project leader
Shannon C
10 W Main Street
(Main Street)
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Wanáȟča (Flower) & Eúŋkičhetupi: Come Back to Life | Mural Celebration Oct. 2 @ 2pm, 2021!!

the project

We're seeking support for the completion of an indigenous-led, community-based mural project that began in April 2019. The mural design will span the entirety of two walls located on the Coyote Twin Theater in downtown Vermillion, SD and will showcase imagery that was created by three indigenous artists and members of the Vermillion Community. The first installment of the two-part mural design, titled Eúnkičhetupi (Lakota—meaning “to come back to life” or “to be restored”) was recently completed in late August 2019 and emphasizes the importance of indigenous female representation while telling the Sioux creation story. 

With appropriate funds, we plan to begin painting the second half of the design, titled Wanáȟča (Lakota—meaning “to bloom” or “flowers that blossom”) in early May 2020. This half of the design continues to tell the story being depicted in Eunkíčhetupi and emphasizes the importance of sharing contemporary indigenous narratives and honoring tradition. Wanáȟča serves as an introduction to the story being depicted in Eunkíčhetupi. It focuses on the significance of storytelling within Dakota culture while speaking to several themes depicted throughout Eúnkičhetupi (e.g. water, indigenous femininity, landscape, identity, storytelling, representation). In particular, Wanáȟča continues to place emphasis on the overarching theme of restoration, while incorporating the multifaceted ways in which indigenous women come to form identity and occupy space.

The artists who conceptualized the mural design are University of South Dakota alumni Reyna Hernandez (Ihanktonwan Dakota), Elizabeth Skye (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), and Inkpa Mani. Reyna, Liz, and Inkpa have each grown to understand the importance of representation, and have personally witnessed the need for greater indigenous visibility throughout Vermillion and across the Midwest. By utilizing different mediums to address the lack of native visibility, they hope to engage conversations that work toward creating a better-informed discourse concerning indigenous lives and experiences.

All contributions towards this project will compensate the artists for providing their time and talent, pay for supplies and operating equipment (such as paint, brushes, scissor lift, scaffolding, etc...) Raised funds will also cover additional administrative costs such as documentation of the process and social media outreach.

the steps

Tentative Timeline

January through April – Complete the color design

April – Prepare the wall for painting

May – Begin painting

June – Mural celebration and dedication

We are raising money to compensate the artists for their creative time, energy, and spirit in realizing the mural. The lead artists will be completing the color design, preparing the wall for painting, and directing volunteers. Funding will also be going towards purchasing materials, supplies, and equipment.

why we're doing it

The Vermillion Community Mural Project aims to advance community development by advocating for greater visibility and appreciation for the arts throughout the city. It is our hope that --through the creation of murals-- we reflect our community's diverse yet fundamental values, while giving voice to a collective experience/identity.

We recognize the great potential of public art and its ability to to create meaninful impressions on the people who live in the communities where these art pieces exist. Our personal commitments to moving conversations forward through inclusivity and cultural development is mirrored by the impacts of public art projects, and it is our hope to continue this dialogue through visual language, across the city of Vermillion. 


Disbursed budget:

Equipment: $760.60

Supplies: $1,121.80

Promotional Items : $550.55

Documentation: $600

Artist Compensation: $8,700

IOBY Processing FEE: $35

IOBY Donation Processing FEE: $277.05

Total donations: $12,045

TOTAL RAISED = $12,045.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $277.05

Original budget:

Lead Artists: $9,300
Documentation: $600
Media & Marketing: $400
Paint & Materials: $1,160
Equipment: $1,540
Mural total cost: $13,000

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $403
TOTAL TO RAISE = $13,438



Wanáȟča (Flower) & Eúŋkičhetupi: Come Back to Life | Mural Celebration Oct. 2 @ 2pm, 2021!!

Title: Celebrating Vermillion’s New Community Murals Wanáȟča & Eúŋkičhetupi

Vermillion, SD- The Vermillion Community Mural Project & the Vermillion Cultural Association are hosting a dedication event celebrating the completion of Wanáȟča, the second installation of a two-part mural designed and created by Reyna Hernandez, Elizabeth Skye, Inkpa Mani, and assisted by Amber Hansen, Jenae Porter, Sonia Perea-Morales as well as members of the community. The dedication will be held by the east-facing wall of the Coyote Twin Theater located at 10 East Main Street in Vermillion SD, Saturday, Oct. 2 @ 2pm. The artists will share information about the process and inspiration behind the design, as well as reflections on painting during the pandemic. The mural dedication is an event meant to bring members of the community together in celebration of Vermillion’s growing interest and investment in creating public art spaces throughout the city.

Preparation for this project began in April of 2019, with the artists planning community meetings and researching public art. The first half of the mural, Eúŋkičhetupi: Come Back to Life was installed 2019. The second half of the mural, Wanáȟča: to Blossom was installed during the summer of 2020. Painting for the second portion of the mural was paused as the team worked to raise money to support the materials and labor to complete the second portion of the mural. Over the course of the year, the group worked to raise a little over $13,00 through local grant organizations such as the Vermillion Rotary Club, through a fundraiser held at The Bean and through IOBY’s (In Your Backyard) crowd sourcing platform which matched local individual donations.

The painting of the second half of the mural began in the early summer of 2020. During this time, the lead artist conducted the majority of the painting, inviting members of the community to join during scheduled times and in small groups. A celebration for the mural was postponed due to the pandemic.

Both murals incorporate varying perspectives from members of the Vermillion community on topics ranging from identity, water, motherhood, landscape, femininity, and the importance of representation. At each meeting, the artists invited members of the community to share their thoughts on what they would like to see represented in a mural through workshops that included storytelling, drawings and poetry. From these conversations, the artists found that there is a need to create space for women, specifically indigenous women. The mural pays tribute to the importance of women in all cultures, while telling the Sioux creation story. The muralists hoped to create an image that is both unique and challenging while speaking to overarching themes taken from the community meetings.

The completion of this project would not be possible without the generosity of several individuals and organizations that helped fund the project and who helped prepare the wall.

They include the Bush Foundation’s Change Network, South Dakota Arts Council, Shannon Cole & the Vermillion Cultural Association, Vermillion Area Community Foundation, The University of South Dakota’s Art Department, and Marisa Cummings and the Native American Cultural Center, Vermillion Rotary Club, IOBY, Ace Hardware, Midwest Ready Mix & Equipment, Inc., and Mart Brothers Construction, Inc., and the generous contribution of people near and far. 



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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