YOU ARE ON INDIAN LAND: Dead Indian Stories | Edgar Heap of Birds in conversation with Sara Reisman

YOU ARE ON INDIAN LAND: Dead Indian Stories
Edgar Heap of Birds in Conversation with Sara Reisman

Friday, May 1st, 2015
6 to 8pm


Radiator Arts and The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation co-hosted a conversation between contemporary Cheyenne artist Edgar Heap of Birds and curator Sara Reisman at The 8th Floor. The discussion focused on the ongoing mono print project Dead Indian Stories by Edgar Heap of Birds, presented at Radiator Gallery as part of the exhibition You Are On Indian Land. Curated by Erin Joyce, the exhibition offered critical perspective on the representation of the art of Native Americans and First Nation peoples. It featured the work of leading contemporary artists including Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut), Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne), Marcus Amerman (Choctaw), and artist collective Postcommodity – comprised of Raven Chacon (Navajo), Kade L. Twist (Cherokee Nation), Cristóbal Martínez (Chicano), and Nathan Young (Pawnee, Kiowa, Delaware).

This exhibition, which takes place in three venues, was curated by Erin Joyce Projects and premiered at Radiator Gallery on Friday, April 17, 2015. The second iteration opened at IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art on Thursday, April 23, 2015. The final opening was at the Museum of Northern Arizona Friday, November 20, 2015.

On view at Radiator Gallery from Friday, April 17 to Friday, May 22, 2015. Learn more:


Heap of Birds received his Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1979), his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Kansas, Lawrence, 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). The artist has exhibited his works at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, New York, New York, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, Documenta, Kassel, Germany, Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland, University Art Museum, Berkeley, California, Association for Visual Arts Museum, Cape Town, South Africa, Lewallen Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Hong Kong Art Center, China, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia, Grand Palais, Paris, France and the Venice Biennale, Italy.

Heap of Birds has served as visiting lecturer in London, England, Western Samoa, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Barcelona, Spain, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Norrkoping, Sweden, Hararre, Zimbabwe, Verona, Italy, Adelaide, Australia and India. Heap of Birds has taught as Visiting Professor at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island and Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa. At the University of Oklahoma since 1988, Professor Heap of Birds teaches in Native American Studies. His seminars explore issues of the contemporary artist on local, national and international levels.

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. In June 2005, Heap of Birds completed the fifty-foot signature, outdoor sculpture titled Wheel. The circular porcelain enamel on steel work was commissioned by The Denver Art Museum and is inspired by the traditional Medicine Wheel of the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

Heap of Birds' artwork 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". In 2012, Heap of Birds was one of fifty artists honored by United States Artists with an individual fellowship award of $50,000 and named USA Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts category.

Sara Reisman is the Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation which promotes access to arts and culture in New York City through grant making, public programs, and exhibitions. As an independent curator Reisman's projects have focused on a variety of themes including the politics of public space, globalization and site-specific practice, social practice, collaboration, sustainability, and cultural identity and transformation. Additionally, Reisman has curated numerous solo exhibitions, most recently Christopher K. Ho: Privileged White People (2013), Claudia Joskowicz: Sympathy for the Devil (2012), and Leslie Johnson: Days to Go (2012) (all for Forever & Today, Inc., where she was the 2012-2013 guest curator), and Peter Rostovsky: Still (2011) at the Hillwood Art Museum. From 2008 to 2014 Sara Reisman was the Director of New York City's Percent for Art program that commissions permanent public artworks for newly constructed and renovated city-owned spaces, indoors and out. Recently commissioned artists include Mary Mattingly, Duke Riley, Odili Donald Odita, Julianne Swartz, Kanishka Raja, and Karyn Olivier, among many others. Reisman was the 2011 critic-in-residence at Art Omi, an international visual artist residency in upstate New York.