The Heard Museum’s new multi-sensory journey features digital storytelling with historic works and contemporary art commissioned by leading Indigenous artists.

The Heard Museum opened a new multi-sensory experience, “Substance of Stars,” Nov. 6. The experience takes visitors on a storytelling journey with four distinct communities — the Haudenosaunee, Yup’ik, Diné and Akimel O’odham — as they share their unique perspectives, stories and experiences. The exhibition incorporates Indigenous languages, spiritual and foundational knowledge, and value systems that figure prominently in the identities of Indigenous peoples.

The exhibition features a multi-level excursion of historic and contemporary works centered around an impressive 360-degree theatrical experience titled the Sky-Dome. The Sky-Dome has edge-blend technology that offers dynamic changing landscapes by the four seasons on 20-foot-high walls. Simultaneously, the ceiling is a fiber optic map of the cosmos centered on the North Star that rotates four times to replicate the change of seasons as seen from the Arizona night sky.

“Substance of Stars” is a culmination of a three-year collaboration with advisors from four Indigenous Nations. New works by contemporary Indigenous artists have been commissioned for the exhibition and will be featured prominently alongside historic works and site-specific immersive media. These include works by Marie Watt (Seneca), Peter Lind (Alutiiq), Steven Yazzie (Diné/Laguna Pueblo/Anglo) and Jacob Butler (Akimel O’odham) as well as a range of contemporary and cultural arts drawn from the Heard’s permanent collection.

The Heard Museum is located at 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. For additional information, call 602-252-8840 or visit


Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.