Monday, July 29, 2019


#MeettheartistMonday

Meet Seanna Poirier, a jewelry artist, ceramicist and one of the artists exhibiting in our current exhibition, Material Roots.

Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.
Born in Rhode Island I have been creating and working with my hands since childhood. Whether it be drawing, ceramics, painting, or jewelry design I was always making. The tedious nature of art was always very meditative to me and allowed my mind to rest and just create. I majored in metals smithing and jewelry design while also continuing my love for ceramics at Rhode Island College and graduated with a BFA in 2016. Since then I have been working in the jewelry field with fellow artists and creating my own work on my free time at my home studio in Coventry, RI. 

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?
To see the beauty in not only the work but of all things in nature, even the creepy crawlies.  Along with striking their curiosity on how the object was made. 
 
What influences your work? Why?
I am constantly influenced by the natural world and tend to focus around my obsessions with insects and gemstones. The actual process in which I work also gives way to the approach I take. Getting lost in the making and seeing where it takes me is one of the more enjoyable ways to create and can produce ideas that would have not been reached otherwise. 


Why are you exhibiting at Hera?
To be a part of the local artist community. These communities are great for reaching likeminded individuals and making contacts that are valuable for a growing artist. 





 

Monday, July 22, 2019

#MeettheartistMonday

Meet Sarah Swift! Sarah is our former director and artist member of Hera Gallery. She is also the curator of our upcoming exhibition, Material Roots.


Curating Material Roots

Material Roots is a group show, of women artists from New England, aimed to create consideration and dialogue over the functionality of design and its intersection with conceptually charged fine art. It intrigued me that often these two creative fields seemed so categorically separated. Fashion, jewelry, and even our home furnishings can send powerful messages that can challenge perceptions and create discourse, while still maintaining a great understanding for formal aesthetics. I have spent my life taking note of my phenomenally talented peers, and when the opportunity came along to curate a show for Hera, I realized this was my chance to highlight some of the women around me who have pushed the boundaries of their own creative practices. 
These featured artists are fierce, supportive, intelligent, and incredibly insightful women that have taken traditional artisan crafting techniques and created powerfully charged contemporary work. 

Finally, I love the interaction with the body that the exhibited pieces establish. A personally curated item of clothing or jewelry can be the most accessible way for many to explore identity, self, and even social and cultural understanding.

Artist Story

I was born and raised in rural Exeter, Rhode Island and was interested in art from a very young age. I was an only child, and had two working parents, so creativity and playing outdoors became my everyday pastimes. In school, I took every single available art class offered, sometimes convincing teachers to let me retake classes as “private study” to get in more “art hours”. “Artist” was my only answer when I was ever asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. In 2010 I moved to Brooklyn, New York and obtained a BFA in Painting at Pratt Institute of Art and Design. Art became a tool of meditative exploration and self expression. It allowed me temporary relief from the inevitable difficulties of young-adult life, and offered a way to reconnect with the world that I often felt “out of place” in. I exhibited throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan for several years before moving back to Rhode Island, and taking a job as the Gallery Director at Hera Gallery. My work has recently shifted from painting and printmaking to fiber arts and work using recycled materials. I realized quickly that the tactile quality of manipulating materials with my hands brought me pure joy. Currently I work as a freelance textile artist in Providence, and have been recently focusing on new ventures like curation and art / travel writing. 

The Art Experience

I hope to bring my viewers mindful consideration about their individual places within the ever-changing cycles of life; Our everyday interactions that ripple through our community, our families, and our environment. I have always been fascinated by the interconnectedness of our planet, and hope to provide some insight and perhaps mental relief that we humans, plants and animals are all in this cycle together, all made of the same basic atomic “stuff” and all searching to find our place within it. 

My Influence

I grew up as close to nature as one can get; raised by two passionately curious Marine Biologists. The natural world became a constant visual and tactile stimulation for me as many days were spent playing outdoors, inside research labs, or pouring through my parents huge illustrated books on bioluminescence, coastal ponds, and local plant life. I also had the privilege of experiencing travel at a very early age; going to cities in Europe to see ancient ruins and art museums, and to Mexico to see weaving and ceramics.  Art and creativity came fairly naturally to me, and with this organic visual imagery and inherent experimentation I grew up with, my studio practice was almost inevitable. 

Hera

I had known of Hera while growing up in Rhode Island, but was truly unaware of the immense community and history of the organization until I came back to Rhode Island after finishing my degree. After being reintroduced to the Gallery in 2017, I immediately knew I needed to be a part of it in some way. The support and empowerment felt between members was indisputable, and I was moved by their mission to provide Gallery opportunities to young or emerging artists and community members, while still maintaining a very high level of professional quality artwork. It was truly a gift to be chosen to be their Gallery Director for some time, and I am honored to continue now as an artist for the Gallery. 



