Matika Wilbur to kick off Travois First Fridays art exhibition series

We are launching our Travois First Fridays series with a big announcement! On Oct. 6, we will officially begin our monthly art exhibition series featuring North American indigenous artists, and our founding launch artist is Matika Wilbur.

Matika, a Native American woman of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes, is a photographer and social documentarian. She is currently working on Project 562, a national documentary project dedicated to changing the way we see Native Americans through authentic images and real narratives from contemporary Native America.

Kumu Olelo Kaeo Izon (Kanaka Maoli-Independent Nation of Hawaii), 2013

Matika will attend the Oct. 6 showing and will give an artist talk titled “Changing the Way We See Native America: Dismantling Native American Stereotypes.” It will be especially powerful to hear her speak before the federally observed holiday of Columbus Day. At Travois, we do not observe this holiday and support efforts to rename it as Indigenous Peoples Day.

Her “Seeds of Culture: The Portraits and Stories of Native American Women” exhibition will be on view during October and through early November at our office in the Crossroads Arts District.

Sinead Talley (Karuk and Yurok), 2017

To follow Matika’s opening, we’re looking for six artists to participate in our Travois First Friday series. A Call for Artists is available here through Oct. 30. Please share this opportunity with Native artists in your community and encourage them to apply for a chance to show their artwork in our juried exhibition.

The goal of this exhibition series is to highlight the strength and modern-day vitality of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists and to stimulate art purchases and commissions within one of the nation’s leading art scenes. We look forward to hosting talented artists and beautiful works in our office.

A jury of artists and Kansas City industry professionals will select six indigenous artists to show work as the part of the series over the next year. 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.

Join us for our kick-off First Fridays event!