River Tikwi Garza (b.1994, Los Angeles,CA) is a Los Angeles based artist that was raised in Gardena,California a city in the South Bay region of LA. Garza is of Indigenous and Mexican descent, he is Tongva and is a member of Ti’at Society. Garza’s work draws on traditional Indigenous aesthetics, Southern California Indigenous maritime culture, Graffiti, Xicanx culture,and the Los Angeles urban experience. Garza received his undergraduate education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He earned his degree in Gender, Ethnic, and Multicultural Studies and is currently working on a MA in Sociology. Garza integrates his Western education into the art he produces by creating work that aims to challenge the Indian mystique, his work plays on cultural cliches, Hollywood's “celluloid indian”, and the political/cultural climate of both Indian country and mainstream society.


The art I produce is inseparable from my Indigenous heritage. I am an amalgamation and byproduct of resistance, forced assimilation, and resettlement. My family is Tongva and we have called Los Angeles home since time immemorial. I grew up within my tribal community and was exposed to our traditional maritime customs and ancestral beliefs since birth. Being able to understand who I am and where my people come from is a privilege, but it's one that my community continues to fight for. My family's connection to Ti’at society fostered my understanding of who we are and where we are going. My community grounds me and is inseparable from the art I produce. I consider myself a community member above anything else. The art i make is an extension of what my family and tribal community have done since time immemorial. I come from mariners who paddled the pacific utilizing the stars and from people who built pyramids that still stand today. I embrace the creative spirit of my ancestors and strive to create meaningful work that pushes boundaries and centers the complexity of modern indigenous life and issues.


 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona - Bachelors of Arts Gender, Ethnicity, and Multicultural Studies; Native American Studies

September 2012 - June 2017

Selected Exhibitions 


Group Exhibition, "Contemporary Indigenous Art: The Pacific Coast", San Diego Art Institute, San Diego,Ca

Group Exhibition, “ The Map and the Territory”, Fowler Museum, Los Angeles,Ca - Forthcoming

Solo Exhibition, “Plastic Spirit”, Soul Center for the Arts, Genova, Italy


Solo Exhibition, “Who's Holiday?”, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona,CA

Group Exhibition, “Viva Aztlan”, DA Center for the Arts, Pomona,Ca

Artist Residency- Institute of American Indian arts, Santa Fe, Nm

Lead Artist for Sons and Brothers Camp

Group Exhibition, "WE RISE", Los Angeles,Ca

Group Exhibition,"Erasure", Glendale Library,  Los Angeles,Ca,


Group Exhibition, "People of the Earth", Santa Monica History Museum, Santa Monica,Ca

Group Exhibition, "Winter Group Show", Loom Indigenous Art Gallery, Gallup,Nm


Group Exhibition, "Neshkinuat", Santa Clarita Library, Santa Clarita, Ca

Group Exhibition,"The Art of Indigenous Resistance", Self Help Graphics, Los Angeles,Ca

Group Exhibition, "First Peoples", San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Ca

Group Exhibition, "Days of Solidarity", Roslin Gallery, Glendale, Ca


Group Exhibition, "ilik xon", Seventh Letter Gallery, Los Angeles,Ca


Larry Smith Tokyo

Black Entertainment Television

University of California Los Angeles


Garza,River. 2015. Weaving Through The College Experience. News From Native California Vol.29 No.2 (16-19)

Garza,River. 2017. An Artist Introduction. News From Native California Vol.30 No.3 (16-18)

Garza,River. 2016. Growing Up With Mo’omat Ahiko. News From Native California. Vol.29 No.4 (52-55)

Garza,River. 2016. Book Review on The Other Slavery by Andrés Reséndez. News From Native California Vol.30 No.1 (37)

Using Format