To read more about Sarah and see more of her work, visit: https://www.heragallery.org/sarah-swift
or 
Follow her on instagram:

Monday, July 15, 2019

#MeettheartistMonday

Meet Hera artist and President Uli Brahmst

 
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein

Artist Story
Makingwas always a way to explore the world in and around me. My mother was a bookbinder and my early childhood teacher an artist. Growing up we travelled a lot within Europe and discovering Miro, Matisse and Chagall profoundly shaped my understanding of art - a visual language full of imagination and color. The Geman Expressionists Paula Modersohn-Becker and Kaethe Kolwitz first assured me that the personal and domestic experience of a woman was a valid subject-matter. They did not glorify or beautify, they observed women and gave expression to their inner worlds and social predicaments. I studied art history in combination with psychology before I pursued my masters in art therapy. My education deepened my interest in the human experience as expressed in art. In the mid 90ies I moved for the next 12 years to NYC pursuing education in painting and mixed media at The Art Students League as well as at The School of Visual Art and subsequently started out as a professional artist in New York. The city allowed me endless access to what was made past and present and how installation and technology were reshaping all the visual arts including photography, film, design, fashion and crafts while crumbling the boundaries between them. 

Influence
I have kept my work personal with the understanding that the truly personal is a gateway to the universal. My main source of inspiration is that which gets under my skin. 

Take Away
I like to reach people in a space where they wonder and feel the complexity of their own human experience. Imagination can transport us from the immediate and mundane to a realm where we think more freely, operate more intuitively, and can envision ourselves and the world around us anew. Through a shift in our awareness we can make fresh choices with greater vision.

Hera
Hera I see as a local think tank dedicated to art and community. In contrast to the reality for women artists in the larger art world, at Hera the odds are not stacked against me. There is also no pressure to do and redo what sells, instead the focus is on experimentation and creative advancement. Artists at Hera are truly multigenerational which is not that common in today’s world but positively valuable to a healthy, striving creative community. I first visited Rhode Island from New York in 2007 and envisioned my daughter to grow up outside the city but was not quite resolved about living in a rural setting, when I stumbled upon Hera and thought: if that inspiring contemporary artist collaborative can exist in this environment, we can live here. This led to a life in which nature, art and feminist discourse have been intimately intertwined and continue to nourish both of us. 





You can see more of Uli's work at http://ulibrahmst.com
and you can purchase Uli's work at the Hera online store:

Monday, July 8, 2019

#MeetTheArtistMonday

Meet Hera Artist and new Vice President Chad Amos Self!


"Thoughts, ideas and memories are constantly floating around in my mind. The best way for me to organize them is through imagery. "


Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I started making objects when I was very young. I was always fascinated with the freedom I experienced building something. I remember loading up my backpack with tools from the garage and going into the woods to build forts out of found scrap wood and debris. These early endeavors were meditative and important to me. They gave me a space to be creative with the limitless resources the forest and my imagination provided me.

I make art because I have to make art. Thoughts, ideas and memories are constantly floating around in my mind. The best way for me to organize them is through imagery. I make art because it helps me continue this inner dialogue happening in my mind. Materializing these thoughts into objects helps me put a timestamp on the conversation.

I received my BFA from the University of Rhode Island and I am currently working on my MFA from Goddard College.

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

My imagery is inspired by the activity of creation. I enjoy the footprint left in art by its creator. When I am working on a piece, I let the act of making art dictate where the piece goes. The colors and patterns I choose are not perfect representations, but rather abstract memories. When I make art, I don’t have an agenda or a singular message for the viewer. Rather, my work should be viewed formally as a conversation between the artist and the art.

What influences your work? Why?

My influences are varied and comically unaligned. Academically, I am influenced by 20th century minimal art. Stella, Flavin, and Judd, among many, many, others. Personally, am influenced by city construction, traffic cones and potholes.

Why are you a member of Hera?

Hera is, and always has been a safe space for me to continue exploring and practicing my art. Similar to my journey into the woods as a child to build forts, Hera has allowed me limitless freedom to further examine my own imagination.





To see more of Chad's work visit his website: https://www.chadamosself.com

To Purchase Chad's work visit the Hera Gallery online store: https://www.heragallery.org/new-products


Monday, July 1, 2019

#Meet the Artist Monday
Meet Hera Artist, Molly Kaderka


Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I think I’ve always been an artist but in high school I was lucky enough to have teachers who showed me that being an artist was a real possibility. I make art because I believe in the power of images to communicate and express the human experience. I received my BFA in painting and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute and my MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. 

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

Much of the content in my work is about what it means to be present. To be here and to exist. With that knowledge comes the knowledge that we will all die. To have knowledge of our own existence means we also have knowledge that we will cease to be.  Our time is temporary, and my work tries to embody that sense of impermanence. I want my viewers to feel this as well and think about their own place in the world.  

What influences your work? Why?
Astronomy and geology influence my work. I’ve been drawn to the innate human desire to pursue knowledge and understanding and by the processes people go through to find meaning in what they encounter in the natural world.

Why are you a member of Hera?
I wanted to join Hera because it has a great reputation for supporting women artists.  I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful community of talented artists.

To see more of Molly's work, visit her website, https://www.mollykaderka.com