5. Neufs for Hawaii at Murray Park

Neufs for Hawaii.  public art october 2022
Neufs for Hawaii. Courtesy of Common Practice.

In collaboration with Five-Star Basketball, the nonprofit Project Blackboard presents Edgar Heap of Birds’ largest-ever public art installation, Neufs for Hawaii. As a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and advocate for indigenous communities, Heap of Birds focuses on bringing awareness to the history, controversies, and land acknowledgments of Native Americans. Simultaneously, they depicting the personal freedom to express oneself while living within a tribal circle in their artwork.

Located at Murray Park, Neufs for Hawaii includes two newly renovated basketball courts featuring large-scale paintings along their playing surfaces. These paintings were enlarged from the Heap of Birds’ Neuf series, created in Oahu and named after the Cheyenne word for “four.” In this series, Heap of Birds celebrates the Cheyenne Nation by utilizing varying colors arranged in non-traditional and non-linear landscapes alongside fish swimming, and bodies moving across the canvas. Neufs for Hawaii seeks to underscore the importance of basketball in Native American culture beyond “rez ball” to showcase that Native hoopers play across the country. In addition, the paintings invite viewers to consider the implications of Neuf for Hawaii’s placement inside a public park built upon land that once belonged to Native Americans. For a limited time, there is also a temporary installation from the artist’s Native Hosts series on the court’s backboards. The installation will be up for viewing until August 22, 2023.