Harper College

Faculty Exhibition 2022

style="font-size: 24px;">November 21 – December 8, 2022

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About the Exhibition

Harper College has an active studio art faculty. In addition to teaching, they are dedicated to making and exhibiting their own work. Collectively, they represent a wide range of concept and material approaches. This biennial exhibition provides an important opportunity for art faculty members to share their work with students, colleagues, and the community.

About the Artists

By The Shore, 2021

graphite on paper - 12" x 12”

A simple pencil drawing, depicting a sort of realism.    I find that invented landscape such as this satisfies my love of the natural world and allows me to employ narrative elements that suggest human activity that may or may not be menacing.  Often it is menacing. 

Black Bag, 2022

oil on panel, 6” x 13”

Plastic released into the wild, bad for the environment but visually interesting to me.

Space or Nothing at All, 2020

cast bronze, steel, acrylic mirror, enamel, 39” x 24” x 24”

My work is an extension of my interest in, and fascination with, outer space, the arrow of time, and the psychogeography of architecture and the environment. The objective of my research is to investigate these concepts and the moments that intersect with my own awareness and existence on Earth and in the greater universe. My work is contemplative and composed from creative bursts of energy combined with planning and long stretches of labor. I commonly use craft-based processes that allow me to meditate on being while projecting a sense of belonging into the cosmos.

Instagram: @the.phil.spangler.rodeo

Untitled 2, 2022

painted wood construction, 32” x 12” x 1.5”

This work is one of a current series inspired by the term "eye candy" and the idea of re-presenting banal forms as highly crafted artworks. I'm interested in making works that reside between art and everyday objects, abstraction and representation, and painting and sculpture. 


Wrapped in Plastic (X-Men #137), 2017

graphite on paper, 24” x 18”

This drawing is part of an ongoing series of paintings and drawings in which I am utilizing my comic book collection as still life objects. The series is an exploration of the tension between the individual object and mass mechanical production, the depiction of the illusion of representation, the effects of nostalgia and memory, and the distortion of strict observation.


Pin Save the Climate, 2022

Lapel Pins, Jacket, Stickers, Water Bottle, Wall Hooks, 36” x 24”

In 2019 I began a new collaborative project with local artist and educator Ryan Thompson. Pin Save the Climate was born out of our shared passion for climate justice and a determination to meaningfully contribute to this movement despite having many other professional and personal commitments. By day Ryan and I are artists, educators, and parents; by night, we design and produce pins and stickers that directly respond to our current ecological crises and that advocate for social change and climate justice. We distribute them through an organizational website and at local/regional fairs. We donate all the profits to youth climate organizations that we believe are one of the most effective frontlines in the battle against climate collapse.


Blushing Plant,2022

stoneware and glaze, 20” x 12” x 8”

I have strong childhood memories of venturing into the garden by myself early in the morning. I would pretend that I was in a rainforest, and go about collecting leaves, rocks, and other natural objects that became my provisions and sustenance for when the rains came. As an adult, I understand that this kind of play is a way of working through early experiences and making sense of the world. We do this as adults, too, of course, and this psychological processing now occurs through my art practice. I have come to understand gardens—backyards, botanical gardens, and vegetable gardens—as places for continual growth, renewal, and transformation. My sculptures of biomorphic, candy-colored, and fantastical plant forms represent myself, the people, and the cycles in my life.


Vessel, 2022,

ceramic, underglaze, flocking, 13x5x13”

Vessel explores themes of traditional pottery, pop culture, and political imagery. The intersection of these components can be used to express both personal and collective anxiety. Using the language and physical process of craft, Vessel brings a playful approach to serious topics using recognizable cultural iconography (The Handmaids’ Tale by Margaret Atwood), and the seemingly simple utility of a decanter. This functional object opens a dialogue about the simmering fears and turbulence of our political climate. Sharing a glass or two of whatever this decanter potentially holds, this piece facilitates a point of connection and shared concern between friends and acquaintances.

walky your talky, 2022

Mixed Media Collage, 23” x 27”

Collaboration is the shared energy that results in a shared physical and psychic space, in listening to another’s worldview or ideas, from watching how others find and define their purpose, and in being open.  It is through this kind of collaboration my children taught me how to play again.  They have reminded me how to make space for curiosity, and how to make art with no end goal in mind but to simply be with the process.  Collage is also a kind of collaboration.  Especially an intuitive gathering kind of collage.  I no longer physically collaborate with my children, as I did at one time.  Being a parent is an act of collaboration, compromise, and humility which has brought me to a kind of somatic/visual listening and responding in this work. 

