Urbano Project presents Dakota artist Erin Genia's "Okonwanzidan"

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • October 18, 2019

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Urbano Project presents artist-in-residence Erin Genia’s first solo show in Boston, Okoŋwaŋžidaŋ, which means “oneness, being of one mind” in the Dakota language, October 24 - December 21.  An opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 24 from 6-8pm.

Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is a multidisciplinary Dakota artist with an MS in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT. She works with painting, ceramic, sound, performance, and video installation to create a powerful presence of Indigeneity that invokes an evolution of thought and practice aligned with the cycles of the natural world and the potential of humanity.  

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?How can we work together to create Okoŋwaŋžidaŋ as we seek to address the issues of climate change and mass ecological destruction?



Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is an award-winning 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.

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 Weisner 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.  Visit her website & Instagram @emgenia


YOUTH ARTIST PROJECT: stories of the land

How have stories shaped our lives? Storytelling is universal and yet it is bound by specific traditions, methods and media that vary between peoples, places and times. Through learning histories and creatively expressing narratives of place, we can grasp the complexities of our urban home, and change our conditions for the better.

As Artist-in-Residence, Erin 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.  Students will bring a story from their own heritage, background, or life experience that connects them to the land, and will produce a final collaborative piece, combining elements of commonality into a vision for the future.



Urbano Project is a non-profit art space that brings together practicing artists across disciplines, local youth, and community members to learn and experiment through place-based projects. Through artistic collaboration, participating youth and adults are challenged to create projects that take place both within the boundaries of our exhibition space and in the community beyond the walls of the studio. These projects span diverse artistic themes and disciplines, all rooted in the fundamental principles of collaboration, risk-taking, and creative and critical expression.


Contact: Nina Berger | Urbano Project

Phone: 617-543-1595 Email: ninajberger@gmail.com


29 Germania St. | Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

617.983.1007 |  www.urbanoproject.org; Instagram: urbano_project

Nina J Berger

Urbano Project
29 Germania Street
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
About Urbano Project

Urbano Project, located in Jamaica Plain's Brewery Complex, brings together urban youth and professional artists to ignite social change through place-based participatory art and performance projects. Together we foster future generations of creative and civic leaders committed to social justice. Support for Urbano Project is provided by Barr/Klarman Foundations, The Boston Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, Boston Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Frank Reed and Margaret Jane Peters Memorial Fund I, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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