Travois is hosting a juried art exhibition series featuring North American Indigenous artists in 2017 and 2018 at our headquarters in the heart of metro Kansas City.

The Crossroads Arts District is the site of one of the country’s strongest First Friday events and attracts up to 10,000 people from across the heartland.

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.


Upcoming First Friday: Sept. 7

Featuring “ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ (Long Men): the native streams and rivers of the land” by Joseph Erb (Cherokee)

Joseph Erb (Cherokee) is a computer animator, film producer, educator, language technologist and artist. Erb described his work in his artist statement: “The purpose of my research and creative production is to advance the Cherokee culture and language. Social justice and activism is the base philosophy of my interdisciplinary work. Indigenous people face some of the worst disparities in the country in education, health and environmental safety. Art, music and cultural expression have always been positive ways that Indigenous people have persevered. However, Indigenous art has been stereotyped, commodified, and at times stolen from the first communities in which they were born. I believe my role is to provide creative venues for my community members to take back ownership of their stories and express them in ways that are meaningful to them. This includes sharing stories in new ways so that children and grandchildren can have access to them in the future.”

Erb holds a BFA from Oklahoma City University and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is an assistant professor in the Digital Storytelling Program and Department of Art at the University of Missouri. He works in the fields of 2-D and 3-D animation; digital storytelling; fine art — painting, metal and textiles; Native American and Indigenous studies; Cherokee language technology and Cherokee studies.

For Travois First Fridays, Erb’s exhibition explores themes concerning the intersection between culture and water and celebrating the stories and struggles of the water, and it will feature three sets of sculptural works, hung or mounted, and digital animation shown in three short movies. The movies last from 4 minutes to 8 minutes, and two feature Cherokee language with English subtitles. Learn more on his website and Instagram.

Join us Friday, Sept. 7, from 6-8 p.m.

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Joseph Erb


Future exhibitions

Thank you to all of the artists who applied to our call! Please read about selected artists and our exhibition schedule here.


Exhibition jury

  • 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
  • America Meredith (Cherokee Nation), artist and publishing editor of First American Art Magazine

Exhibition press

In Kansas City’s Crossroads, unusual space spotlights untraditional American Indian art

American Indian art joins Crossroads First Fridays

Alcatraz occupation inspires architecture prof’s KC exhibition

Travois First Fridays featuring Chris T. Cornelius for March 2 exhibition (p. 38)


Past exhibitions

Read summaries about past exhibitions here.

June 1 – “Life Is Breaktaking” by Cannupa Hanska Luger

May 4 – “Rituals” by Porfirio Gutiérrez

March 2 – “Domiciles” by Chris T. Cornelius

Dec. 1 – Travois Design and JT Daniels

Nov. 3 – Maura Garcia

Oct. 6 – Matika Wilbur

Sept. 1 – Anthony Oropeza