AL Heilman Art
July 06, 2020
This blog was published in the Conroe currier as letter to the editor May 7th 2020.
As I reflect on this past week, so many things have changed for me. I closed my Houston Gallery at Winter Street that I shared with Patrick Palmer. This was due to concerns about future exposure and my health. We have a great relationship and I loved the opportunity to work together at the gallery. Closing was a sad process that brought clarity to the fact that we are living in a "new normal". The only person in charge of my health is me, not the politicians who are betting against the doctors and guessing that early openings will not cause a backlash in cases and deaths. We still have no treatment for this virus. Until we do have a vaccine, we need to take precautions.
Then came the horrible images and the the death of George Floyd. It brought to light the large disparity of how we treat people in our country and how the vurus is disproportionately effecting minority's. This is not the first time, and I fear that the uproar will only get worse unless we can learn to treat each other with equal respect and and provide equal access to health care.
It appears as if some of our politicians have much different agendas. Being bullied and offering attacks on people will never bring people together.
It is time to really listen and feel the pain so many have. We need to learn from our fellow humans how we can all work together non-violently. We need to all be treated equally by the police and under our laws. We all have the same rights and needs for safety, respect and a right to be heard.
We are capable of change and healing. I hope that those who are in morning can find a way to heal. Having recently lost my Mom, I can offer that this process is not a fast or easy one. To have the violence and issues on top of this is unfortunate and something that is horrible.
As an Artist, I work with vessels and healing. I hope this vessel will be a seed for change and healing. Healing is possible in this difficult time. It will take time, reflection and change to forge a new way forward.
Be safe, healthy and social distance.
May 31, 2020
Amen to this.
July 06, 2020
July 06, 2020
July 06, 2020
One of my first creative steps was when I built a Soap Box Derby car. On my 3rd attempt I won the local Soap Box Derby in DeKalb, Illinois. That qualified me for the national race in Akron, Ohio. That was exciting, even though I lost. But, I learned that you have to pay careful attention to detail. On my first attempt, I had the steering cable wrapped backwards on the steering column and ended up hitting a hay bail at the end of the course!
I loved photography at an early age. As a teenager I built a darkroom. Photography is still is a passion of mine: I photograph daily in my creative process. I went to a university run lab school for Junior High. I used a binary computer with punch tapes as an entry tool…55 years ago. We had a wood and metal shop at the school. In High School I gravitated to the drafting classes and wood and metal shop: Learning to visualize and think in 3 dimensions is a gift from those classes. I have designed and built many homes, including my current lake home/studio. I seriously considered studying architecture in college, but medicine won me over.
I always believed that healing was my natural calling. When I was younger, I went to pharmacy school, then, to medical school. This led to my becoming an orthopedic spine surgeon: Over twenty-five-years, I helped many people, with broken and injured spines, stand up straight and regain function. But, being 6’8”, the years of my bending over an operating room table caught up with my genetic inheritance. Knowing a life’s journey never follows a straight line, my body challenged me to develop a new paradigm once I left the operating room.
I use the sunrises and sunsets as my palette and the changes in nature as my inspiration. This provides me an evocative and healing ethos. I count myself lucky to live my passion. My work communicates a feeling of peace, harmony and a profound respect for nature and humanity.
I also explore the social issues we face as humans and as a society. My work brings attention to the recognition and acceptance of the many wounds that have been present in our society for far too long. We all need to work together so that we have equal access to the law, education and healthcare no matter what our race or color. Examples of this work are three pieces: Black Lives Matter, Genes, and SOS: Our Guns or Our Children.
Black Lives Matter
Fused Glass with acrylic on canvas covered wooden panel. 30x30 x3
Fused Glass mounted on a Canvas covered wooden panel, Acrylic. 30x30x3
SOS: Our Guns or Our Children
30 x 30 x 3 Fused glass on canvas covered panel with acrylic and colored pencil.
One of the challenges I face every day is getting to and staying in the creative flow. I am not afraid of failure, experimenting and taking risks. Much of my work goes through an ugly or challenging phase, before the final finishes and additions. I have learned to push through, not stopping until I feel whole. Art, on my best days, is nirvana, peace and ecstasy. On bad days, it provides a meditative internal mind therapy. I have learned to use problems and roadblocks as a stimulus for creativity.
My work is sold online thru this website. During the Covid 19 pandemic I have closed my in-person galley due to health exposure risks. If you are interested in a work or a commission let me know, and we can facilitate the process. I appreciate your time spent visiting this website. Stay safe and wear a mask when around others.