[Canceled] The Coiled Serpent Mound: Indigenous Traditional Ecological and Cultural Knowledge in Horner Park

May 4: This event has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

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May 6, 2023


Horner Park
2741 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60618


Open to the public

Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the process of creating earthwork mounds to celebrate the sacred mound-building practices of our region’s Indigenous ancestors. This project, which takes the form of a serpent whose head emerges in Schiller Park (west of the city) and tail emerges in Horner Park, is a collaboration between Native Youth and X, as well as Chicago Public Art Group, the American Indian Center, Chicago Park District, and other stakeholders.

We will meet near the coiled tail to hear from X, a representative from Chicago Park District, and others where we will also learn about the Native plants that will complete the mound project in summer 2023.

Note: Please remember that this event will be outdoors and in a public park, so check the weather report and dress accordingly. Additionally, this event is subject to cancellation or rescheduling due to inclement weather.

About your Hosts

X, M.Arch, MFA, is an Indigenous futurist and multidisciplinary artist specializing in land, architectural, and new media installation. He is an enrolled citizen of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (Koasati) and Indigenous Chamoru from the Island of Guam U.S.A (Hacha’Maori).

X has exhibited and designed internationally, including The World Expo in Shanghai, China; Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy; and Arts Electronica in Linz, Austria. He was a contributor in the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial and a 2020 Lead Artist with the American Arts Incubator, a new media and digital arts exchange program developed by ZERO1 in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Artist’s Statement: The trajectory of my practice is an exploration of the human interface between our built environment, technology, history, futurity, our own self-relevance, and how we navigate this relationship to construct our notions of order. As an Indigenous Futurist, I believe that art can transcend representation and become something sacred that embodies life itself. I believe that through a multiplicity of creation and being, our knowledge can be embedded into the landscape providing access for future generations of prosperity. My work directly engages the notions of a post-human world, but actualizes to activate the possibility of our own prosperity, by painting our self-constructed limitations and deconstructing them. LEARN MORE

Nilay Mistry, PLA, ASLA is a landscape architect and urban designer based in Chicago with several years of experience in design practice and education in the United States, Africa, and Asia. Raised in an immigrant family, he is fascinated with calibrating parks, streets, and informal settlements as shared spaces for all participants in the city.

Nilay attended Chicago Public Schools and earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Illinois before pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Nilay is the Interim Program Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Program (MLA+U) and Professor-in-Practice in the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture.

Michael Raczyla is a land manager with over a decade of experience in ecological restoration, environmental education, mentoring children and adults outdoors, and wilderness survival.

Michael is currently a Natural Areas Manager with the Chicago Park District where he stewards environmental and natural resources across the city of Chicago.

Directions and Parking

Horner Park is close to a number of CTA bus lines, including the 80, 49, and 78. For more information, consult transitchicago.com. There is also nearby street parking and a lot near the northwest corner of the park with entry off California. This map will help guide you to where we are meeting at the southern end of the park near the Chicago River.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

This event will take place outdoors, and masking is optional.


This event is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


This event is a part of The NEA Big Read: Indigenous Stories, a series of free book groups celebrating contemporary Native writers. Book groups, events, and hands-on workshops are being held throughout the Chicago area from November 2022 to April 2023. Learn about other events and join a book group at ILHumanities.org/BigRead.

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