New Orleans, Louisiana
Sally Heller is a multi-material based artist who creates recognizable yet improbable landscapes constructed from cultural detritus. A modern-day bricoleur, savvy cultural hacker and urban archaeologist, Heller assembles a litany of mundane materials and cultural castoffs into recognizable yet improbable environments that cleverly fuse macro and micro, architectural and organic, artifice and nature. Fully aware of the central, and often contradictory, importance of mass culture and its relationship to contemporary art, she is far more interested in the literal connection between her materials and the context in which they are being deployed.
Exhibition highlights include a one person show at the George Ohr Museum in 2020, a solo show at the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, a large installation in the entrance of Bergdorf Goodman, New York and a large outdoor work as a satellite show for Prospect 3, the New Orleans triennial. In 2008, she received a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation to construct an outdoor sculpture, and is currently in a residency at the Joan Mitchell Center. Other exhibitions include a one person exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Science and Art, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, the Miami University Art Museum, Richard Peeler Art Center, Indiana and the Lawndale Art Center in Houston.
She has been awarded residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Civitella Ranieri, Umbertide, Italy, the Vermont Studio School, Johnson, Vermont and Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY. She holds a BS from University of Wisconsin and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Joan Mitchell Center Residency, 2021
My latest body of work involves the use of conveyor belts that I transform by painting and reconfiguring their various components. The end results, like tapestries, have an almost woven effect. I often think of bright, acidic color when I paint these plastic surfaces due to their strong artificial quality; it is my interest to heighten the mass manufactured characteristics of these materials and ultimately spin them into something artistic and beautiful.”