Travois First Fridays on Sept. 7 will feature Joseph Erb (Cherokee), computer animator, film producer, educator, language technologist and artist. Our office will be open to the public from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Joseph will give a brief artist talk at 6:30 p.m.
Joseph’s exhibition, titled “ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ (Long Men): the native streams and rivers of the land,” explores themes concerning the intersection between culture and water and celebrating the stories and struggles of the water. For Travois First Fridays, he 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.
Joseph 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.”
Joseph 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.
We are excited to host Joseph in Kansas City!