Perform a Complexion (American Dream King), 2018

Color Swatches on Illustration Board, 14” x 11”

Perform a Complexion is a complementary piece to a series titled American Dream King. American Dream King explores the actions of pulling from the American melting pot and embodying a look or performance in hopes to live out one's American dream. The original series uses "Kings" Elvis and Michael Jackson as examples. As one embodied the then Black art of Rock-n-Roll and the latter brightened his skin, both in an effort to reach their American dream. 


Pond, 2022

cord, rope, glazed porcelain, SKOGSVIKEN towel rail, 72” x 24” x 6”

The piece reflects on grief and healing. The sequential process of creating it mirrors the mechanism of human memory that forms a new interpretation of events every time we recall them. The design flows from one part to another, with some areas becoming more defined, and some disappearing or dissolving into abstract shapes, collapsing and rebuilding several times. This fluidity of human memory is a powerful coping mechanism that allows the past to be rewritten to embrace the present.


I ask only for a little place in this world. 2022

digital print, 31” x 34”

These photographs were taken over a series of many months.  In a literal sense, they document a struggle by two people, anonymous and unseen to me, over a hollow at the base of a tree stump in a forest preserve.  But they also reveal what I perceive as a conflict between the desire to exist in a particular space and an intentional erasure by another.  Although constructing a shrine is an act of devotion, these photos, to me, are not about religion.  Instead, they suggest a contested site of presence, removal, and culture.

Rebaño, 2021

mixed media, 12” x 12"

Being in nature makes me feel small and insignificant. In collecting and cataloging the stones used in my series, “Permanence”, I engage with the aura of timelessness embodied by these objects, as well as the truth that they are, in fact, quite like us: we all transition over time. When I inspect a rock, I can project myself onto it, and envision the stories that these rocks could possibly tell. In these works, each individual stone carries as much meaning as the collective patterns they are situated within. The repetition is my ritual, merging the physicality of the world with my inner processes.

Orga Meta Bloop Darp, 2022

drawing on paper, pen, collage, marker - 14” x 17”

I want my work to reflect widened possibilities and connectedness, not only to the other forms within the work, but also to culture and humankind. The work should be a kind of evidence of a lived experience. I like to play with space, enmeshed in a mixed language of painting and drawing. A language that is mostly abstract but contains elements of calligraphy and recognizable objects.   I am creating a vast universe packed with meaning and a longing to communicate on a spiritual level. engaging in a process that creates a sense of motion, never quite obtaining equilibrium.  I like to push the illogical through interesting spatial relationships, using biomorphic form and color subtleties that favor intuition above all. Reactive and imaginative –an explanation of how the world feels, real color, in opposition of a prescribed, - realness, in opposition of our texture less screen existences- interested in light, illumination and the energy of that potential, open to interpretation, like everything around us. Intangibility both in appearance and theme.

Instagram: @annblaas

Wavering, 2022

ceramic, underglaze, and glaze, 26” x 20” x 20”

Heinrich’s practice is inspired by swinging from one theoretical ideal to the next. In this body of work, she focuses on the space in the threshold, right before you step into the next part of yourself. Wavering is a glimpse into a moment of vulnerability that needs protection and calls for independence. She is inspired by the loneliness of deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind.


Do you?, 2020

Intaglio (solar plate, aquatint), color pencil, watercolor, collage - 3 ½” x 5”

I am interested in the indirect nature of communication in our era of digital culture. This artwork takes inspiration from film stills. The simple portraits refer to the close-up shots employed in film to establish communication between two people. Close-up shots often convey direct communication and charged emotions. In my work, “close-ups” are used, but the downward cast eyes convey a lack of communication and a sense of sequestration.


White Ballet (Plaza 2), 2022

pigment print – 19.75” x 12.25”

This is the final work of a series utilizing mostly natural subjects on beaches (Plaza) along Lake Michigan. I felt very fortunate when finding the mushroom mostly intact in a relative’s back yard. There is no intent at a narrative but after looking there seems to be a certain 21st century political comment in the piece. 

Cartograph, 2022

light, aluminum, poplar, bronze, stainless steel hardware, 33” x 24” x 9”

Maps, and the information they contain, have informed my work for many years. I think a lot about space and place and how my work relates. A map can make sense of the space around you or transport you to another place.



Last Updated: 6/4/24