Civic Center Cultural Complex | Denver, Colorado

The Wheel, a multi-piece sculpture located outside the DAM’s North Building was created by Native American artist HOCK E AYE VI Edgar Heap of Birds, commissioned by the Denver Art Museum in 1996. Dedicated on June 21, 2005, the Wheel consists of ten red forked tree forms made of porcelain enameled panels on steel frames. Each “tree” is 12 feet high and positioned on a 50-foot diameter circle. Wheel is aligned to the summer solstice sunrise, with Trees One and Ten forming an opening to the east. Wheel specifically addresses the history of Indian peoples from Heap of Birds’ perspective as a Cheyenne/Arapaho artist, whose ancestors have a long and often painful history in the region, as well as from the multiple tribes who have lived in Colorado for centuries. The Cheyenne phrase “NAH-KEV-HO-EYEA-ZIM,” which is on the curved wall in the background, translates to “We are always returning back home again.”

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