Coiled Serpent Mound

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The Coiled Serpent Mound earthwork is 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 the rich cultural history of placemaking and activates the human connection to the river and its importance to Chicago’s development as a city.

The monumental earthwork was created with the support of many community partners, leaders, members, and individuals, including Artist X, Landscape architect, Nilay Mistry, the Chicago Public Art Group, the Chicago Park District, 33rd Ward Chicago, and the Portage Park Neighborhood Association.

The Coiled Serpent Mound is matched by Pokto Cinto (Serpent Twin), an earthwork mound created in 2019 by the Des Plaines River in Schiller Woods West. Together, the two earthworks pay homage to the Indigenous ancestral practice of mound building.

These two sites are the anchors for a nine-mile conceptual outdoor museum trail called the 4000N. Through building with natural materials, promoting indigenous plant species, and highlighting restored habitats within urban public spaces, Chicago Public Art Group and the Portage Park Neighborhood Association activate our human connection to rivers and our existence with the earth.

X, with Chicago Public Art Group, are recipients of the Joyce Foundation’s 2021 Joyce Award to create Augment Earth. Using a cell phone, visitors will be able to access a virtual layer of historical and current information about the site and its significance as they explore.


About the Artists

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.


Funders include Chicago Commentary Trust, JoCarno Fund, E(art)H Chicago, Joyce Foundation, DCASE and Illinois Humanities.




Horner Park, Chicago, IL
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Landscape Architect

Nilay Mistry


In Progress