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Heather Matthews: capstone




Matthews, Heather, artist

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The artist's statement: Reflection, reverence, relationship—Again and again, these underlying themes rise to the surface in my work. - Reflection on my experiences as I engage with my environment, people around me, and ideas - A reverence for beauty, whimsy, and hope in the everyday. - Above all, engaging in relationships with ourselves and each other. My values and beliefs are made tangible in my creations. At this moment in time these values and beliefs feel challenged by the unrest of a worldwide health pandemic, our culture's reckoning with race and bias, and the questions around our political leadership. Along with that is my slow transition out of art school and into a new career that feels more aligned with my present life goals. For comfort and consistency, I turn to making things. The making becomes a meditative practice on this moment of personal and global transition, a search for hope and beauty, and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. My process engages many media, though primarily I create works in fiber and drawings in charcoal or graphite. The pure pleasure I take in the softness and analog quiet of fiber art has instilled my conviction that I can use the medium to communicate. Meanwhile, I regularly turn to other media to expand my ideas and explore multi-layered ways of expression. Just as a writer must read to improve her craft, I insist on regular involvement in the art community as an avenue for enhancing my art practice. I take annual pilgrimages to major art centers in order to see master works in person, I pore over art books and visit local artists in their studios. Artists who inspire me include Alice Neel, Judy Chicago, Jennifer Moore, Shan Goshorn, Kehinde Wiley, Barbara Gilhooly, Anne Bossert, Jan Carson, Jenny Seville, Theaster Gates, Eric Fischl, Bisa Butler, and Hung Liu, just to name a few. Most recently, I have practiced letting go of expectations by giving in to on-the-loom lessons, studying color and texture, and simply putting more hours into both weaving and drawing without intention of a particular final outcome. These activities push me to learn more about myself and ways of making in ways that surprise me and enrich my pieces.


Colorado State University Art and Art History Department capstone project.
Capstone contains the artist's statement, a list of works, and images of works.

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