River  Garza  is an  artist from Los Angeles,CA whose  work draws on traditional Indigenous aesthetics, Southern California Indigenous maritime culture, skateboarding, Graffiti, Mexican culture, and Low Rider culture.


My artistic practice is inseparable from my Tongva heritage. I am an amalgamation of centuries of resistance, forced assimilation, and resettlement and my work reflects those disjointments of memory, tradition, and identity. My practice focuses on how differential treatment under settler governments construct Indigenous identities. I employ physical layers of cultural artifacts in my work, such as oil, spray paint, pen, and Western magazine cutouts which integrate Tongva ancestral iconography and contemporary experiences. My work acts as a critique of settler capitalism while exploring how the literal and metaphoric layers of colonialism add weight to contemporary Indigenous identity that is both painful and a source of creativity. Visual sovereignty is another critical aspect of my practice. Due to my tribe’s lack of access to our traditional land base, visual sovereignty, the act of creating work free of the demands of the Western canon, becomes a crucial site for the practice of tribal sovereignty and for the perpetuation of our collective memory. Through artifacts and artificial physical landscapes, I create sites that are sacred spaces and begin to reclaim Tongva sovereignty and provide an imagined future where my people can exercise their full right as original peoples of this land.


 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

Warner Records

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)

Frontend Magazine. Vol. 46, 2018 

Men’s File. Vol. 68, 2019 

Weaving Through The College Experience. Paperback L.A. Vol.3, 2019 

News From Native California. Vol 33. No.2, 2020

Using Format