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April 1, 2024

F-O-K Studios Artist Spotlight: Heather M. Cole

Meet Heather M. Cole

Heather’s artistic journey is a profound exploration of transformation, both conceptually and physically. Her fascination lies in the metamorphosis of things—how they can change, find new purposes, and undergo a complete transformation from their original state. Her work is a testament to her passion for reshaping common, everyday objects and materials into entirely new configurations and functions. It’s not just about altering the physical appearance but also about shifting the ambiance and, potentially, the thought processes of those who encounter her art.

In her creative process, Heather meticulously considers the life cycle of each original object, contemplating the path it takes to become something new. She begins by collecting discarded items, then proceeds to process them into materials through cleaning, cutting, and manipulation, eventually culminating in the assembly of the final piece. It’s a journey that mirrors the larger story of these objects as waste materials navigating through the world, often following diverse and sometimes destructive paths that impact our very existence.

Through her art, Heather aims to inspire viewers to reflect on their own actions and their potential to bring about change. She hopes to encourage individuals to reduce the negative impacts of their choices and, in doing so, contribute positively to the larger environment as a whole. Her work serves as a powerful catalyst for introspection and environmental consciousness, inviting us all to reconsider our roles in shaping the world around us.

Describe your art in three words

Eco conscious creativity

What medium(s) do you primarily work with?

Found material installations and objects, often plastic packaging

What themes or subjects do you commonly explore in your work?

Consumerism, eco concerns, creative thinking, thinking beyond the object, re-use

How did you start your journey as an artist?

I noticed something interesting and picked it up.

What or who are your biggest influences?

Things that are created to be discarded. Louise Nevelson. Arman. My grandparents made things from other things. 

Can you share a defining moment in your artistic career?

When my photographer friend and I took some photos of my work outside in the dark. I had been making light fixtures at the time and moving these to a different and unexpected environment completely changed what I wanted to do as a creative endeavor and I started looking at my work in a broader context.

How long have you had your studio at Farwell on Water?

10+ Years.

What do you love about working within the Farwell on Water community?

It has changed drastically over the years. I am interested to see how it will evolve.

How has the studio space contributed to your work?

Artist(s) need space. Physical space and mental space. My studio gives me that.

Do you have any upcoming shows or exhibitions?

I will have a three woman show at Artistry in Bloomington focused on eco and environmental issues. With Rachel Breen, Heather M. Cole and Shana Kaplow.

Artistry/ Inez Greenberg Gallery
Bloomington, MN
March 22 – May 12, 2024

What are your aspirations for the next year as an artist?

Develop a workshop. Travel for Artist Residencies. Do something totally new.

Is there anything else you would like to share or promote?

Please think. Think creatively. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle.

See more of Heather’s work on her website:

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A quiet hideaway between the bluffs and the banks of the Mississippi River, Harbourline offers 66 income-restricted units in the Farwell-on-Water development, located on
St. Paul’s west bank.