Ceramic sculptor shows work at Inver Hills Art Gallery
The following intro and Q & A were composed by Christy McKay, an Inver Hills student earning her Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Art. Christy also works at the Inver Hills Art Gallery.
Angela Heida creates ceramic sculptures that are intricately detailed stories of ordinary people who use their lives to serve others. You don’t just glance at one of Angela’s pieces, you delve into the layers and textures that create each story while wondering, “How did she do that?”
Her latest works deal with stress and anxiety—and Angela Heida asks the viewer to write down or “cast” their anxieties about school, time, money, food and relationships into glass jars. When the exhibit is over, Angela plans to hang up the anxieties and pray over them, hoping others “find comfort in the knowledge that someone else will pray for them.”
More about Angela Heida…
I am an artist and art teacher interested in telling stories in clay. My subjects have ranged from those who are quietly serving others in their communities to those who are captive, but continue to hold strong to their faith during that difficult time. My work has been in group shows at local venues including the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Phipps Center for the Arts and the Northern Clay Center. I am also a member of the Minnesota Women’s Ceramic Artists.
— Angela Heida, Artist, Ceramic Sculptor
To learn more about Angela Heida and her work, visit:
You’ll have to hurry to see Angela’s work at the Inver Hills Art Gallery.
The exhibit ends Friday, September 29, 2017.
Angela Heida gallery
Angela Heida Q & A
Christy McKay: When did you become interested in ceramics?
Angela Heida: I have always been interested in art, but it was not until I was teaching ceramics that I became enamored with clay and began to work exclusively in it.
CM: How did you decide to tell stories through ceramics and what was the first story you told?
AH: My pastor once referenced the “Sandwich Man,” Alan Law, a retired school teacher who nightly delivers sandwiches to those in need in Minneapolis, as a great example of someone just doing what they could right where they were to serve others. I was so moved and thought he deserved a “tribute” so I made a sculpture about him, placing him in between two buns and impressing cars and sandwich fixings along with his likeness around the sculpture.
[You can view the sculpture on Angela’s website: Heida Ceramics.]
With these tributes, I am trying to honor those who are actually using their lives to serve others. I feel they should be famous and in the spotlight, but they are not what our culture values. So I am doing what I can to shine a light on them.
CM: What kind of reaction do you get about the themes of your work?
AH: Most people don’t take the time to really look or read about my work and they see it as kind of weird. Once I explain it to someone or they take the time to understand it they appreciate it more and sometimes even buy it! I usually sell my work to complete strangers.
My aim is to share a compelling story through ceramic figures and forms. I want to make the viewer curious enough to look further and investigate. Inspiration for the subjects of my artwork comes from many sources, including stories that emotionally resonate with me from the news, people I meet or work with, and more recently, my own personal experiences. My work is ceramic, usually finished with oxides and underglazes, electric fired to cone 6.
— Angela Heida, Artist, Ceramic Sculptor
CM: Please tell us more about one or two of the pieces currently on display at the gallery. What do you see as the most important message to convey to the viewer? In essence, what sense/meaning do you hope they walk away with from your work?
AH: In my current series dealing with anxiety, I especially like how the Cake and Credit pieces came out. I am hoping that the viewer can relate to the stresses presented about food and credit cards as they look at the work. It is validating to have someone else to relate to feelings, worries and struggles that we sometimes feel are ours alone. I hope viewers leave with a feeling of being heard and understood.
CM: Why is the interactive and spiritual aspects integral to the work? Tell us more about its significance for you and the viewers.
AH: I personally believe that we are all gifted in some way to bless others and honor God. I want to use my artwork to do this. I personally struggle with anxiety and find it hard to “cast my cares” on God and not worry, so I wondered if others did, too. I wanted to make a way for myself and others to literally cast our cares by writing them down and casting them away—into the glass jars. I also hoped that those participating would find comfort in the knowledge that someone else will pray for them and that those cares they wrote down are important to God.
CM: How do you manage the intricate detail and delicate parts and inside/outside aspect of the sculptures?
AH: Very carefully, a lot of trial and error. I have had to make some pieces like the “Time” one in the gallery three times before it came out right/unbroken!
CM: What is the best advice you were given as an artist?
AH: Keep trying in the face of rejection! As an artist you need to make your artwork for you and your reasons, and not let what others think prevent you from working. I get rejected about three times or more for every acceptance I receive.
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