Heidi Schwegler (b. 1967, San Antonio, Texas) explores a wide range of materials in the service of her subject matter, deftly incorporating found objects with traditional craft and sculpture media. She is drawn to the peripheral ruin, modifying discarded things in order to give them a new sense of purpose. "When it is no longer contextualized by function and ownership, the discarded thing's anonymity and ambiguity render it pervious to the imagination.” Such an object becomes a rich sources of investigation: “I consider its formal qualities as raw material – but a very particular raw material that is both new and an indicator of past use, past value and past purpose.”
Schwegler’s many accolades include a Hallie Ford Fellowship, Klaus Moje Award to attend Pilchuck Glass School, MacDowell Colony Fellowship and several RACC Individual Project Grants. In addition to Pilchuck and the MacDowell Colony, she was artist-in-residence at Yaddo, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and Bullseye Glass Company, among others. Notable exhibitions of her work include Portland2016: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, presented by Disjecta and curated by Michelle Grabner; The Art Gym at Marylhurst University in Oregon and the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska. Publications such as Art in America, Daily Serving and the Huffington Post, among others, have reviewed her work. Schwegler holds a BFA from the University of Kansas and MFA from the University of Oregon. She serves as Chair of the MFA in Applied Craft + Design, a joint program of the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft, in Portland, Oregon.
Schwegler recently received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. Her sculptural work Passing Resemblance, which is in the permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum, will go on view at the museum in 2018.