Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and organizer, whose practice merges cultural imperatives, pure expression, and material exploration with the conceptual. She seeks to create a powerful presence of Indigeneity in the arts, sciences, and public realm to invoke an evolution of thought and practice that is aligned with the cycles of the natural world and the potential of humanity.
Genia earned an M.S, in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT, an M.P.A. in Tribal Governance from The Evergreen State College, and studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She was awarded the 2019 MIT Solve Indigenous Communities Fellowship. She received her first public art commission for “Resilience: Anpa O Wicahnpi” from the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture in 2017. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at the Urbano Project, the Venice Biennale and the International Space Station. Erin is a 2020 Artist-in-Residence for the City of Boston.
Confronting Colonial Myths
As part of her residency, Erin led a virtual panel series called "Confronting Colonial Myths in Boston's Public Space". In this three-part series, Indigenous leaders and artists spoke about their work in the public realm. They addressed how symbols perpetuating colonial myths affect the lives of Indigenous people in the City, and how these symbols contribute to the public health emergency of racism.
Working with Emergency Management
Erin has been working with the Office of Emergency Management to explore the notion of "cultural emergency". She is encouraging the City to think beyond immediate crisis response and focus on cultural organizing strategies that create long-term health and safety for diverse communities. At the 2020 ArtPlace virtual summit, she shared her experience partnering with the Office of Emergency Management.