Today we’d like to introduce you to Heidi Lewis Coleman.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve been working as an artist for the past 25 years. My artwork has never been static – I am constantly changing and evolving, developing an entirely new body of work every few years. Much of my work has been the result of an ongoing exploration into the aesthetics of using language in art. I create mixed media pieces that incorporate my own stylized abstract writing.
For many years, I developed variations of my abstract languages which I incorporated into symmetrical designs that were printed on Asian kozo tissue and applied onto stretched canvas. As my work has grown and transitioned, I am now creating mixed media collages, combining fragments of printed tissue onto painted watercolor paper or canvas. I still utilize my abstract languages, but in ways that are often nearly-hidden and unexpected.
This new approach has allowed me to infuse what I’ve learned about color, symmetry and composition into artwork that is asymmetrical, less formally designed and more expressive. Though very different, these two bodies of work relate to and inform one another. This invites viewers to observe how an artist, after years of working in one format, can combine her experience with personal growth to impact and inspire the
ways she currently creates. A viewer can see and understand how an artist can make important transitions while retaining a vision that runs throughout all of her artwork.
I studied art at Parsons and the New York School of Design in New York City. My artwork has been included in several private collections. I am a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists and the Women’s Caucus for Art. I am an award-winning artist who has exhibited widely in galleries and museums across the country, including the Mattatuck Museum, the Slater Memorial Museum and the Katonah Museum of Art.
Please tell us about your art.
My artwork reflects an ongoing exploration into the aesthetics of using language in art. While most conceptual artists incorporate text into their work as a means of analyzing popular culture or for making political and social commentary, I am more intrigued with developing text as a visual design element.
My mixed media pieces, which incorporate my own stylized abstract writing, are created using acrylic paint and Thai kozo paper: a delicate, translucent tissue that incorporates imbedded bits of bark, leaves, petals and seeds. These natural elements create texture and movement as they float across the surface of my pieces. Originally, my invented languages were painted on paper, cut out and then applied to a painted canvas. As the work has evolved, I’ve continued to develop new characters by deconstructing and reconstructing my original text, creating languages that are visually richer and more complex. More recently, I have explored different media, translating my designs into wood or steel sculpture.
I believe that because my artwork communicates in the abstract, individual viewers are not forced to translate it specifically, allowing them to connect with the energy of each piece in ways that are personal and unique.
What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Artists have always struggled but trying to survive as an artist is increasingly difficult. Arts Programs are being threatened, if not cut altogether. My best advice to young artists is to get involved in your community arts organizations. Become a member. Volunteer. The more you get involved, the more opportunities you will get passed along to you. Cities like Boston benefit by celebrating and promoting the Arts. Artists need help getting their word out. Publications like Boston Voyager are doing the community a great service by doing just that!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work is currently on view at:
The Kershner Gallery
1080 Old Post Road
1086 Long Ridge Road
- Website: www.heidilewiscoleman.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hlewiscoleman/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiLewisColeman
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HLewisColeman
- Other: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107809021667497055195
Heidi Lewis Coleman