Design Chat with Sarah Heller
November 15, 2013, 2:00 pm
209 Pence Hall (map it)
Sarah Heller is a Kentucky artist/California-licensed architect painting full-time at the Bread Box Studio Artists space in Lexington, Kentucky. Architecture and painting to her are synonymous. While practicing architecture as a career in LA for the past 10 years she has always painted privately. The waste of construction sites and her walks to work in West LA produce an endless supply of found objects that will inevitably end up in her art. She will often come home from a jobsite with paint samples, materials, or any dis- carded object that she finds beautiful. Heller creates a painting simultaneous to her pro- jects in construction. She is innately drawn to color, whether it’s in choosing color pal- ettes for a client or mixing her own pigments with minerals and dirt for a unique color on a canvas. Heller’s main focus in her current body of work is centered on using the prin- ciples proportion, composition, and color in combination with found objects to create a newfound aesthetic appreciation for their proportions and beauty, as well as an aware- ness of their disposability within American culture. Material sustainability is both her passion and cause as it relates to both art and architecture and often lectures on the topic.
Heller attended University of Kentucky’s College of Architecture and received her 5- year BArch degree in 1999 and her March degree in 2010. She then moved to Berlin and worked for Daniel Libeskind where she was on the winning competition team for the Extension to the Denver Art Museum. Upon returning to the States, she moved to Los Angeles and began working in some notable firms primarily focusing on residential design. Once she received her architecture license in 2006 she began working for her- self, gaining clients and acclaim for her design work, which is distinct in its use of bold colors, sustainable materials and methods, as well as an attention to details and one- of-a-kind features. Clients typically come to Heller in search of healthier living and green strategies that make their home more energy efficient as well as responsibly built in harmony with the environment. What they end up with is a house full of beautiful re- claimed materials, thoughtful connections, and a house with personality identifiable to the owner. In 2009 the economy pushed her back to Kentucky where she obtained her MArch with a thesis focused on Material Sustainabilty. She taught design studios and a Master’s course at University of Kentucky centered on topics of sustainability until 2012 when Heller made the decision to pursue her art and paint full-time.