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Community Consultations for Native Hosts public artworks by Edgar Heap of Birds

Gallery 1C03


June 14, 2016
5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Graffiti Art Programming's Studio 393

June 15, 2016
2:30 - 5:30 p.m. at The University of Winnipeg's Riddell Hall

June 15, 2016
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery


From June 13 – 17, 2016, The University of Winnipeg’s Office of the Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs and Gallery 1C03, in partnership with Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, are pleased to welcome respected visiting Indigenous artist, professor, and activist Edgar Heap of Birds, a leader of the traditional Cheyenne Elk Warrior Society, who will carry out a series of public community consultations toward the potential installation of his Native Hosts series of permanent public sculptures on the University’s campus.

The Native Hosts project is an on-going series of public art interventions that have been deployed throughout the United States and Canada for nearly 30 years. These expressions of honoring indigenous citizens from communities both ancient and contemporary, seek to educate the non-Native public as to what tribal grounds and histories they may be walking over, as well as truly which indigenous territory everyone on the continent sleeps each night. The tribal spirits who inhabited and do inhabit these lands, sometimes called “Turtle Island”, are present and deserve acknowledgement which is greatly lacking.

The reversal or backwards treatment of the colonial names of states and provinces found on each Native Hosts panel is meant to turn around the state or province and their occupants in order to see this original Native world in a new manner. As in any proper decorum it is fitting, before one proceeds in life, to properly recognize ones host.
                                                                                                                        -Edgar Heap of Birds

A short video (2 minutes) with the artist discussing the Native Hosts project at Pitzer College can be viewed here.

For his community consultations in Winnipeg, Edgar Heap of Birds will speak about his artistic practice and, specifically about the Native Hosts series, as well as seek input/knowledge on the names of Indigenous cultures to be identified on the potential Native Hosts works to be installed at the University’s campus.

There are three times and locations where free public community consultations will take place. Everyone is invited to attend!

1.)    Tuesday, June 14, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at Graffiti Art Programming’s Studio 393
        Located in the overpass of Portage Place Mall close to The Bay

The artist will deliver a talk, followed by discussion.
There will also be a pop-up exhibition of some of the artists’ other works titled “First Nations Presence as Insistence: An Exhibition of Public Art by Edgar Heap of Birds”.
Event details here.


2.)    Wednesday, June 15, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. at The University of Winnipeg’s Riddell Hall
         Located at 515 Portage Avenue

The artist will deliver a talk, followed by discussion, which includes responses collected via a large communal text-based “drawing”.
This event is part of the Pathways to Reconciliation conference held at The University of Winnipeg June 15 – 18.
As such, the event is titled “Reconciliation: Drawing with Reaction, Insight and Resolution”.
Event details here.


3.)    Wednesday, June 15, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery
         Located at 2nd floor of 290 Mc Dermot Avenue

         The artist will deliver a talk, followed by discussion.
         There will also be a launch of a book about the artist written by scholar Bill Anthes.
         Event details here.


After these consultations, the artist will conduct further research on the project. When sufficient funding is secured, the Native Hosts sculptures will be installed at The University of Winnipeg. The goal is to unveil the works in late June of 2017 as part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations and Canada’s sesquicentennial.

For further information, please email Gallery 1C03 Director/Curator Jennifer Gibson or call 204-786-9253.

*Image credit link to The Ubyssey article.