“Nuance of Sky” unites the work of Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds with historic Native American art works from the collection of the Pomona College Museum of Art. The exhibition, curated by Heap of Birds, places paintings, mono-prints, and sculptures by Heap of Birds in dialogue with objects from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Plains beadwork, Navajo turquoise, and Pomo feather basketry, selected by Heap of Birds. “Nuance of Sky” is a meditation on the spiritual significance of blue and the persistence of native spiritual and artistic practices:
Blue, flowing at our feet and flying above our heads, brings a positive, all-encompassing life-giving presence in Nuance of Sky. … It is the blue continuum that we seek to participate within and maintain. Much like the passage of azure color overhead and upstream, art and artists make offerings via this exhibition. Let us honor natural elements duly recognized along with the many individual hearts that speak together visually.
HOCK E AYE VI EDGAR HEAP OF BIRDS (Cheyenne/Arapaho) is an artist, writer, educator, curator, and tribal leader. Recognized for some of the earliest, and most powerful, conceptual Native American art, Heap of Birds pursues a multi-disciplinary practice combining the textual and the visual in installations, paintings, prints, drawings, and monumental sculpture.
Heap of Birds, born in Wichita, Kansas, earned a BFA from the University of Kansas. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Art (London) and received his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. 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 is a Headsman in the Elk Warrior Society, a traditional tribal group dedicated to the preservation of the Cheyenne People. He currently lives and maintains a studio in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.