallery at MIT. She received her first public art commission for Resilience: Anpa O Wicahnpi from the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.

Urbano Project announced two Artists-in-Residence for fall 2019: Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) and Rachel Allen (Nez Perce), Boston-based artists with Native American heritage. As part of the residency, both artists will lead fall 2019 Youth Artists Projects centered around Urbano’s FY20 theme Creative Conditions; and have solo exhibitions at Urbano’s gallery in Jamaica Plain. Erin Genia’s exhibition will open Oct. 24, 2019 and Rachel Allen’s on January 23, 2020.