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Meet Lorraine Heitzman, Independent Artist/Writer in Eagle Rock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorraine Heitzman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lorraine. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been making art in some form or another for most of my life. I earned my graduate degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and have exhibited my sculpture, paintings and collages in Chicago, where my career began, and in Los Angeles. As an outgrowth of my sculpture installations, I became involved with designing custom furniture and interiors as well as with many aspects of decorating including mosaics and specialty finishes. Living in the heart of the movie and television industry also led to work on features and commercials. Around four years ago, a friend was looking for content related to the arts for her business website. On a whim, I decided to try writing about my personal experiences as an artist and about the art community in general. That led to my current work writing art reviews for Art and Cake and Riot Material, two online art magazines. Now, I divide my time between writing and my studio seeking to find that elusive balance between words and materials.

Has it been a smooth road?
Roads are never entirely smooth and worse than the bumps are the detours. However, both are necessary if you want to end up somewhere interesting. Although I always did something related to art, I didn’t always follow a straight path. Sometimes doing things that seemed practical at the time sidetracked me; like setting up an Etsy shop, making copper enamel jewelry or promoting my furniture designs. I undertook those endeavors because I was trying to earn a living and liked making things, but I should have realized that at heart I am not an entrepreneur. So to the extent that these experiences taught me about myself, they proved to be valuable and I don’t regret them. And I have found that trying something is preferable to be stuck, even if you don’t know why you are doing it. The creative process is such a curious thing. It is important to remain open to opportunities and ideas so it is best to give yourself over to impulses even if they turn out to be dead ends. As a rule, an artist should always struggle. If the road is too smooth and too easy you are probably not challenging yourself. My challenge now is to balance my two disciplines and continue to find opportunities to exhibit and publish. I am also looking forward to curating a show if the right situation presents itself.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My artwork has evolved over the years around the theme of architecture and the use of unorthodox and found materials. Currently, I am working on a series of cardboard assemblages that reference buildings in my neighborhood and surrounding Southern California area. I have always been drawn to architecture beginning with a series of small-scale sculptures of houses made while I was in undergraduate school. I began working with cardboard in an effort to work cheaply and quickly but I immediately liked how the material could suggest
structures and shapes very minimally. This work was in response to an earlier series of intricate collages I had made about churches that were pieced together entirely from postcards. In both series, I emphasize how I see buildings in the landscape and as two-dimensional shapes. My art is not limited to architecture, however. Many of my collages and assemblages are abstract but I think that all of my art expresses a common sensibility.

My writing is a very different process and is informed by my experience as an artist. When I look at art I am looking at many things: the artist’s intent, the materials and execution and even how the work appears in the gallery or museum. Mostly, I like to focus on my visceral response to the work. The challenge is to be able to articulate something that is essentially non-verbal. I hope to bring everything I’ve got to the experience, from my art practice to my knowledge of art history. I don’t pretend to be an academic because that is not who I am, but I think there is value in trying to express yourself and sharing your point of view and that applies to writing as well as art.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
At the moment the art scene in Los Angeles is full of vitality. There are a large number of galleries, new museums, and artists in areas all over the city. Borders are being extended and some barriers are breaking down but the difficulties for artists still remain. Generally, artists are under-supported and undervalued and workspaces are too expensive. However, if you are resourceful and lucky there is a wonderful community to discover here. More grants, low-cost housing and studio spaces would help foster the arts that in return contribute tremendously to the culture and finances of the city.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Lorraine Heitzman

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Ellie SellGoldstein

    April 12, 2018 at 02:16

    Lovely article your parents should be very proud
    Say Hi to Charlie

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