Wicahnpi Banner Project at Nicollet Tower
Wičaȟnpi, banner by Erin Genia at Nicollet Tower in Sisseton, SD
Wičaȟnpi celebrates the diversity in our communities and honors the interconnectedness of the universe through the powerful Dakota iconography of the Morning Star. The banner will be installed atop the Coteau des Prairies at the Nicollet Tower, on the Lake Traverse Reservation, home of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. It will be installed at the end of May, 2023.
This brightly colored Morning Star banner will be fabricated specifically for the high winds of the coteau with cutouts to let the air through which are incorporated into the design. It is sewn onto a fiberglass screening material so that it has the benefit of a firm yet lightweight substrate to strengthen the banner, and the screen will allow wind to pass through. A bundle of jingles hangs from each lower point of the stars, to fill the air with the sound as it drifts in the wind.
Erin needs to raise $5000 for the production and installation of the banner. Any additional funds raised will go towards events and promotional materials such as T-shirts and stickers to reach more people.
This artwork is made in honor of Erin’s sister, Carolyn Genia (1995-2022).
Nicollet Tower rises 80 feet above the Coteau des Prairies, a glacially carved plateau that protected the Sisseton and Wahpeton Dakota people who had been forced out of Minnesota after the Dakota Uprising of 1862.
Erin will raise a twenty-foot banner from the middle level of the tower that will be visible to folks approaching the tower on the highway.
Erin Genia (she/her), an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and community organizer specializing in Native American and Indigenous arts and culture. Genia’s work in these areas is focused on amplifying the powerful presence of Indigenous peoples 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’s artistic practice merges Dakota cultural imperatives, pure expression, and exploration of materiality with the conceptual. Her work flew on the International Space Station in 2020 and her public art commissions include the Seattle Center, the Minnesota Historical Society, the City of Saint Paul and the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston.
Pidamaye/ thank you for your support.
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(image shown is a draft design)
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Raised $495 from 11 donations