Ellen Heck

Ellen Heck is Rockport Center for the Art's 2016 Artist in Residence and will be working along side community artists from October 11 thru Nov 21. Ellen's residence studio will be in the Center's Garden Gallery. Her activities coincide with her solo show in the main gallery.

Ellen Heck has received degrees in printmaking and painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in philosophy from Brown University. She is currently living and working as a fine art printmaker in North Carolina. An artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute from 2009-2014, currently her work is in Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis, Davidson Galleries in Seattle, and Kala Art Institute in Berkeley.

My work is a study of identity - its creation,variability, persistence, and change. I am a print maker, often using multiple print processes to underscore this theme in physical ways. This newest portfolio, Fascinators, is series of portraits in which the sitters are wearing Möbius strips and other mathematical or paradoxical figures as hats.These forms could only be worn and held convincingly in the two-dimensional world of the print, though the surrealism is not immediately apparent. Combinations of woodcut, drypoint on copper, and hand painting, the flatness of the figures contrasts with the dimensionality of their headpieces and a narrative begins to open up between the adorned female figures and the Möbius -a physical manifestation of abstract or invisible concerns. Themes that arise include recurrent and paradoxical thinking, the age of reason, communication, femininity, and the choices we make that define identity and our own realities.

The Carolina Color Wheels are part of an ongoing series of multiple-panel compositions. This project is both a visual journal and systems-based color study in which I have used the color wheels as a foundation for creating large, sometimes serial, seemingly-abstract works.The wheels for each grouping are intaglio printed from the same plate, and serve as both a sub-structure and not-so-blank slate. I begin by considering one wheel at a time, often finding a particular theme for a panel and behaving as if it were a stand-alone piece. The wheel lends itself to organizing information, and I have used panels to chart the color of the surface of the San Francisco Bay over time, illustrate a fan deck for salmon dyeing, create palettes for complementary color schemes, and document a series of self-assigned systems that are often a chimerical mix of process and play.