Travois gets tagged

"Before" photo of Travois mural
“Before” photo of Travois mural

"After" photo of Travois mural
“After” photo of Travois mural

Over the weekend some professional artists made their mark on an open wall at the Travois headquarters, and I was lucky enough to watch the process go from a blank wall to colorful art.

Ryan RedCorn (Osage), Bobby Wilson (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) and Johnny Ubben showed up at our office late Friday night and got right to work. With a few cups of coffee and some good inspiration, the guys worked all through the night, spraying, painting, taping, stenciling, and deciding on what color to add next.

The process was great to watch. It’s not often someone gets to just sit back and watch artists work.

Bobby and Ryan walked me through the meaning behind the mural as they drew a giant wolf among colorful patterns on the wall. The travois is obviously a major metaphor for the work we do. The dog, or in this case a giant wolf dog, was one of the first animals to pull the travois. A wolf is a strong and persistent animal that runs with a pack, just like we at Travois stick together with our clients in pursuit of the end goal — to bring quality housing and economic developments to Indian Country.

The word at the bottom of the mural ties it all together: Tsi.wi.ta, meaning “my home” in Osage. Housing is more than just shelter — housing is a territory, a family, a place to raise your children. The work we do is not just housing and shelter; the work we do is developing a place to call “my home,” and this mural tells that story for us.

If you ever get a chance to come to Kansas City, we encourage you to come take a look at the great work these artist have done here. Click the album below to see more photos.

Travois office mural album