Heather Heitzenrater has always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy novels; what fascinated her the most involved the characters’ traveling to faraway lands, much different than our own. These portals left her completely spellbound, and Heitzenrater would imagine herself stumbling upon one, awaiting the wonders on the other side. She wanted to find a world that beckoned her in with its allure of mystery and enchantment. Heitzenrater's paintings incorporate the figure with reflective Mylar. Its silver, liquid-like surface forms abnormal shapes and catches magnificent colors from its surroundings. Reflections contort images in ways that makes us see things differently. It creates abstract images in real life by twisting and bending to the point where objects and places are intangible. Heitzenrater uses these reflections to create a world full of chaos and curiosity. The Mylar acts as the portal that ties the real world to the unknown. It pulls the figure into this thin space between worlds. Sometimes, the Mylar wraps itself around the figure as if it has arms or as if the figure disintegrates into the portal. Each figure reacts to this action in a diverse and unique way; fear, anger, intrigue, confusion, or sometimes nostalgia of a time long ago. Heitzenrater plans on continuing her exploration with Mylar to see what other worlds it will transport her to.
Heitzenrater (b. 1992) grew up in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania. She now lives with her husband and their two cats in Pittsburgh. She received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2015. Her artwork has been shown at the Erie Art Museum, BoxHeart Gallery, Baton Rouge Gallery, and various other galleries across the country. Her paintings have been published in Poet Artist Magazine, and featured on Buzzfeed, Minus 37, and Booooooom. Along with exhibiting her artwork, Heitzenrater teaches art workshops at Pittsburgh Center of the Arts and is a Scenic Artist at ScareHouse. She shares a studio space with her husband, Christopher Boring, at Radiant Hall Susquehanna.
View images from Heitzenrater's 2017 BoxHeart Exhibition, Thresholds.