Discipline: Visual Art – mixed media

Heidi Schwegler

Discipline: Visual Art – mixed media
Region: Oregon
MacDowell fellowships: 2010, 2018

My style as an artist is a hybrid of conceptual art and craft. Informed by my training in a craft discipline, it is important that the objects I fabricate are well made and at the same time provocative and meaningful. I abstract the found object into something new, taking care to not obliterate its original context. As an urban archaeologist, I prefer to mine the peripheral ruin, the discarded stuff that is ignored and considered worthless. By reassigning the value and purpose of something recognizable, I emphasize that which is missing, the perforation. I find the fragment to be a resource full of creative potential: Its story is no longer complete and it can be considered malleable and therefore susceptible to the imagination. I find the objects I choose to work with to be provocative because they are still recognizable for what they once were, they no longer do what they once did, and yet they haven’t been hauled away as waste. Since they still exist in our everyday world one could say they are lingering in a sort of living death.

At MacDowell, she explored new material (duct tape, broken figurines and papier mache) to develop new ideas (choosing the broken fragment situates the accident as its defining moment) in preparation for an upcoming solo show at Upfor Gallery, Portland, OR. She received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship and Career Opportunity Grant through the Oregon Arts Commission and Ford Family Foundation.

Studios

Eastman (formerly Shop)

Heidi Schwegler worked in the Eastman (formerly Shop) studio.

Thanks to the generous support of MacDowell Fellow and board member Louise Eastman, a century-old farm building has been reinvented as a modern, energy efficient live and workspace for visual artists. Originally built to provide storage when the residency program was expanding, this small barn was simply converted for studio use in the mid-1950s with the…

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