Richard Heipp, M.F.A.

Professor of Art

College of the Arts

2015 Awardee

Technology has forever altered the very nature of how we can create and look at painting, altering what painting is, and what painting can be. Richard Heipp is interested in this direct relationship to vision, conceptualization, interpretation and how it can effect artistic production.

One focus of his creative research confronts the way we “see” and the manner in which contemporary culture consumes images.  He concludes that the 21st century has brought about a significant difference between looking (the superficial way we digest most images) and seeing (a more profound looking which includes an aspect of contextual understanding).  It seems that we are so inundated with images from media, advertising and popular culture that the significance and meaning of an image is lost in the pollution of mass-produced imagery.

Heipp’s artworks examine how modern society “consumes” imagery, exploring the visual and conceptual implications of three paradigms of vision and image recognition (ways of looking and seeing).  The first, Ocular, represents the manner in which our brain perceives imagery through the human eye. The next, Lens, represents translation through a monocular, mechanical ground glass lens (the camera) and, last, Digital, representing a binary system that records imagery that is not perceptible to the unassisted human eye (i.e.: electron microscope, MRI).

Heipp’s artwork has been featured in more than twenty-five solo exhibitions, well over one hundred group exhibitions, and his work is included in numerous public and private collections nationally.  He has also been awarded more than twenty site-specific public art commissions through direct invitation or national competition.