Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds: Honor Song Receives Major Funding from the Getty Foundation

April 02, 2024


Contact: Communications team | 405 951 0000 | communications@okcontemp.org

"Getty" in bright blue letters

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center is thrilled to announce that a printmaking workshop with regional and international curators, printmakers and collectors whose professional priorities engage Indigenous artistic communities connected to the upcoming exhibition Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds: Honor Song, has received a $48,000 grant award from the Getty Foundation’s Paper Project initiative.

The workshop will take place in November 2024, focusing on viscosity prints and etchings within the larger context of printmaking. Viscosity monotype printmaking is virtually absent as an artistic practice in Oklahoma, and etching/intaglio printmaking is relatively underutilized. Oklahoma Contemporary will work with Oklahoma-raised artist Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation) — known internationally for his colorful monotype prints, public works and, more recently, etchings that address Indigenous rights, sovereignty and land stewardship — as a commissioned project for the first institutional solo exhibition of his work in Oklahoma, the locus of his tribal lands and his state of residence for more than four decades.

This important project is a vital component of Heap of Birds’ forthcoming retrospective. Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds: Honor Song traces the artist’s trajectory from the 1970s to the present through over 80 prints, drawings, paintings, glass sculptures, road signs, public art and site-specific installations, newly commissioned pieces and archival materials. Known for his thought-provoking and socially engaged art, Heap of Birds explores themes of Indigenous identity, colonialism and environmental justice.

"We are deeply grateful for the support toward hosting a workshop in collaboration with renowned artist Edgar Heap of Birds,” says Adjunct Curator Pablo Barrera. "The Getty Foundation’s commitment to highlighting the role of printmaking in advancing the arts and promoting dialogue around important social issues through its Paper Project Initiative is invaluable. The work resulting from this effort will become a critical part of the upcoming retrospective. With their support, we are better able to amplify the voices of Indigenous artists like Heap of Birds and foster meaningful conversations within our community."

The workshop will take place in November 2024. This workshop is made possible with support from Getty through the Paper Project initiative. Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds: Honor Song is scheduled to open in February 2025 at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center and will be on view through July 2025. Admission to Oklahoma Contemporary is free to ensure accessibility for all members of the community.

For more information about the workshop and exhibition, including updates on programming and events, please visit oklahomacontemporary.org.

About Edgar Heap of Birds:

Edgar Heap of Birds (b. 1954, Wichita, Kansas) is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation, for which he serves as headsman of the Elk Warrior Society, instructing ceremonies on tribal lands near Geary, Oklahoma. He is a prolific artist known for his politically charged artworks that address issues of Indigenous identity, colonialism and environmental justice. His work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally and is held in numerous public and private collections.

About Oklahoma Contemporary:

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, formed at the Fairgrounds in 1989 as City Arts Center by Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing the community with quality, accessible and affordable arts programming and education. Through corporate funding and private donations, Oklahoma Contemporary is able to educate Oklahomans through adult classes and workshops, art camps and classes for local youth, art exhibitions, lectures and additional educational programming. With a mission to encourage artistic expression in all its forms through education, exhibitions and performance, Oklahoma Contemporary is committed to instilling in the public a lifetime appreciation of the arts and enthusiasm for creative practice.


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Oklahoma Contemporary
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Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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