The Heard Museum
is currently presenting "Substance of Stars", which opened on November 6, 2022. This multi-sensory experience takes visitors on a storytelling journey with four distinct communities; the Haudenosaunee, Yupik, Diné, and Akimel Oodham as they share their unique perspectives, stories and experiences. The exhibition incorporates Indigenous languages, spiritual and foundational knowledge, and value systems which figure prominently in the identities of Indigenous peoples.
The exhibition features a multi-level excursion of historic and contemporary works centered around an impressive 360-degree theatrical experience titled the Sky-Dome. The Sky-Dome has edge-blend technology that offers dynamic changing landscapes by the four seasons on 20-foot-high walls. Simultaneously, the ceiling is a fiber optic map of the cosmos centered on the North Star that rotates four times to replicate the change of seasons as seen from the Arizona night sky.
Substance of Stars is a culmination of a three-year collaboration with advisors from four Indigenous Nations. New works by contemporary Indigenous artists have been commissioned for the exhibition and will be featured prominently alongside historic works and site-specific immersive media. These include works by Marie Watt (Seneca), Peter Lind (Alutiiq), Steven Yazzie (Diné/Laguna Pueblo/Anglo), and Jacob Butler (Akimel Oodham) as well as a range of contemporary and cultural arts drawn from the Heards permanent collection. Partner institutions have also lent key works to the Heard to be featured in the new signature exhibition such as the Fenimore Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Rochester Museum of Science and Culture to name a few.
This exhibition is guest curated by Sean Mooney and Chuna McIntyre (Central Yup'ik,) with advisory support from Josephine Aloralrea (Cup'ik, Nunivak Island), Vernon Chimegalrea (Central Yupik), Jamie Jacobs (Seneca), Michael Galban (Mono Lake / Paiute), Thomas Porter (Mohawk), Ansley Jemison (Seneca), Marie Watt (Seneca), Velma Kee Craig (Diné), Manuelito Wheeler (Diné), Steven Yazzie (Diné / Laguna Pueblo / Anglo), Orlando White (Diné), Barnaby Lewis (Akimel Ootham), David Martinez (Akimel Oodham / Hia Ced Oodham / Mexican), and Jacob Butler (Akimel Ootham). Substance of Stars is made possible thanks to the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc.
Since its founding in 1929, the Heard Museum, a private nonprofit organization, has grown in size and stature to become recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, world class exhibitions, educational programming and unmatched festivals. Dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, the Heard successfully presents the stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective as well as exhibitions that showcase the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art. The Heard Museum is supported, in part, by the generosity of Heard Museum members and donors, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. In association with the Smithsonian, the Heard Museum is part of a select group of museums and cultural, educational and arts organizations that share the Smithsonians resources with the nation.
Exhibition Title: Substance of Stars
Featured Artists: Marie Watt (Seneca), Peter Lind (Alutiiq), Steven Yazzie (Diné), and Jacob Butler (Akimel Oodham)
Heard Museum Address: 2301 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
General gallery hours: Monday - Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm