» Catalyst Series
Artifact Traffic
Intermedia Arts and Pangea World Theater present The Indigenous Voices Series

7:30PM Friday-Saturday, November 15-16, 2013
4PM Sunday, November 17, 2013

$15 General | $12 Advance, Students, & Seniors


Artifact Traffic is a multidisciplinary storytelling performed by Native American artists and friends through spoken word, live visual art, film, animation, dance and music. This show and exhibit is the first project of MNdn Arts, a new group that creates powerful art to affirm Native American presence in Minnesota today. 

"The artifact of another person contributing to our creative work is not always obvious--but we can see it. Putting a number of artists together, into conversation, creates a collaborative energy whether or not individuals actually work together on a piece. That energy, that spirit strengthens the community of artists, particularly indigenous artists. It is an honor to draw this group of visual artists together and a delight to write a performance around our work," Heid Erdrich, Curator

Daina Ashbee—in a special arrangement with Rosy Simas Danse
Andrea Carlson—live art!
Heid E. Erdrich—spoken word
Phil Fried—deconstructed bass improvisation
Elizabeth Day—voice talent
R. Vincent Moniz Jr.—spoken word and flight
Briand Morrison—guitar improvisation
Big S2—rap and roll
Margaret Noodin—voice talent

EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Carolyn Lee Anderson, Frank Big Bear, Andrea Carlson, Gordon Coons, Elizabeth Day, Jim Denomie, Zoran Mojsilov, R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., Peter Martin Morales, Jonathan Thunder, and Gwen Westerman. 

The Indigenous Voices Series was created in 2001 to explore issues in the indigenous agenda, focusing not only on internal details but also the wider global and national contexts through the medium of theater and performance art. In this series, local, national, and international artists raise issues that affect their community – issues of identity, rights, struggles, and experiences.

Visual Art Exhibit Run:
October 10-November 17, 2013
Opening Reception: 6-9PM, Wednesday October 16, 2013
Gallery Hours: 10-6PM Monday-Friday; 12-5PM Saturday | $3 Suggested Donation


Carolyn Lee Anderson is a Minnesota-based visual artist of Navajo descent.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2006 with a B.A. in studio art. Since then she has created a series of acrylic landscapes that explore the Euro-American battle against nature and the attempt to tame a falsely-perceived chaotic world or "wilderness." More recently, she has been taking inspiration from the stories and artistic traditions of her family. Carolyn stitches together acrylic paintings on canvas, patterned fabric, or Navajo weavings and lashes them to loom-inspired frames.  In doing so, she acknowledges and examines various historical threads and how they have affected and influenced her life.  She has exhibited at several venues throughout Minneapolis including the Gage Family Art Gallery, All My Relations Gallery, and the Bockley Gallery. Anderson created a mask to be used as part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Daina Ashbee is an artist, performer and choreographer born in British Columbia of Cree, Metis and Dutch descent. Her work is often influenced by her Aboriginal culture and her experiences as a young woman, using both contemporary and traditional means as expression. She has trained in dance, choreography and improvisation at Pacific Dance Arts Ballet Academy, Modus Operandi Vancouver Contemporary Dance Program and EDAM. Independently, she has created for InFrinGing Dance Festival (Nanaimo), Talking Stick Festival, Ignite Youth Festival, The Firehall Arts Centre, LaunchPad, SFU (Vancouver), Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival and Dance Matters (Toronto). She has worked professionally as a dancer with Raven Spirit Dance Society, battery opera performance, Kokoro Dance Theatre, StarrWind Dance Projects, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Genevieve C. Ferron and Meaghan Oglivie. Currently Daina's interest lies in 3 Dimensional artworks such as performance, installation and sculpture. She seeks to use and acknowledge the density and complexity of the human structure by exploring it's innards, thought processes, energy and capacity for life. Upcoming projects include collaboration with Seneca artist Rosy Simas (Minneapolis), collaboration with filmmaker Alejandro Jimenez (Montreal), research for a new project with contemporary glass artist, Larissa Blokius (British Columbia) and the completion of her first full length ensemble dance work, Unrelated. Ashbee will dance a work created by Rosy Simas as part of Artifact Traffic Performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts. 

