Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

Heather Mae Erickson


Heather Mae Erickson


Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 pm


VAC 1B20, CU-Boulder

Through my work, I strive to inform my audience of who I am as an artist, educator and human being.  I am interested in reaching beyond the confines of the art world and interacting with a variety of individuals from around the world.  Our knowledge of the objects used in the dining ritual, and their assigned functions, which is born of historical usage and innate familiarity, is limiting and lacks creativity and vision.  I explore the possibility of changing the way we treat the vital ritual of dining.  By designing functional tableware, I seek to direct the eye, hand and mouth to treat food differently.

My work raises awareness of the situation and sparks contemplation before merely devouring the elements.  I am focused on creating new ways of containing and using these functional objects.  I question function through combining the common and understood methods of use, and proposing new formats.  I take simple objects, functions or aspects, and combine opposing elements through multiplicity, size or orientation.  A prime example that puts my vision into practice is utilizing the concept of the waiters’ serving tray and morphing it together with an enlarged spoon to create a truly unique appetizer platter.

I continuously pose questions to myself that enhance the guidelines and starting points.  By broadening my scope, the possibilities for containing or displaying food become endless.  It is easy to get stuck on the idea that a cup or bowl must take on a specific shape in order to serve its purpose.  I do not really think in those limiting terms anymore.  I focus my energies on thinking about a container, without preconceived ideas, and I know that my container can be any shape or size that I desire.

Erickson earned her BFA at The University of the Arts, majoring in Crafts with a concentration in Art Education.  Continuing her studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art, she earned an MFA in Ceramic Art.  After the following summer as a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, Erickson was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to conduct independent research at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland from 2004-2005.

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