Category Archives: Latest Works

Kim Vanderheiden, “Pando” (2016)

The Right to Remain Human now open at Dominican University

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“Kim Vanderheiden: The Right to Remain Human” opening reception tonight at Dominican University in San Rafael.

You have a right to remain human.
What you say can and will be heard by people who care about you.
You have the right to kindness, dignity, and connection to others.
If you have caused harm through criminal intention or negligence, you have the following obligations:
to listen and make reparations to the extent that you’re able;
to reveal your life openly to assist in preventing future harm;
to commit yourself to a path that prevents repeat offense.
If you are not willing or able to meet your obligations, your freedoms will be restricted to ensure public safety. Do you understand these rights and obligations? With these in mind, do you wish to speak openly about what happened and why?

January 17 – March 18, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 26th, 5:00-7:00 pm
Presentation and Walk-through: Friday, February 10th, beginning at 10:50 in 112 Guzman Hall
Closing Reception: Sunday, March 5th 3:30-5:00 pm


Dominican University
San Marco Gallery – Archbishop Alemany Library
50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901
phone: 415.485.3251
Gallery/Library Hours:
M-Th 8:00 am – midnight    F 8:00 am-10:00 pm
Sa 9:00 am – 9:00 pm    Su 2:00 pm – midnight

The Right to Remain Human to Open at Dominican University

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Detail from “Lady Justice” (2015)

Kim Vanderheiden, detail from “Lady Justice” (2015) 70×100 inches, acrylic, letterpress, pen & ink, solar etching, pencil, watercolor on torn paper collage

Dates are now firm at Dominican University’s San Marco Gallery – “Kim Vanderheiden: The Right to Remain Human” showing from January 17th – March 18th, 2017. The opening reception is on Thursday January 26th, 4-6 pm, in the San Rafael, California. The San Marco Gallery is located on campus at the main entry of the Alemany Library building.

Follow here more about “The Right to Remain Human”

Kim Vanderheiden, “Black : White : Truth” (2015)

Kim Vanderheiden, “Black : White : Truth” (2015) 18×18 inches, letterpress, acrylic, pen & ink, torn paper collage.

Kim Vanderheiden, “Truth” (2015)

Kim Vanderheiden, “Truth” (2015) 18×18 inches, Letterpress, pen & ink, torn paper collage.

 

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Damian: portrait of an ISIS recruit, and a mother’s child

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Damian Clairmont

Damian Clairmont,” for the Blanket Project, an ongoing online exhibition. Kim Vanderheiden, pencil and ink, 2016.

Damian grew up in Calgary, Canada. After a period of severe depression as a teen that led to a suicide attempt after his 17th birthday, he converted to Islam. As his outlook became more positive, and he began to heal and socialize again, his family supported his new faith. After Damian moved away from home, he joined a new mosque, was approached by an Islamic State recruiter, began seeking extreme content online, and became radicalized, unbeknownst to his family. He went to Egypt, ostensibly to study Arabic. Shortly after, the Canadian government reported to his mother that he was suspected of being in Syria fighting with ISIS. He died at age 22, near Aleppo, executed by the Free Syrian Army.

His mother, Christianne Boudreau shares her son’s story with the public, working to educate families to be more aware of the process of radicalization and how to fight it. She began the Mothers for Life Network, which offers a support network for families who have lost loved ones to extremism. She also recommends extremedialogue.org for educational resources to counter extremist messages.

Here is a more detailed account of Christianne’s and Damian’s story (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/20/christianne-boudreau-son-isis_n_6911110.html ) Many other articles can be found online as well

This image of Damian was drawn from a home video provided by his family.

The Blanket Project is based on the swaddling blanket that many local children receive from hospitals as newborns. There are some people we feel great compassion for but don’t know how to help. There are some who require a lifetime of care, but we may forget about them in the busy day to day of our own lives. There are some for whom we may not feel inclined towards compassion because what they’ve done upsets us. There are some who are lost, and we don’t know how to reach them. There are some who have faced unimaginable pain, perhaps with great courage or perhaps not. In this body of work, I hope to share the holding of each person in heart and mind as we would our own child.

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Baby Zika

Baby Zika” for Blanket Project, an ongoing online exhibition. Kim Vanderheiden, pencil and ink, 2016.

For the children disabled by Zika and their families, in whichever country they live, that they may receive needed care and support throughout their lifetimes.

The Blanket Project is based on the swaddling blanket that many local children receive from hospitals as newborns. There are some people we feel great compassion for but don’t know how to help. There are some who require a lifetime of care, but we may forget about them in the busy day to day of our own lives. There are some for whom we may not feel inclined towards compassion because what they’ve done upsets us. There are some who are lost, and we don’t know how to reach them. There are some who have faced unimaginable pain, perhaps with great courage or perhaps not. In this body of work, I hope to share the holding of each person in heart and mind as we would our own child.

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Justice Conversation

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Do you have an idea, a quote, an author, a story, an image to share relating to any one of our justice systems? Please join the conversation!

You can also add by emailing me at “justice at kim vanderheiden dot com.”

