Hachivi Edgar Heap of Birds and his family live a few miles outside of Geary, Oklahoma, in a house once lived in by his grandmother. The house sits high and solitary, with sweeping views of the mostly undeveloped land. From the front yard one can see how the land breaks down and away into the reds, greens, and browns of the surrounding canyons. The air here in summer is hot and has the feel, in Scott Momaday's words, of the "anvil's edge." 1
Heap of Birds was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1954 and attended high school there. His formal art training began at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, in 1975. This was followed by a B.F.A. degree ( University of Kansas, 1976) and an M.F.A. ( Tyler School of Art, Temple University, 1979), both in painting. He also completed graduate work in painting at the Royal College of Art in London in 1977. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Art at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches painting, drawing, and a workshop in conceptual art.
In addition to his teaching, Heap of Birds has lectured on art in Europe and throughout the United States. He has also curated a number of exhibitions, including "Modern Native American Abstraction" ( Philadelphia Art Alliance, 1983) and "No Beads—No