Travois, a Certified B Corporation based in Kansas City, Mo., which is focused exclusively on promoting affordable housing and economic development in Native communities, will showcase Keith Secola’s artwork on June 7, 2019, from 6–8 p.m., at Travois’ headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri (310 W. 19th Terr.). Organized in partnership with American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Kansas City, the solo exhibition entitled “Wounds Many” will be part of Kansas City’s liveliest monthly art event called “First Fridays,” which occurs on the first Friday of every month.
“‘Wounds Many’ is the title of my largest piece in the exhibit,” Secola said. “My work involves the reinsertion of the American Indian identity onto deconstructed book covers of American history. I’m excited to tell the story of my tribal community through the beauty and struggles we have overcome.”
Secola will attend the June First Friday event (6–8 p.m., June 7), where he will give an exclusive artist talk at 6:30 p.m. after event introductions by Edwing Mendez, associate of diversity and inclusion for American Institute of Graphic Arts Kansas City. Preregistration is available on Travois’ website.
Secola grew up in the Southwest and belongs to the Northern Ute and Anishinaabe nations. He earned an Master of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, focusing on silkscreen printing, and currently lives and works in Oakland, California. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2012. He says his earliest influences came from his father, who is a musician, traveling and exposing him to contemporary Native arts at a young age. These early experiences would influence a life in fine arts. Finding a balance between contemporary life and tradition, he creates a blend of images, prints, paintings, and installation derived from oral storytelling and Native America to communicate his work.
In his artist statement, Secola shared more about his work: “Surrounded by my artwork, I think of my studio as a ceremony, a space or vessel which ideas, medicine and creation take place. Shaped by American Indian policies throughout my life, I use my visual language to transmit Native voices, identities and stories that may have been stripped throughout American history. To represent the forgotten past of American Indian people and fill the gaps where information might be lost. To question Native American depictions and portrayal post contact. My work materializes in an interdisciplinary arts practice ranging from installation, prints and sculpture. I gather my knowledge from both my Northern Ute and Anishinaabe heritage to charge the content of my work. Not forgetting those sacred ceremonies before me, but to grow as an artist with them without totally assimilating to western society, but truly existing in two worlds,” he said.
Most recently, Secola was named a 2018—2019 Fellowship Artist by the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California. Learn more on his website at www.keithsecolajr.com and on Instagram @Mino_mashkiki.
A jury of artists and Kansas City industry professionals selected Secola to show work as the part of Travois’ Frist Friday series. Jurors for the series included:
- Gina Adams (Ojibwa-Lakota descent), contemporary hybrid artist and faculty at Naropa University
- Norman Akers (Osage Nation), artist and associate professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Kansas
- Rachael Cozad, Rachael Cozad Fine Art, and former director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Madison Group Fine Art Appraisals
- Thomas Farris (Otoe-Missouria, Cherokee), manager of Exhibit C Gallery of the Chickasaw Nation
- Bruce Hartman, executive director of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
- Sherry Leedy, artist and Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art
- America Meredith (Cherokee Nation), artist and publishing editor of First American Art Magazine
- Gaylord Torrence, senior curator of American Indian art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
- Jami Powell (Osage Nation), associate curator of Native American art at Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art
More information about the juried exhibition series can be found on Travois’ website.
About Travois First Fridays
Travois First Fridays is a visual art exhibition series featuring North American Indigenous artists Travois’ headquarters in the heart of metro Kansas City.
Travois’ mission is to support and promote American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nation, Inuit, Métis, and Indigenous Mexican artists through juried exhibition. Travois’ vision is to see Indigenous artists more prominently featured and powerfully supported in metropolitan Kansas City.
Future receptions are planned for Sept. 6; Oct. 4; and Nov. 1, 2019.
Travois is a Certified B Corporation focused exclusively on promoting housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.
Since 1995, Travois has brought investor equity to 210 developments through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and New Markets Tax Credit program, making an impact of more than $1.4 billion across Indian Country. These private investor funds have helped build or rehabilitated more than 5,400 homes and have helped finance critical economic development projects, including infrastructure, health care, community centers, education facilities and job incubators.
The Travois family of companies also offers architectural design and construction monitoring services, environmental assessments, consulting on green energy systems, asset management and compliance services, impact investment models, comprehensive training and advocacy to clients in 22 states, from Hawaii and Alaska to Maine and California.