Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The RAA Dialogue Series continues

Artist Interviews Artist
Highlighting RAA Member Heather Eiden
As Interviewed by Board Member Sue Pezanoski Browne

What artmaking have you been up to this summer?

I am working on a show, called "The Art of Flow", that will be exhibited at Danceworks in April 2010. I have been teaching watercolor privately. My grandma was a master watercolorist and she tried to teach me what she knew. I love seeing my students grow and gain confidence in their style.

What influences do you see in your own art?

I work with color, pattern, and nature for inspiration.

The practice of yoga is an important part of your life. How do your yoga and art practices relate to one another?

I feel the relation between art and yoga is sculptural. Often when I teach yoga, I see the human body as a living sculpture moving through space with grace. I enjoy hands on adjustments and helping people with correct alignment in the poses. I use my training as a visual artist to see forms correctly. The negative space is as important as the positive. There is a Yin and Yang in yoga that works with this duality for the mind, body and spirit connection. Yoga means Union and, at the deepest level, I hope for people to experience this through my art.

You have had opportunities to travel to many interesting places. How have your specific travels influenced your artmaking?

I have been fortunate with travel. In South America, I was inspired by the fabric art. I was inspired by tile work while traveling through Mexico, and in Spain by the mosaics of Antonio Gaudi. While on a scholarship from UWM, I studied the woodcarving and batik in Indonesia. While touring with my students in France, I was inspired by the intense light that made objects seem to dance. Whenever I am traveling, I work daily in my sketchbook.

Where did you study art?

I studied at UWM, and I feel it was a classical training. I have taken many outreach courses at MIAD. I attended Anderson Ranch Art School and had a scholarship for Arrowmont. I am now working on a master’s degree in Art Education at Concordia.

Do you experience any particular obstacles in maintaining the time and space in your life as a practicing artist?

Not in the past, but now that I’m in graduate school, I do find it more challenging. I would say my current studio practice is in transition. I would like to work with other artists in a studio setting. I imagine that we would have common interests, but ideally different styles.

How did you first become involved with The Riverwest Artists Association?

RAA was introduced to me by friends. I lived across the street from RAA when it was located on Fratney St. The center was vibrant, exciting and social. Darlene Hagopian invited me to be a board member, as I remember.

What is your earliest experience in which you saw yourself as an artist?

I felt I was an artist around age ten but rejected it. I told my friend I would never be an artist because I didn’t want to starve to death.

What do you hope people see in your art?

I would like my art to be a balancing agent.

Heather Eiden and Sue Pezanoski Browne
(Heather's ceramic work, pictured far right)

More of Heather's work can be seen at The Jazz Gallery throughout our current show, P.S. Exhibit, and during the upcoming reception on Center Street Daze, starting at 1p.

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