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



August 12, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Aug. 9, 2019) - With a focus on North American Indigenous artists, the Travois First Fridays series continues on Sept. 6, with Chris Pappan, an enrolled member of the Kaw Nation, and his exhibition "Kanza Shokhi (Homecoming): The Art of Chris Pappan."

Travois First Fridays jurors selected Pappan to share his artwork as part of the 2019 exhibition series at the Travois office in the Crossroads Art District, 310 W. 19th Terr. in Kansas City, MO.

"I am a Kanza artist; the state of Kansas derives its name from our people. Shokhi is a Kanza word that means 'return to one's home' or 'homecoming,'" Pappan said. "I am returning to the homelands of my people through my artwork and always strive to honor my ancestors. Within the genre of ledger art, I attempt to convey recognition of our culture while infusing pop art and lowbrow influences, so people may understand us in a modern context."

Travois initiated the art series in 2017 to support and promote Indigenous artists as part of Kansas City's liveliest monthly art event called "First Fridays," which occur on the first Friday of every month.

"As a Certified B Corporation, we believe in using the power of business for good," Travois President Phil Glynn said. "At Travois, we have the honor and privilege of working with Indigenous people, helping bring affordable housing and economic development to Native communities. We open our Kansas City headquarters for Travois First Fridays to offer talented Indigenous artists an opportunity to share their artworks, stories and cultures."

On the First Fridays dates listed below, Travois will be open to the public from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Preregistration is available on the Travois website at

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. For each First Fridays opening, the participating artist will give a brief artist talk to introduce his or her work at 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming artists and exhibitions are:

Friday, Sept. 6: Chris Pappan, Kaw Nation | "Kanza Shokhi (Homecoming): The Art of Chris Pappan"

Chris Pappan is an American Indian artist of Osage, Kaw, Cheyenne River Sioux, and mixed European heritage. His art reflects the dominant culture's distorted perceptions of Native peoples while proclaiming that "We are still here!" A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and a nationally recognized painter, Chris calls his art "Native American Low Brow." Chris exhibits in several Native American art shows and markets nationally including the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Indian Fair and Market, and the Eiteljorg. Chris currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Debra Yepa-Pappan, and their daughter.

His work is represented in galleries that include Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, OK; Rainmaker Gallery in Bristol, UK; Winterowd Fine Art in Santa Fe, NM; MoCNA Museum Store in Santa Fe, NM; and Art Wanson Gallery in Marbella, Spain. See more of his work on Instagram @chrispappan and his website at

Friday, Oct 4: Mona Cliff, Aaniiih (Gros Ventre Tribe of Fr. Belknap, Montana) | "Generational Knowledge"

"In this series 'Generational Knowledge,' I am creating a space to honor what has been labeled 'woman's work.' I am looking toward the mediums and conduits of craft, how Indigenous cultures thrive and are created in the quiet corners of a home," Cliff said. "My art is rooted in my Aaniiih and Eastern European heritage. I use my art to explore the concept of woman as gatekeepers of cultural knowledge, how this knowledge forms personal identity and is passed down generationally to create traditions."

Mona Cliff was born in Prescott, AZ, was raised in Portland, OR, and currently resides in Lawrence, KS. She is an enrolled member of the Aaniiih (White Clay people) tribe, and has Polish and German heritage. She uses traditional Indigenous techniques in conjunction with contemporary images. Mona explores the subject of identity, culture and mixed heritage. Mona earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. During that time, she used photoetching and collage to explore issues of Native identity in contemporary America, by using humor to address stereotypical ideas of Native people and identity. After graduating, she turned to traditional Native methods as a way of further understanding the connection of Indigenous identity. Learn more about her on Instagram @Spottedcloud and on Twitter @Spotted_cloud.

Friday, Nov. 1: Yatika Starr Fields, Osage, Creek and Cherokee | "Playing with Fire"

In his artist statement, Yatika Starr Fields said: "I am motivated in my work fundamentally by the search for freedom in all forms. I seek to create a contemporary terrain in the juxtaposition of my living memories. Dissolving elements of space and time, I create a synthesis of symbolic forms and objects floating and bending on the canvas at all angles, negating the horizon and the rule of linear

experience. The objects and forms represent the past and present from my perspective as a member of the Osage, Cherokee and Creek Nations of Oklahoma surrounded by beautiful colors and patterns joined by rhythm and dance from tradition. Fast paced cities and humble highways of the plains are defined by a historical layering of cultures, art and creativity that I seek to portray. In the essence of painting, my process has journeyed from abstract to most recently focusing on representational, landscapes and figurative. By removing what the eye perceives and knows and leaving what the body feels with hints of dialogue revealing truths and questions - sensation through color and movement - tied together with cultural affinity but provoked by general concerns of world differences. The creation mythology of this space is narrated in my work from inspirations of culture, travels abroad and life in Boston, New York City, the Pacific Northwest and now back in the state I was born, Oklahoma. Resulting in an explosion of current experience, in this suspended trichotomy between nature, urban experiences and traditions, a new world is made."

His work is included in the collections of the Heard Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, Oklahoma State Museum of Art and Sam Noble Museum. He was a Tulsa Artist Fellowship recipient in 2017. Learn more about his work on Instagram @yatikafields and on Twitter @Yatikafields.

No December reception


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; Norman Akers (Osage Nation), artist and associate professor and director of art graduate studies at the University of Kansas; Rachael Cozad, Rachael Cozad Fine Art and former director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Madison Group Fine Art Appraisals; Thomas Farris (Otoe-Missouria, Cherokee), manager of Exhibit C Gallery; Bruce Hartman, executive director of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; Sherry Leedy, artist and Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art; America Meredith (Cherokee Nation), artist and publishing editor of First American Art Magazine; Jami Powell (Osage Nation), associate curator of Native American art at Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art; and Gaylord Torrence, senior curator of American Indian art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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 and previous featured artists can be found at


Travois is a Certified B Corporation® 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 $1.4 billion across Indian Country. These private investor funds have helped build or rehabilitate more than 5,600 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, master planning, 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, Instagram or on the company blog.


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