Suburban Mythology

Andrea Heimer  Solo   FEB 1  ~ MARCH 9  2014

In “Suburban Mythology” Andrea Joyce Heimer documents the neighborhood mythos of her childhood home in 1980′s Great Falls, Montana. Adopted as an infant and plagued by lifelong clinical depression, Heimer struggled early-on with feeling disconnected from her family and community. Her sense of isolation only increased with adolescence, and Heimer began to battle her loneliness by means of observation. With her bicycle and ponytail as camouflage, she blended seamlessly into the suburban landscape and became an all-seeing, all-listening, all-recording witness to the people and events that defined the history of this small piece of suburbia. Heimer was fascinated by the dramas she became privy to–the mundane mixed with supernatural, the violence and the kink–nearly Shakespearean in their breadth. Now residing far from her Montana roots, Heimer pays homage to the sagas whose presence made her complicated youth more bearable — and also offers a tip of her hat to the strange histories unfolding in suburban neighborhoods everywhere, in hopes each area finds its own witnesses to record the stories that may otherwise be lost forever.
Andrea Joyce Heimer (b. 1981) is a self taught painter who now lives in Washington state, where she trains jumping horses in the summer. She has not been back to her childhood home of Great Falls, Montana (the city’s claim to fame: the site of the first UFO recorded on film in 1950), though thinks of it often. She began painting the “Suburbia” body of work in March 2012. Her paintings live in private collections in the US and abroad, including the collection of musician Paul Simon. Heimer was recently one of three finalists for the Seattle’s prestigious Neddy Award in the painting category.



Johannah O’Donnell grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where she graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design with a degree in Fine Art. O’Donnell relocated to Orlando, where she honed her painting skills as a scenic artist and art director. She is currently a full time painter/art instructor, and has exhibited work in numerous shows around the country, including a solo show at Bold Hype Gallery in 2011. Influenced by the American Pop Art movement, Spanish Surrealism, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Art, Johannah O’Donnell’s paintings use natural and figurative symbolism to comment on the ever-evolving human condition.

Kathy Halper  has exhibited her art throughout the United States. Her embroideries have been seen most recently at CONTEXT/Art Miami and Muriel Guépin Gallery in NYC. Other national shows include FiberPhiladelphia, SOFA Chicago, the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, George Billis Gallery in LA, as well as exhibits in Texas, Rhode Island, Michigan and more. The entire “Friend Me” series was shown during Artprize 2012 at Kendall College of Art & Design. She has been featured on the Huffington Post Arts Page in the US and UK, Hyperallergic, Beautiful/Decay, countless art blogs and in print through Surface Design Journal, Embroidery Magazine and ArtVoices magazine. Halper has had solo and group exhibitions at Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago, as well as University of Illinois at Chicago, The Union League Club and others. A documentary titled “Kathy Halper/ Artist in Residence” was produced by Joe Gallo chronicling the months of preparation for her 2013 solo show at Packer Schopf Gallery. The artist lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and any of her 3 children that happen to be there. “Kathy Halper’s work mirrors adults’ ongoing fascination with youth culture, imbuing it with today’s hyper-social-networked edge. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan predicted the advent of the Internet, suggesting the future of living in a global village that acts and reacts to the pulse of culture. He notes that it is not adults, but rather youth that instinctively and intuitively understand this type of “electronic drama.” This is where Halper’s work begins. Creating embroidered drawings from photographs of adolescents that she finds on social networking sites, Halper’s work questions the disappearing space between public and private online, the subversive use of fabric, needle and thread, and the role that technology plays in shaping adolescence. Her work questions the ways we look and observe, and how adults connect with the youth of today. These questions stem from both her personal experience as a parent, a love of the homemade craft, and an awkward relationship with the Internet.” – Excerpted from Essay by Alicia Eler 2013 When I began my series of embroidered drawings based on found photos and text from social media sites, I didn’t realize I watching the start of a revolution. And as always, our youth is at the center of change. I was a parent of teenagers when I discovered Facebook. My children’s friends “friended me” within minutes of joining the social media site and before I knew it I was privy to images documenting their every move. As a figurative artist, I was drawn to the hyper animated bodies celebrating life in the moment and I began to paint them. As I went deeper the work became more about me as a mother watching children on the brink of adulthood taking risks and sharing private moments in a way no generation ever has before. In wanting my art to reflect that connection I turned to my childhood love of needlecraft. And once I started to embroider the images I knew that my presence as a non-impartial voyeur was part of every thread. The choice of a medium so connected to domestic life, maternal caring and slow and thoughtful action is so at odds with the immediacy of the images and the very way our youth live their lives online. But as my series of work has evolved, so has this communication revolution. Facebook is no longer only for teenagers. The shorthanded language known as emoticons is now natural for many “old people” as well. The phone call is retreating to the background. Countries are making history with a simple “Tweet”. I continue to be fascinated by the enormous changes in our lives being made by digital communication. Sitting with needle and thread provides me with ample amounts of time to consider my children, the world they are creating and how it affects us all.

