The Coiled Serpent Mound (Coming in 2024)

(Santiago) X, Nilay Mistry / Chicago Public Art Group

Concept image
Concept image. Credit: Chicago Public Art Group

About The Coiled Serpent Mound (Coming in 2024)

This Coil Mound earthwork is still in progress and is being installed along the western banks of the Chicago River in Horner Park. This homage to the ancestral practice of mound building educates the public about placemaking’s rich and cultural history. It activates the human connection to the river and its importance to Chicago’s development as a city.

It will be the second indigenous mound created in Chicago by Native American Artist X, Landscape Architect Nilay Mistry, and the Chicago Public Art Group.

Augmented reality digital experience:Augmented Earth” will pay homage to the transportation crossroads of the Great Lakes and Mississippi waterways used by residents for thousands of years. The virtual experience firmly situates Indigenous perspectives, histories, and futures into Chicago’s urban landscape.

Using a smartphone app and geolocation, visitors will encounter an interactive digital gallery of Native histories, cultures, and augmented infographics hovering over indigenous points of interest throughout Chicago and beyond.

Much gratitude to the support of our funders: E(art)H Chicago, Chicago Community Trust, JoCarno Fund, Joyce Foundation, DCASE, and Illinois Humanities.

Neighborhood: Albany Park

Art Type: Land Art

Grant Amount: $70,000

Media Gallery

Click on each image to enlarge and to see the photo caption.

Artist X
Photo Credit: Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune

About the Artists

Santiago X, recently renamed X: The trajectory of X’s 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, he believes art can transcend representation and become something sacred that embodies life. He believes that through a multiplicity of creation and being, our knowledge can be embedded into the landscape providing access for future generations of prosperity.

His 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.

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. 

Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) is an internationally recognized coalition of professional artists working to produce public artwork with community involvement. For the past half-century, CPAG has produced nearly 1,000 projects, including murals, sculptures, earthworks, playgrounds, and mosaics throughout the Chicagoland area. CPAG is committed to enhancing public space and public engagement in all of Chicago’s neighborhoods through community-based art. This work is rooted in the principle that everyone deserves to see great art, that every community deserves a voice, and that artmaking and public art encourage community investment.

Community Partners

Chicago Park District, American Indian Center, North River Commission and Portage Park Neighborhood Association

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