Frank Big Bear grew up on and around the White Earth Reservation. He has lived in Minneapolis since 1968. For decades, Big Bear drove cab while raising his family and creating his art. He received the 2008 Bush Foundation Enduring Vision Award as well as the Bush Artist Fellowship Award in 1998 and 1986. He has shown at the Tweed Museum, Duluth; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe; The Plains Art Museum, Fargo; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis. His detailed and vibrant colored pencil drawings depict fantastic figures in wild and disjointed scenes. Big Bear is enormously prolific and paints as well, creating stylized portraits often composed of the same colored shapes in mosaic that mark his style in both mediums. The humans, animals, and supernatural figures in Big Bear’s art portray a world teeming with activity and intent. Honed over decades, his personal vision and artistic commitment are revealed in every work. Big Bear began creating collages in recent years. Poems on Frank Big Bear's collages will be part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Andrea Carlson lives and works in Minneapolis. In 2003 she earned a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2005. Her work has exhibited widely while gaining support through several fellowships including the Minnesota State Arts Board (2006) and McKnight/MCAD Foundation Fellowship (2007-08). Her work is in collections of The British Museum  in London and Tweed Museum in Duluth. "In seascapes with moltenous shores I draw objects and texts that reference seemingly disparate sources from museum collections to exploitation films. Museums are the self-nominated stewards charged with telling the stories of cultural objects. They strive for a degree of objectivity,whereas representations of culture within exploitation films seem to celebrate hyperbolae and sensationalism in a more overt way. Representation by both institutions and film establishes a narrative in the display and interpretation of culture. They inform, to different degrees, how we imagine culture, and they often draw special attention to what is seen as exotic by the master narrative." Carlson will create live art as part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts. 

Gordon Coons' heritage is Ojibwa from Lake Superior Chippewa Band of Wisconsin (from his father) and Ottawa from Michigan (from hismother).  He is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe of northern Wisconsin.  Originally from Wisconsin, Gordon is now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coons is a self-taught artist, creating works in a variety of mediums including oil and acrylic paintings, linoleum block prints, paintings, pen and ink, carvings in stone and wood. Coons has shown at the Eiteljorg Museum of Indianapolis, Indian Art Northwest of Portland, University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology, Oscar Howe Art Center of Mitchell, South Dakota; Trail of Tears in Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Red Earth, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Red Cloud Art Show in Pine Ridge, South Dakota; University of Wisconsin, Superior, Wisconsin; New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans, Lousiness; Smithsonian  National Museum of the American Indian on the national mall in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Coons’ works are part of permanent collections of institutions such as Red Cloud Indian School Heritage in Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Red Earth, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although his artwork is contemporary, each piece portrays traditional native stories, incorporating strong family influences into the image. Coons created masks that will be used in Artifact Traffic Performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts. 

Elizabeth Day is a filmmaker from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Born on the Leech Lake Reservation and raised in the Twin Cities area, Day blends her Native American heritage with her urban upbringing to create films that employ traditional Ojibwe-style storytelling while using contemporary filmmaking techniques. Her work often explores the tension between traditional Native teachings and the life of a modern, urban Indian. A primary motivation for Day is recording and capturing pastimes of Ojibwe culture, an important and integral piece of Minnesota’s history. Through the medium of film, she examines a broad swath of Native history, from the rich Ojibwe tradition of storytelling to the painful history of government-enforced boarding schools to the modern-day identity issues faced by Native families. Day will premiere a film co-created with R. Vincent Moniz Jr. as part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts. 