I will kick things off by sharing why I have this page. When I began working on law-related artwork, I was looking at how our legal rights have evolved. Who and what was protected, and by and from whom? Whenever I talked to someone about where the justice system should evolve next, I heard so many interesting things that people had to say. I’ve been making artwork to share my own opinions, but I would love to record some of the other voices I’m hearing too. (more…)

A Tour: Words that Glimmer

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Thank you to everyone who has visited the show of my work at the Alameda County Law Library, “Words that Glimmer, Words that Break.” It meant so much to me to see each of you who came out to the reception. Here is an abbreviated tour for those who have not had the chance to go. It’s up for another two weeks. If you would still like to see it, I hope you’ll get a chance to stop by!

Law is Love

“Law Love” by Kim Vanderheiden, 15×15″ letterpress on handmade and mould made paper collage, ©2015

Indeterminate Language

The show includes twenty “Indeterminate Language” pieces, such as the one shown above. The centers contain a single letterpressed word, or grouping of words, that are so imbued with meaning: legal, historical, literal, metaphorical, cultural, spiritual, or personal, that the words become difficult to define and often represent differing meanings among various individuals.  The torn paper on the outer perimeter of the circles was handmade in my studio using pulp from the scraps of the Hush and Justice pieces, and torn, outdated “pocket parts.” Pocket parts are legal code updates that are stored in a pocket in the back cover of some legal reference books.

The text on the wall beside these works reads,

“Define ‘Art,’ or ‘Beauty.’ Although the words are used commonly, everyone sees them through their own personal lens. The nature of language to be indeterminate is both a blessing and a curse. It makes poetry beautiful, but renders legal code difficult to write and understand. Despite tremendous effort given to pinning down meaning through complicated legal language, the ambiguous nature of words still leaves the window open to successfully argue positions that are outside the law’s intent.

The length and complexity of our laws and contracts attempt to thwart the effects of indeterminate language. But does this solution help citizens to live by our laws, or may it actually cause infractions because citizens don’t know what these documents say?”

Crime Life Poetry

“Crime Life Poetry” by Kim Vanderheiden, 15×15″ letterpress on handmade and mould made paper collage, ©2015

On the back wall of the library is “Hush!” The Miranda Warning is printed in a chorus of typefaces on the torn, bits of paper that make the leafy background. Lines of the Miranda Warning are further echoed in the sticks of the nest.

Hush!

“Hush!” by Kim Vanderheiden, 42×66″ monotype, letterpress, pen and ink, solar etching, pencil, watercolor, and acrylic on torn paper collage, ©2015.

The sign beside “Hush!” says,

“In our communities, our children are taught to discuss problems, yet in legal settings we maintain silence, lest words break ourselves or loved ones. This right to remain silent is intended to protect and derives from the Fifth Amendment, which in turn has its roots in the Magna Carta. But silence conceals the truth and suppresses the roots of transgression. Thus it lends scant scaffold for recovery or growth to either the victim or the violator.

Could it be possible to open painfully difficult situations to a process that uncovers the truth without placing the accused in a situation where they must be protected from the effects of the legal system?”

 

Detail of silent people from “Hush!”

The sparrowhawk detail from "Hush!" by Kim Vanderheiden

The sparrowhawk detail from “Hush!”

To the right of Hush! on the side of the stairs, is a mural sized piece. It was finished the night before it was installed. I took the photo below at four in the morning on the day that I finished it, just before I began mounting the backing on it for installation in the show.

Justice_JustFinished

“Justice” as seen immediately after the works completion, on April 29th. 72×108,” Acrylic, letterpress, pen & ink, watercolor pencil, and solar etching on paper collage, ©2015

Here is the text beside “Justice” at the library,

“In our communities, we teach our children to apologize and forgive, yet many of our courthouses sport an icon of Lady Justice that favors retribution rather than accountability. Our icon pits two sides against each other, which conjures corrosive argument. She is blindfolded rather than seeing truth or expressing compassion. She cuts down and casts out the guilty, ignoring that they, too, are our children.

What effect might it have on our justice system if we change our cultural image, our icon, of ‘Justice?'”

Justice's Face

detail of Justice’s face

Justice_Nest

Detail of the nest and people in Justice’s arms.

Justice_detail_manwalking

Detail of man walking in the bindweed garden, from “Justice.”

Justice_NursingSkipping

Detail of figures in the bindweed garden, from “Justice.”

 

Words that Glimmer, Words that Break

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Detail of "Hush" from Words that Glimmer, Words that Break

Detail from “Hush.” Torn paper collage, monotype, watercolor, letterpress ink and pencil. 42×54″, 2015.

Friday May 1st, Words that Glimmer, Words that Break will make its debut at the Alameda County Law Library.   We will be having an opening reception from 4-6 p.m.  Here are directions to library, at 125 12th Street, in Oakland.  An addition parking option can be found at the Oakland Museum of California on Oak Street.

The art in this exhibit seeks to explore this by examining fissures between language and values expressed in our legal system and those voiced in our communities. You have the right to remain silent. Do you have the right to remain human?

