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Erin Genia - Wakpa
“Wakpa” mural at Tufts University Art Galleries, Aidekman Art Center, 2021 Image courtesy of the artist
Erin Genia - Canupa Inyan Falling Star Woman
Canupa Inyan Falling Star Woman
“Canupa Iŋyan: Falling Star Woman,” pipestone, for Sojourner 2020, an art payload to the International Space Station, 2020 Image courtesy of the artist
Erin Genia - Wicahnpi Nunpa
Wicahnpi Nunpa
“Wicahnpi Nunpa” silkscreen, seed beads, 2020, Image courtesy of the artist
Erin Genia - Sound Vessels
Sound Vessels
“Sound Vessels” ceramic sound installation, 2018, Image courtesy of the artist
Erin Genia - Acoustic Tipi
Acoustic Tipi
“Acoustic Tipi” Mahogany, cow hide drums, acrylic, steel hardware, bungee cords, drum sticks, 60" x 60" x 74", 2018
Erin Genia - After Powhatans Robe
After Powhatans Robe
“After Powhatan’s Robe” 60” x 75” Acrylic, gold leafed ceramic shells on curtain, 2018, Image courtesy of the artist
Erin Genia - The Universe is My Regalia
The Universe is My Regalia
“The Universe is My Regalia” acrylic on canvas, ceramic, gold leaf, ribbon, 50” x 60”, 2018
Erin Genia - Invisible
“InVisible” pieced organza 60"x60", 2017, Photo by Gary Zhexi Zhang and Zacharia Jamaria
Erin Genia - Earthling Mask
Earthling Mask
“Earthling” mask, acrylic on canvas, architectural model turf, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
Erin Genia - Resilience: Anpa O Wicahnpi/Dakota Pride Banner
Resilience: Anpa O Wicahnpi/Dakota Pride Banner
“Resilience: Anpa O Wicahnpi/Dakota Pride Banner” hand pieced and dyed ripstop nylon, 6’ x 35’ Seattle Center, 2017, Image courtesy of the artist

Erin Genia (b. 1978), Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and community organizer specializing in Indigenous arts and culture. Genia’s work in these areas is focused on amplifying the powerful presence of Indigenous peoples on the occupied lands of America in the arts, sciences and public realm to invoke an evolution of thought and practice that is aligned with the cycles of the natural world and the potential of humanity.

Genia’s artistic practice merges Dakota cultural imperatives, pure expression, and exploration of materiality with the conceptual. Erin is fluent in multiple modes of expression: sculpture, fiber, sound, performance, digital media, painting, printmaking, jewelry and ceramics. She has degrees from the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology and The Evergreen State College.

As a community organizer, Erin combines the creative process with civic practice and is served as a 2020-2021 artist in residence with the City of Boston’s Office of Emergency Management, where her project, “Cultural Emergency Response,” creatively repurposes disaster planning methods to -address complex issues like climate change, institutional racism, ecological destruction and economic inequality from a decolonial lens. As part of this work, her speaker series, Confronting Colonial Myths in Boston’s Public Space,  featured local Indigenous leaders and artists speaking about how monuments in the city contribute to the public health emergency of racism.

Erin maintains a traditional Dakota arts practice in canupa iŋyan/pipestone carving, and was awarded the 2021 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant from Mass Cultural Council. She is an advocate for Native American cultural issues and has worked in the field of Indigenous arts and culture as a writer, scholar, administrator and teacher. Her recent article, “Dislodging the Cultural Infrastructure of Indigenous Peoples’ Dispossession,” appeared in the winter 2021 issue of the Boston Art Review.

Erin was named a 2019 Artist in Residence at the Urbano Project, where her first solo show, “Okonwaŋzidan” was reviewed in the Boston Globe. While at Urbano, she taught the program “Stories of the Land” where youth artists developed ways to respect the land in an urban environment through their own histories, cultures and experiences via an exploration of sculpture, sound and performance. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, and in the interactive digital installation, “Sound on Mystic” in Medford, MA.

Genia’s work also explores the intersections of Dakota philosophy and technology, and her piece, Canupa Inyan: Falling Star Woman, travelled to the International Space Station in 2020 as part of Sojourner 2020, a project of the MIT Space Exploration Initiative.

Erin’s work in public art includes commissions for the Tufts University Art Galleries, Minnesota Historical Society, the City of Saint Paul, and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. Erin is a co-founder of Centering Justice: Indigenous Artists’ Perspectives on Public Art, a project of the New England Foundation for the Arts Public Art Team that seeks to disrupt harmful historic narratives and present critical perspectives on the social justice dimensions of public space.

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