Native Hosts is an art piece by Edgar Heap of Birds that honors the Tongva people by naming landmarks of sacred sites, lakes, and mountains. Created with local Tongva elders including Julia Bogany, Native Hosts features signs displaying the names of traditional villages and these sacred sites. This artwork was comissioned as part ofPitzer’s art+environment program, which explores the intersection of the arts and the environment, finding new ways to see and understand both fields as well as other disciplines. Pitzer Associate Professor of Art History Bill Anthes describes the artwork as, “a point of conversation for members of our campus community and visitors to the campus about our local ‘hosts’ in Southern California.”
About the Artist
Edgar Heap of Birds’ artistic creations and efforts as an advocate for Indigenous communities worldwide are focused first upon social justice and then the personal freedom to live within the tribal circle as an expressive individual.
A member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, Heap of Birds is a professor of Native American studies at the University of Oklahoma. His artwork has appeared in numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Australia.