World renowned artist to headline Ortiz/Labriola Lecture

February 17, 2014

World renowned Edgar Heap of Birds will headline the annual Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community at the Heard Museum at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 20.

ASU News spoke with him about his inspiration and ground-breaking work. headshot of artist Edgar Heap of Birds Download Full Image

What first attracted you to the arts?

I was attracted to arts as a young child via drawing – to make up what I wondered about: cars, airplanes, I guess boy stuff. Kiowa/Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin was a huge influence for me growing up in Wichita, Kan., during my teen years. He made art about Native life and was a popular figure locally. He mainly showed me that a native person could live and work as an artist. His subject matter was not very challenging, but to be a contemporary artist was a true challenge in America at that time, for an Indian. Later in graduate school, I was heavily influenced by New York City performance artist Vito Acconci.

You use a variety of mediums to express your art. Which one is your favorite?

I choose to work in many mediums because it serves the multiple parts of my existence. As humans, we are all complex people, but modern life and also the “Master Work” model for the artist (based on a classic Euro model) limits us to one form of job or art image. As I move through my diverse forms of art making, I can express myself better. It is hard to pick my favorite, but I guess the use of three-word phrases done in mono print is quick from my mind, and is realized in an almost mystical print medium. The three-word phrases are reminiscent of the new wave band “Talking Heads” and David Byrne, in particular. I was in grad school near New York City during the late 1970s, and their music and lyrics were in the flow then.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from love of our indigenous lands and seas throughout the earth and its indigenous peoples and communities. I work globally, from Zimbabwe to Australia and Bali to Oklahoma, Europe and beyond. With these priorities then, one comes to the political issues which most are pronounced in order to protect the peoples, lands and seas. Thus, the inspiration also becomes subject.

How does your Native American heritage influence your work?

The main way my Native heritage influences my work is to always bear in mind a sense of reciprocity and grace.

What can the audience expect from your presentation at the Ortiz/Labriola Lecture?

For the Ortiz lecture, I will offer a traditional beginning of how Native women carry our past and future, and how as artists we work to protect what they are given. I will share many collaborative art projects from throughout the world, and also share my four or so specific art practices, including painting, public art, glass blowing, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. In addition to the PowerPoint talk, I will present short videos concerning recent art projects from Venice, London and Los Angeles.

What can we expect to see in the future from you as an artist?

At this time, I am painting newer versions of my “Neuf Series” paintings that come from time spent walking in the western Oklahoma landscape. I plan to offer more time to my painting in order for the practice to have a deeper development. I also plan to extend my public art projects, now begun in the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation community halls. These 8- by 16-feet digital murals honor tribal elder artists from our sacred communities.

To learn more about the lecture, please visit the ASU Events calendar.

ASU Sponsors: American Indian Policy Institute; American Indian Studies Program; Department of English and School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Indian Legal Program in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law; Labriola National American Indian Data Center; School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation

Solar energy leaders come together for 4th Arizona Solar Summit

February 17, 2014

The Arizona Solar Summit brings together people and organizations to advance the solar industry on both the regional and national levels, creating a network to propel Arizona to national prominence in the industry.

The fourth annual Arizona Solar Summit, part of the 2014 Sustainability Solutions Festival, will focus on introducing innovative policies, programs and technologies that are critical to reshaping Arizona’s energy markets. Arizona Solar Summit IV Download Full Image

Participants will gain a better understanding of Arizona’s current energy market conditions, solar energy’s place in regional and national markets, and ideas for accelerating the penetration of clean technologies into this market.

What: Arizona Solar Summit IV

When: 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20

Where: ASU SkySong, 1475 N. Scottsdale Rd. RM 150, Scottsdale, 85257

Cost: $175 standard registration; $75 non-profit and community partners; $35 student registration


Media Opportunities:

Attending members of the media will have the following opportunities to engage with speakers and participants at the Arizona Solar Summit:

  • Discuss current issues at roundtable discussions
  • Capture address from keynote speaker, Bill Harris, CEO and president of Science Foundation Arizona
  • Observe multiple panel discussions with industry and thought leaders
  • Participate in industry networking sessions
  • Interact with solar energy exhibitors, including startups and research organizations
  • Interview speakers following panel discussions


Full details are available online at Highlights include:

  • 7:30-9 a.m.: Roundtable discussions being led by ASU experts on a variety of renewable and solar energy topics, including policy and scientific developments at ASU, and water/energy nexus issues
  • 9:15-10:30 a.m.: Kris Mayes, director of the Utility of the Future Center, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law professor and former chairman on the Arizona Corporation Commission moderating Panel I: Utility of the Future: How New Technology Is Bringing Change and Opportunity to Electric Companies and Their Customers. This panel features:
    • Charles Bayless, North America Energy Holdings
    • Bob Graham, Southern California Edison (retired)
    • Tim Berg, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
    • Meghan Nutting, Solar City
  • 10:45 a.m. - noon: Gary Dirks, director of the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU and director of LightWorks moderating Panel II: De-Carbonizing the Energy System. This panel features:
    • Charles Bayless, North America Energy Holdings
    • Tim Berg, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
    • Kerry Smith, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University
    • Ellen Stechel, LightWorks, Arizona State University
  • 12:20-1 p.m.: Bill Harris, CEO and President, Science Foundation Arizona, keynote speaker
  • 1-1:15 p.m.: Sethuraman Panchanathan, senior vice president, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, ASU will give an address
  • 1:30-2:45 p.m.: Harvey Bryan, professor at the Design School and School of Sustainability, ASU moderating Panel III: Deep Energy Retrofit Financing. This panel features:
    • Daniel Hunter, account executive, Ameresco
    • Dimitrios Laloudakis, energy manager, City of Phoenix
    • Scott Muldavin, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • 3-4:15 p.m.: Leisa Brug, energy policy advisor to Governor Jan Brewer and director, Arizona Governor's Office of Energy Policy moderating Panel IV: National Governors Association Policy Academy Targeting Clean Energy for Economic Development and Briefing on the Arizona Master Energy Plan. This panel features:
    • Bennett Curry, Arizona Commerce Authority
    • Representative Frank Pratt, Arizona State House
    • Senator Bob Worsley, Arizona State Senate
  • 4:15-4:30 p.m.: Closing remarks by Gary Dirks and Todd Hardy, vice president of assets, ASU Foundation for a New American University and senior economic development adviser, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, ASU
  • 4:30-6 p.m.: Reception, Networking & Technology Showcase

Learn more at