Today we’d like to introduce you to Heidi Hogden.
Heidi, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
As a bit of a background, I grew up on a farm in Wisconsin helping my father plant trees and raising animals. My passion for art came from my grandmother, a writer and my mother, a landscape painter. On a regular basis, I observed my parent’s commitment to the arts and the land.
I went on to undergrad at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and later to grad school at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in affiliation with Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. It was here that I learned to tell powerful stories through visual art.
After graduate school, I decided to pursue a commitment to my career as a professor in higher education which brought me from Boston to South Dakota, and Arkansas to Arizona, all while maintaining my creative art practice. In the summer of 2017, I moved to Phoenix for an Assistant Professor of Drawing position at Arizona State University.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My creative work centers on the theme of autobiography and place. My work casts a light on my personal encounters with the places I live or have lived–the places I call “home.” This includes my childhood home in the township of Franklin, Wisconsin, and my new home in the southwest desert of Phoenix, Arizona. Each location presents their unique geography and elicits a specific response from me creatively. For example, my home in Wisconsin evokes complex feelings and depictions of remembrance while Phoenix conjures immediate and foreseen experiences of the suffering environmental climate.
In my most recent project, I tell stories of my personal encounters with the Southwest desert through graphite drawings and gypsum cement sculptures. I use self-portraiture in highly-detailed desert settings, invaded by humorous narratives that seem almost too strange to believe. By providing the viewer this particular lens, I create mysterious predictions of the future, one without water, without protection from the sun, or without the skills needed to survive, thereby stimulating the viewer to consider the consequences of climate change.
How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Being an artist takes perseverance. It is crucial for artists to regularly make, show and present their creative work while continuing to be inspired. Its a challenging balance for me, because it takes an immense amount of time to create my work. I can spend hours, days, and even weeks in my studio apartment rendering technical details. But, art does not live or engage people in a bubble. It is equally important for me to get out and see other artist’s exhibitions, go out into the landscape and take photographic references, teach my students, or invite people into my studio to talk about my work. It ultimately feels liberating to have the determination to create something new and share it with the world.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can find my work online at www.heidihogden.com. I update the newsfeed on my website for upcoming exhibitions locally, nationally, and internationally. You can support my work by coming to an opening if you live nearby. I am currently preparing for a solo exhibition at the Fine Arts Center on the campus of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas in September.