Heather Kanazawa still remembers the way the cool, crisp blues cut through formations of trees in the woods. Or the way the ripples in the water looked on a cool spring day. In her paintings, both memory and process serve as key elements. She is able to thoroughly memorize these past memories in order to investigate them, providing descriptive imagery.
Kanazawa's paintings are studies of memory and place. Her artwork is mainly abstract, because she feels that most memories are simply recordings of colors, textures, or sounds. She develops them, adding and subtracting paint, scraping, taking away, and playing with color and texture. It is through this process that her artwork begins to develop and feel fully realized. Kanazawa works intuitively and lets the act of painting guide her through each step. It is through this process that she is able to convey a sense of depth in her artwork. Her goal is for the painting to take on its own voice and, in essence, to become another place other than the initial trace of memory.
Recent paintings are documentations of travel, particularly of time spent in Japan and the influence of Japanese life. Kanazawa seeks to record feelings and emotions, as well as essential moments of being and existence in a culture infused by the idea of “Zen” and meditation, as well as the fast-paced atmosphere of daily work life embedded in the culture.
Kanazawa was born in Pittsburgh PA in 1984. She received her BFA in 2007 and her MA in Art Education in 2011 from Edinboro University. Recent exhibitions took place at Glass Growers Gallery in Erie PA, Crary Art Gallery in Warren PA, and the Wellsville Creative Arts Center in Wellsville NY. She currently lives in Edinboro Pennsylvania.
View images from Heather's 2020 exhibit Remnants of Life. Save the date for Heather's upcoming exhibit, August 7th - September 27th, 2024.