Edgar Heap of Birds

University of Oklahoma
Humanities and Arts
Visual Arts

Edgar Heap of Birds, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation, has worked as an artist, activist, and teacher for more than three decades. He creates works that confront repressed or unacknowledged histories of state and settler violence against Native communities in the United States. His work often draws parallels between historical violence and ongoing injustices today. Across his drawings, prints, and spatial interventions—such as the steel parking signs that appear throughout the building, alluding to the forced relocation of Native communities, including those in New York, to Oklahoma in the 1830s as part of the Trail of Tears—Heap of Birds harnesses the power of familiar forms and expressions for political ends. He taught at the University of Oklahoma from 1988 to 2018. Heap of Birds has received awards from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

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