“Love letters ~ Prayers,” a five year retrospective of work by artist Heidi Lewis Coleman, will be on exhibit at the University of Connecticut Stamford Art Gallery this summer, from July 2nd through August 31st.
Coleman is a Stamford artist, but she was born and raised in a small farming town in Central Washington State. The warm colors of the Yakima countryside provide the basic palette for the artist’s rich and earthy work. Coleman attended college in Seattle, a port city which has long been a major center for trade with the Far East. Asian design has become an intrinsic part of Seattle’s culture and has inspired many of the local artisans. Coleman was particularly fascinated by the intricate calligraphy used to decorate ancient scrolls and screens – the columns of simple, yet elegant characters are imprinted in her memory and have influenced the primitive style of her abstract work.
Coleman creates mixed media pieces using acrylic paint and cut or shredded paper/silk on canvas. Her paintings and steel sculptures incorporate her own abstract writings, which are invented, rhythmic languages that flow automatically from her hand. The strands of writing are painted on paper, cut out and then applied either vertically or horizontally to a painted canvas. The artist also includes computer-altered images of her own work in her assemblage pieces, further enhancing the technique.
When asked about the show’s title, Coleman explains,
“For me, these abstract languages have an ancient, almost mystical quality. I believe they carry a hidden message which is unique for each viewer. When I create them, I am guided by my intuition. I don’t think about how the words should look or what they should say – somehow I just know when they feel right. Abstract artistic expression carries an energy that we all respond to very individually. My intention is to send messages from my heart, and I hope that is how they are being received.”
Coleman studied art at Parsons and the New York School of Design. She has exhibited in New York, Connecticut, California, Florida and many other states across the country
The opening reception for “Heidi Lewis Coleman: Love Letters ~ Prayers” will be held on Friday, July 17th, from 7 to 9 PM. The University of Connecticut Stamford Art Gallery is located at One University Place in Stamford. Free parking is available next door on the 2nd Floor of the UConn Stamford Parking Garage on Washington Boulevard.