The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community


Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014 :: "Heads Above Grass, Provocative Native American Public Art and Studio Practice"
Edgar Heap of Birds, Public Artist, Norman, OK

7 p.m.    |   Heard Museum Downtown     |    2301 N. Central Avenue (Central & Encanto), Phoenix, AZ 85004 
602.252.8848     |    On the Encanto & Central Light Rail stop!

Free of charge and open to the public.    |   Printable Flyer [PDF]   |   Interview with ASU News

Edgar Heap of Birds: "My work explores the relationship between Native American memory and non-Native historical accounts. I’m interested in the connections between indigenous peoples across the world, examining the past and taking a fresh look today at issues of social justice."

Edgar Heap of BirdsThe artworks of Hock E Eye VI Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho) include multi-disciplinary forms of public art messages, large scale drawings, Neuf Series acrylic paintings, prints, works in glass, and monumental porcelain enamel on steel outdoor sculpture.

Named a USA Ford Fellow in 2012, Professor Heap of Birds teaches in Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, where he has been since 1988. His seminars explore issues of the contemporary artist on local, national, and international level.

Heap of Birds received his Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University (1979), his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Kansas (1976) and has undertaken graduate studies at The Royal College of Art, London, England. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts (2008). Heap of Birds has received grants and awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Lila Wallace Foundation, Bonfil Stanton Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trust, and the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Heap of Birds’ art work was chosen by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian as their entry towards the competition for the United States Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He represented the Smithsonian with a major collateral public art project and blown glass works in Venice, June 2007 titled: “Most Serene Republics." The artist has exhibited his works across the world at venues from New York's Museum of Modern Art to the Grand Palais in Paris and the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia.

Photo of Edgar Heap of Birds courtesy of the artist.

ASU Campus Events

*Wednesday, Mar. 19* Art talk by Edgar Heap of Birds. 7 p.m., Wrigley Hall Auditorium (WGHL 101), ASU, Tempe campus. Hosted by the School of Art. All are welcome. Info.:  |  Printable flyer: PDF

*Thursday, Mar. 20* Meet-and-greet with Edgar Heap of Birds. 10:30 a.m. Labriola National American Indian Data Center (LIB 2nd flr), ASU, Tempe campus. Hosted by the Labriola Center. All are welcome. Info.: | Printable flyer: PDF


October 16, 2014: SANDY OSAWA (Makah), Filmmaker, Seattle, WA
March 19, 2015: Speaker TBA


Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho): "Heads Above Grass, Provocative Native American Public Art and Studio Practice" Mar. 20, 2014
Video:   |   Poster: PDF   |   ASU News story

Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree): "Detoxifying Aboriginal Self-perception and Outward Identity" Oct. 10, 2013
Video:   |  Poster: PDF    |   ASU News story

James Luna (Puyukitchum/Luiseño): "Phantasmagoria" Mar. 21, 2013
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O'odham): "Legacies of the Tribal Languages of Arizona: Gifts or Responsibilities?" Oct. 11, 2012
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Bob Haozous (Apache): "Redefining Indigenous Perspectives through Art and Dialogue." Mar. 15, 2012
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Arlinda Locklear (Lumbee): "Tribal Land Claims: A Generation of Federal Indian Law on the Edge." Oct. 6, 2011
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Leroy Little Bear (Blackfoot): "Native Science and Western Science: Possibilities for a Powerful Collaboration." Mar. 24, 2011
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Kathryn Shanley (Assiniboine): "'Mapping' Indigenous Futures: Creating a Native Voice in Higher Education." Oct. 7, 2010
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Peterson Zah (Navajo): "Finally, We Are Growing Our Own." Mar. 25, 2010
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo): An Evening with Leslie Marmon Silko, reading from memoir, Turquoise Ledge. Oct. 8, 2009
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Gerald Taiaiake Alfred (Kahnawake Mohawk): "Resurgence of Traditional Ways of Being: Indigenous Paths of Action and Freedom." Mar. 23, 2009
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee): "Challenges Facing 21st Century Indigenous People." Oct. 2, 2008
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone): "Violence over the Land: Lessons from the Early American West." Jan. 28, 2008
Video:   |   Poster: PDF


To speak and act on behalf of ourselves as a human, social and cultural world, we are required to speak and act on behalf of land, culture, and community. No matter who we are, no matter what our livelihood is, and no matter what our inclinations are, we are bound by a relationship to the land upon which we live, the cultural knowledge by which we are guided, and the community we share with one another.

The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community at Arizona State University addresses topics and issues across disciplines in the arts, humanities, sciences, and politics. Underscoring Indigenous American experiences and perspectives, this series seeks to create and celebrate knowledge that evolves from an inclusive Indigenous worldview and that is applicable to all walks of life.

The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community seeks to speak, act, offer, and share in order to assume responsibility for land, culture, community that is our world.

ASU Sponsors: American Indian Policy Institute | American Indian Studies Program | Department of English | School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies | Indian Legal Program in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law | Labriola National American Indian Data Center | School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts | Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation

Community Partner: Heard Museum