June 15th marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. This document was written to broker peace between King John of England and powerful barons rebelling against him. For members of England’s nobility, known as freemen, it called for a number of restrictions to the king’s power– among them, the right to a fair and timely trial as overseen by ones peers.

Magna Carta was subject to many revisions over the coming decades. In the 17th century, its wording was drawn upon to found the writ of habeus corpus and the Petition of Right, which guarantees due process under the law. In 1776, the founding fathers of the United States used these principles to craft a constitution that extended personal liberties to a broader range of citizens. The conviction that these ideals should apply to all people, regardless of race or gender, developed only in the last century.

Thus has law slowly shifted, since the Magna Carta of 1215, from serving the top of a pyramid to serving an ever more encompassing circle of those who live under it.

Yet work remains to be done. The barons of the 13th century sought to protect their lives, estates, and inheritances. The founding fathers sought to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So far, our legal system has not been charged with the protection of our humanity, integrity, and relationship to each other.

 

Hard at Work

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I’m just over one week away from installing the work for my upcoming show, “Words that Glimmer, Words that Break” at the Alameda County Law Library. Most of the 30 pieces in the show are brand new works, and I’ve been working so hard to complete them!

Below is a sneak peek. Stay tuned for some written background on these deeply meaningful works.

The show will run May 1st through June 12th, 2015. The Alameda County Law Library is at 125 Twelfth Street in Oakland, CA. They’re open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 6 pm and Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 am to 9 pm.

Please join us for the artist’s reception on Friday May 1st from 4-6 pm. This is a first Friday, and the Oakland Museum’s “Off the Grid” is right across the street. We’ll be heading from the reception to the museum, and then on to hit the galleries for Oakland Art Murmur. It will be a fun night – Come with us!

 Detail from a piece entitled, "Hush!" about the dilemmas of maintaining protective silence during legal proceedings.

Detail from a piece entitled, “Hush!” about the dilemmas of maintaining protective silence during legal proceedings.

 

The sparrowhawk from a piece entitled, "Hush!" about the dilemmas of maintaining protective silence during legal proceedings.

Sparrowhawk detail from “Hush!”

 

The paper brick wall of "Graffiti for Nerds" is being redressed with legal language for it's return to the public eye.

The paper brick wall of “Graffiti for Nerds” is being redressed with legal language for it’s return to the public eye.

 

Truth

“Truth,” a detail from a series of pieces on the nature of language to be indeterminate, making poetry beautiful, and legal code as difficult to write as to understand.

 

IMG_0352

Indeterminate Language: Crime, Life, Poetry

 

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Indeterminate Language: “Justice, Justice”

 

 

Art/Act Award: Maya Lin at the Brower Center

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Maya Lin's poured silver work of the San Francisco Bay, on view at The Brower Center Sept 19th 2014 - February 4th 2015. Image courtesy of The Brower Center.

Maya Lin’s poured silver work of the San Francisco Bay, on view at The Brower Center Sept 19th 2014 – February 4th 2015. Image courtesy of The Brower Center.

Letterpress interpretation of Maya Lin's poured silver work of the San Francisco Bay. Invitation created by Painted Tongue Press for the Brower Center Art/Act Award in 2014.

Letterpress interpretation of Maya Lin’s poured silver work of the San Francisco Bay. Invitation created by Painted Tongue Press for the Brower Center Art/Act Award in 2014.

As part of my role at Painted Tongue Press, I’ve had the pleasure recently of creating a letterpress invitation featuring the artwork of Maya Lin, on the occasion of the David Brower Center’s annual Art/Act Award. I wanted to take a moment to share a little about this special event with you.

The David Brower Center in Berkeley offers education and arts programs to support and sustain social and environmental activism. The Art/Act award is presented by the Center each year to honor an established artist who has devoted a significant portion of their practice to transforming perceptions and enticing action.

This year, the Center honors acclaimed sculptor and architectural designer, Maya Lin.  Lin is known widely for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Her recent work calls attention to threatened ecosystems. Following Hurricane Sandy, Lin began addressing  the fragility of bodies of water around the world, creating abstract wall sculptures to represent entities like the San Francisco Bay and Tuolumne River, both of which will be featured at the Center.  Art/Act: Maya Lin will also highlight the What is Missing? project, dedicated to documenting vanishing species and environments around the world through an interactive website. As part of this year’s Art/Act, the Center is partnering with Heyday Books’s Malcolm Margolin to add an in-depth exploration of the Bay Area’s environmental history as a permanent contribution to the What is Missing? project.

To view the exhibit:
Visit the David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m
Free and open to the public.

To attend the Private Reception:
On Sunday, September 28th from 6-8 pm
is a private reception for Brower Center supporters.
Tickets are $250. If you are interested, ticketing is available here:  https://secure3.4agoodcause.com/david-brower-center/register.aspx?eventid=14

Please purchase your ticket by Thursday, September 25. If you have questions, Jackie Hasa at the Brower Center is available to help: 510-809-0900 x156.