The Tongvaland Project: A Public Exhibition of 7 Billboards Dedicated to Tongva Indian Peoples in the Los Angeles Metro Area

A collection of works in a public exhibition will be on display on billboards in iconic Los Angeles neighborhoods starting this month. Not only is this body of art just about the themes portrayed in the images, it tells a story about the process and protocol that needs to take place on the path to #LandBack.

Seeded by the NDN Collective’s Radical Imagination Grant, this public exhibition of fine artwork photography, digital composites, and paintings is dedicated to the empowerment, recognition, and social justice for Tongva Indian peoples. Seven billboards are being installed throughout the month of August in the Los Angeles Metro area and some will remain up through September 29th at various locations. They will all be up simultaneously from August 28 through September 2. Four are currently up now with three more coming.

“Weshoyot” on display on Melrose and Wilton
‘Weshoyot” 2021 © Cara Romero.
“Miztla” 2021. © Cara Romero.
“TONGVALAND” (above) by Weshoyot Alvitre
“TONGVALAND” displayed on a billboard at Sunset and Micheltorena.
“Mercedes”. 2021. © Cara Romero.
“Coyote Drops the Goblet” by L. Frank Manriquez
“What the City Gave Us” by River Garza

The images in this collection of works are made in Los Angeles by Tongva and Chemehuevi artists: L. Frank Manriquez (Tongva/Ajachmem), Mercedes Dorame (Tongva), Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva), River Garza (Tongva), Miztlayolxochitl Aguilera (Tongva) and Cara Romero (Chemehuevi). By utilizing public art and/or advertising space as a medium for installation, the imagery is accessible to all people. The imagery evokes the old AIM adage, “We are still here.” But for these images, the Tongva are centered when we say this in Los Angeles. Also, the collection of works are a living dialogue between California Indians, urban Indian transplants, settlers, and diasporic peoples.

Want to visit the billboards in Los Angeles? Click HERE for a google map of all locations including run dates for each location.

To keep up to date with when the three billboards are displayed, follow Cara Romero on Instagram.

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