Jim Denomie was born in Hayward, Wisconsin on July 6, 1955 and currently lives in Franconia, MN. Primarily a painter (oil, acrylic and watercolor), he also creates unique works of art in ink, and oil pastel drawings, printmaking, photography, and found object sculpture. In 1995, Denomie received a BFA degree from the University of Minnesota. Since then, he has shown extensively in the U.S. and in Europe in group and solo exhibitions. His work has been placed in the permanent collections of numerous museums as well as many other public and private collections. In 2005, Denomie completed a task of painting at least one painting a day, for one year. Much of the work was showcased in the exhibition “New Skins” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2007, and he was named one of City Pages Artist of the Year for 2007. In 2008, he was awarded a Bush Artist Fellowship and in 2009, an Eiteljorg Native American Fine Art Fellowship and most recently, a 2012 McKnight Fellowship. Denomie created masks to be used as part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Heid E. Erdrich writes in multiple genres and has published four books of poetry.  Her book covers have featured artwork by Angie Erdrich, Rita Erdrich, Andrea Carlson and Dyani White Hawk. Heid has been curator of over a dozen exhibits and she helped established All My Relations Gallery on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. Her current interest in collaboration started with her play Curiosities. Another collaboration involved writing beside Sally Rousse as she choreographed two ballets.  In 2012 Heid collaborated with Susana di Palma, Jonathan Thunder, and Marisa Carr on di Palma’s Zorro. In 2012 she and R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., Jonathan Thunder, and Elizabeth Day created three films that won awards from Co-Kisser Poetry Film Festival and a spot at ImagiNative film festival in Toronto. Erdrich is writer, director and performer for Artifact Traffic performances  November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Louise Erdrich is the author of more than thirteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, short stories, children's books, and a memoir of earlymotherhood. Her novel Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse was a finalist for the National Book Award which she won in 2012 for her most recent novel, The Round House. Louise Erdrich lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis. A poem film on a collaboration between Louise Erdrich and the scuptor Zoran Mojsilov will be premiered in Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Composer Phil Fried is a 2008 McKnight Foundation Fellow. Recent commissions include: A Centennial Commission from the Minnesota Orchestra for Episodes, and a work for the new music ensemble Zeitgeist in honor of their 30th Anniversary concert and recording. One of his recent piano works, "I remember the 60's..or was it the 70's?", is featured on the Innova label release, "Melville's Dozen," with pianist Nikki Melville. Phil has had performances and residencies with The Minnesota Orchestra, The Camargo Foundation, The Tanglewood Music Festival, The Festival at Sandpoint, June in Buffalo, Music of Our Time, and Centre Acanthes, Avignon France. As a Jazz musician, Mr. Fried was a founding member of the New York Artists Collective. His first professional Jazz experience was performing with Ray Nance. Mr. Fried comes from a noted musical family. His father, Louis Fried, was an original cast member in several Broadway shows including Brigadoon and Carousel. His cousin was the noted composer Isadore Freed. Second to music is Dr. Fried's passionate interest in literature. He has written several texts and librettos including the text for his opera, The Dungeon of Esmeralda, and an adaptation of Hemingway's short story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Phil Fried completed his musical studies at the University of Chicago receiving his Ph.D. in Music Composition in 1985. Fried will present improvisational music as part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts. 

Peter Martin Morales was born in Guatemala City in 1961. A child of archaeologists he grew up amidst the ruins of Tikal, a Classical Maya city in the tropical rainforest of Northern Guatemala. His understanding of art and architecture is rooted in this experience.  Trained in the sciences, languages and visual arts he began applying his multiple interests to the creation of visually interesting artifacts. Often his sculpture is animated by zoomorphic motifs of indeterminate provenance. Morales’s work can be found in various public locations throughout the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan region as well as in private collections throughout the Americas. He has exhibited widely and currently lives and works in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Morales has created sculptural art for use in Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts. 

