Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 19, 2018) - With a focus on North American Indigenous artists, Travois First Fridays jurors selected nine professionals to share their artwork as part of a visual art exhibition series at the Travois office in the Crossroads Art District, 310 W. 19th Terr. in Kansas City, MO. The next First Fridays event will be on Friday, August 3, with Gina Herrera (Pueblo of Tesuque) and her exhibition: "A Fanciful Escapade."

Reflecting on the large sculptural works that she constructed primarily from found materials, 10 of which are included in the exhibition, Herrera said, "All living beings are intertwined as one."

"Artist, high school art teacher and adjunct professor Gina Herrera is shining a light on environmental justice in a new way," Travois President Phil Glynn said. "Her artist talk will give Kansas City audiences an opportunity to hear how her experiences in the U.S. Army, serving in Iraq, and her heritage have influenced her process and body of work."

Gina Herrera (Pueblo of Tesuque) was raised in Chicago and currently resides in California. In her artist statement, Herrera said: "While my heritage incorporates the Tesuque Pueblo and Costa Rica, my strongest affinity is to nature. While serving in Iraq, amid the devastation of combat, my visceral reaction to miles of mountainous trash heaps, the evidence of systematic yet unconscious destruction of our planet led me to question my own practices. I began to build assemblages out of discarded and natural objects. I am engaged in an aesthetic and spiritual ritual to channel and honor Mother Earth. I constantly gather materials, finding inspiration in my surroundings. Like a scavenger, I play an interventional role in removing garbage from the landscape, preventing further damage. I am also drawn to natural materials and organic forms. My process is meditative and intuitive. Figures emerge, in gravity defying poses on the brink of movement, alive with possibility. Their haunting spiritual presence reminds us they have not gone back to the earth but asks us to question the choices we make in our daily existence."

Herrera holds a BFA in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While she was a student, she was deployed overseas in support of several war contingencies with the United States Army. Once her final tour was complete, she obtained her MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. As a graduate student, she was awarded a Provost Fellowship, an MFA scholarship and was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Program in 2012. Herrera received a full Native American Residency Fellowship from the Harpo Foundation to attend the Vermont Studio Center in 2013.

Herrera has exhibited extensively in California and nationally and has received awards: she has received grants from the Harold and Ruth Chenven Foundation and Puffin Foundation, is a seventeen-time ArtSlant Prize Showcase Winner, she received a Merit Award from Art Kudos and received an Award of Excellence from Manhattan Arts International.

Herrera's dedication to service extends to all aspects of her professional life – from her 20+ years in the military to educating and inspiring the next generation as an art teacher at Arvin High School and as an adjunct professor at Bakersfield College. Learn more on her website, Facebook and LinkedIn.

On August 3 and following First Fridays dates listed on the Travois website, Travois will be open to the public from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Preregistration is available on the Travois website at Herrera will give a brief artist talk to introduce her work at 6:30 p.m.

Appetizers will be provided, while supplies last, along with two drink tickets for guests (21 and older) who preregister prior to each event. Stockyards Brewing Company is a co-sponsor and will provide craft beer.

About Travois First Fridays

The Travois First Fridays jury of artists and Kansas City industry professionals selected the indigenous artists out of applicants who responded to a nationwide open call. Jurors for the series include: Gina Adams (Ojibwa-Lakota descent) contemporary hybrid artist and faculty at Naropa University; Bruce Hartman, executive director of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; Gaylord Torrence, senior curator of American Indian art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Thomas Farris (Otoe-Missouria, Cherokee), manager of Exhibit C Gallery; Sherry Leedy, artist and Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art; Rachael Cozad, Rachael Cozad Fine Art and former director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Madison Group Fine Art Appraisals; Norman Akers (Osage Nation), artist and associate professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Kansas; and America Meredith (Cherokee Nation), artist and publishing editor of First American Art Magazine.

Travois First Fridays is a visual art exhibition series featuring North American indigenous artists at the Travois headquarters in the heart of metro Kansas City. Our mission is to support and promote American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian artists through juried exhibition. Our vision is to see Native artists more prominently featured and powerfully supported in metropolitan Kansas City. More information about the juried exhibition series can be found at

About Travois

Travois is a mission-driven business focused exclusively on promoting housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities. Since 1995, Travois has brought investor equity to more than 200 developments through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, making an impact of more than $1.3 billion across Indian Country. These private investor funds have helped build or rehabilitate more than 5,300 homes and have helped finance critical economic developments, including infrastructure, health care, community centers, education facilities and job incubators. The Travois family of companies also offers architectural design and construction monitoring services, environmental assessments, consulting on green energy improvements, asset management and compliance services, impact investment models, and comprehensive training to clients in 22 states, from Hawaii and Alaska to Maine and California. For more information, please visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram or on the company blog.


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