Banyon Tree Cavities

Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

The Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project records and preserves the voices of women visual artists in Iowa reflecting on their lives and their artwork. In 1998, creator and director Jane Robinette began interviewing Iowa women artists about their experiences and art practices. The interviews cover family and personal history, education, development as an artist, artwork, creative process, influences, and more. The Daily Palette is pleased to present excerpts of the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's 2008 updates that Robinette collected from the Project artists who were interviewed nine or ten years ago. Visit the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's website.

Banyon Tree Cavities, pencil, 24" x 29", 2007

Janet Hart Heinicke grew up in Richmond, Indiana. She graduated from Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio, and was an art educator in Indiana and Ohio before completing a master's degree in art education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Later, Heinicke earned a M.F.A. in painting and a doctoral degree in curriculum at Northern Illinois University, in De Kalb, Illinois. From 1982 to 2001, Heinicke worked as chair of the department of art at Simpson College in Indianola, and for thirteen of these years she also was chair of the Fine Arts Division. Though officially retired as Professor in 2001, she taught as adjunct faculty at Simpson until spring 2004. At present she teaches at the Des Moines Art Center and offers lessons in her home.

What motivates you to continue making art?
I think the source material for me has not changed a lot.  However, as I reflect upon several one-person exhibitions mounted about 1998 and 1999, especially the "Universality" show, where the ideas undergirding the work were so important to me that sometimes the work became didactic, I know that I have changed my intent and purpose in much of what I am producing presently.  In my studio I have a little quotation which I slid under the glass on the table where I work.  It says something to the effect that the artist should "continue the testimony of what humans have seen, believed, felt and thought; we must have the courage to ask ourselves what we really care about....if we do not know, we cannot express it.  To seek beauty and meaning in our lives is to bring it into our art."  I think that now is the time to "harvest the spiritual wonder of life."

Continue excerpt at the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

This page was first displayed
on June 25, 2008

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