Zoran Mojsilov was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1955. As a small child, he carved his own toys out of scrap wood andwas adept at drawing and painting. In early adolescence he began Greco-Roman wrestling and continued this practice into his mid-20’s. He credits the discipline oftraining, an understanding of the skeletal muscular forms in the human body, and the spirit of competition in sports and life as primary factors for creating art today. Zoran left Belgrade in 1983 and moved to Minneapolis in 1986. He has been awarded local and national grants such as the McKnight Artist Fellowship in 1987, the Socrates Sculpture Park / Athena Foundation Award in 1988 and 1990, the Pollack-Krasner Foundation Artist Fellowship in 1990, the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Assistance Fellowship in 1994, the Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship in 1996, and the Jerome Foundation, Travel and Study Grant in 1993 and 2001. Zoran’s public art projects are many including Ice House courtyard in Minneapolis and an exhibit that will tour Serbia in through 2014. A poem film on a collaboration between Zoran and author Louise Erdrich will be premiered as part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.  
R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., writer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, presents poetry, poetic monologue, and spoken word. He was a 2012-2013 Jerome Travel-Study Fellow and a 2013 Beyond the Pure Fellow. His graphic art and art performance in video and print collaborations with Jonathan Thunder and Heid E. Erdrich inspired Artifact Traffic. An enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation of Fort Berthold North Dakota, R. Vincent Moniz, Jr. (NuEta/Oglala) hails from the Philips neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Vincent has been a part of the Twin Cities artistic community for over two decades as an actor and now a spoken word poet. Moniz, Jr. is a writer, director and performer for Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Briand Morrison picked up the guitar when he was seven. He has studied with Dave Peterson at the West Bank School of Music and briefly at Berkley College of Music in 1980. In the early 80's he played and taught guitar in the Twin Cities. Morrison now lives in Grand Portage MN.  He plays in a variety of musical settings including small and large concerts and radio.  He plays jazz and acoustic guitar in classical as well as improvisational modes. Morrison will perform his music as part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Stuart Wayne Perkins, Jr. is best known as Big S2, a rap artist who uses his songs to inspire Native American youth across the country.  He has won honors for his art from the Native American Music Awards. His performance and visual art was featured in Heid E. Erdrich’s drama“Curiosities” in 2010. Big S2 has recently performed stand up comedy in venues in the Twin Cities at Seven Clans Casino in northern Minnesota and elsewhere. Big S2 will act and rap in Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.
Rosy Simas has been choreographing and teaching dance for 18 years. Her choreography has been presented in the US in Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, California and in Montréal and Vancouver in Canada. Simas has extensive dance training in modern dance, contact improvisation, ballet, Native American, Butoh, BMC, and Mahler/Klein technique. Simas values involvement in community as essential to living and art making. Simas is not only a choreographer but has held administrative and management positions in the arts and non-profits. Since 1992 she has been committed to creating opportunities for other dance makers and artists to present their work. Simas is a 2013 recipient of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Dance Fellowship. Simas' choreography will be part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts. 
Jonathan Thunder is a Painter and Digital Media artist who currently resides in the Grand Rounds area of Minneapolis. Thunder attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and graduated from the Art Institutes International MN with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. Jonathan's works have been featured in many local, regional and national exhibitions and in both local and international publications. Thunder has created a number of animated films in the past two years.  The Demon Tree is his most recent. He has also created animations for Zorongo Flamenco and Pillsbury Theater. Thunder co-directed films and created animations in collaboration with a number of artists in Artifact Traffic.

Megan Treinen has a BA in International Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies. She lives in Minneapolis and works for Nemertes Research. This is the second time Megan has been involved in a collaborative production at Intermedia and she is thrilled to be back telling everyone what to do. Megan Treinen will be stage manager for Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.

Gwen Westerman, a poet and fiber artist, lives in southern Minnesota, as did her Dakota ancestors. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tall grass prairie, and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. Westerman is an enrolled member of the Sisseton- Wahpeton Sioux Tribe and a professor in English and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her award-winning quilts have been displayed in exhibits in Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, Anchorage, Houston, and Tulsa. Her works included in Artifact Traffic reference events of Dakota people in Minnesota incluidng the execution of 38 Dakota men in Mankato. Westerman created a mask to be used as a part of Artifact Traffic performances November 15-17 at Intermedia Arts.


This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.