Daniel Belardinelli As a child and into his adulthood, Daniel Belardinelli (b. 1961) has struggled with verbal communication, an inability to focus his attention, and an addictive personality. By his mid teens he was a drug abuser and sexually promiscuous. He was expelled from several secondary schools and for colleges before eventually being diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability. While battling his many demons, Daniel always painted and drew. In this way, he found he could communicate. Making art also calms him. Therapy, Ritalin, and art have helped him to keep his demons (drugs, sex, adrenaline, shopping) at bay. His work generally combines childlike figures with popping eyes and gnashing teeth with boldly written text that can be confessional, ironic, philosophical, profane, or all of these things at once. Lately Daniel has been painting these diary-like picture-poems entirely with nail polish. Daniel’s work has been exhibited and collected all over the world (New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Montreal, Geneva). He was included in the “High On Life–Transcending Addiction” show at the American Visionary Art Museum (2002) and has work currently traveling in the museum group show “Revelations and Reflections of American Self Taught Artists” which will be seen in museums in New Jersey, Ohio, Missouri, and Colorado over the next three years.

 Andy Pawlan resides in Asbury Park, NJ. “I have been creating sculpture, art furniture, and fiber art for over thirty years. Irony and whimsy dominate my art. Resurfacing found objects is a way for me to express dichotomies like inner meaning versus outer meaning, façade versus core, child-play versus grown-up despair. The objects are chosen for their relationship to our present culture and their sculptural interest, positive and negative spatial relationships, and scale. Using glass seed beads that are both translucent and iridescent accentuates the play of light on the object and gives one the richness one finds in tapestries and mosaics. Gluing one bead at a time on an object satisfies my obsessive nature and gives each piece a power. The patterning and color relationships are mostly derived from nature, particularly felines, reptiles and insects.” –Andy Pawlan

Bill Barminski  is a self-taught artist whose work extends across a broad range of mediums including painting, interactive media, music videos, graphic design and music. His resume includes a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings, unique projects such as the E3 booth design for Nokia Interactive, the billboard design for Absolut Vodka, designing gas masks based on cartoon characters, and directing and co-directing music videos for Baz Lurhamn, Gnarls Barkley, and Death Cab for Cutie to name a few. Recent video projects have been featured at the Sun Dance Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Donald Edwards Donald Edwards is an artist, collector, and (self-proclaimed) hoarder living in Baltimore. He grew up in the artist colony of Provincetown Massachusetts and received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. Donald’s work is a process of collecting material from thrift stores, yard sales, out of dumpsters, from free stuff left on the side of the road, and saving things from work and home that would have other wise gone to the land fill. The materials collected inform the direction his work takes. His work has evolved from making spheres to figures, animals, wall hanging pieces, and installations. He strings objects together and wraps detritus together with twine, yarn, and wire salvaged from abandoned electronics to make new objects from old. These reinvented forms are made of all the disposable products that litter our homes, streets and lives. In his work he is trying to draw attention to our fetishization of consumer culture which starts at an early age.

Jesse Bowie has been living, working and creating in Sarasota since graduating from Ringling college in 2009. She enjoys a circus experience and loathes drawing the commonly accepted and expected “human form”. Instead she merges the celebrity portrait with other animal, creature and plant forms. Her final creations are amazing, humorous and often disturbing hybrids.