Staff Art Show spotlight: Allison Heady

In this series, we’ll highlight several artists in the 40th Annual Staff Art Show whose work is on exhibit in Gallery I (Elevator F, Level 8) and Gallery IV in the Fountain Lobby (Elevator C, Level 1) through Thursday, Aug. 30.

Allison Heady

Allison Heady, a clerk at University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, has been creating art for several years, but began studying “the figure” three years ago. Her piece in the Staff Art Show is titled, “Say What?”

Q: How would you describe your art style?

A: Diverse. I’m currently hard at work with a series of 26 portraits. My work can range from print making to electronic interactive mobiles that respond to moving shadows.

Q: What materials do you use in your art?

A: My piece in the art show predates my series, so I originally used crayons. Although, for the portraits I’m working on now, I use colored pencils.

Q: What was the process for making the piece that’s in the show?            

A: When submitting a piece in the art show, you have to give the dimensions and a name. I gave them a name that could fit three different portraits I was working on until I decided which one I would choose.

For the piece I ended up choosing, I layered crayon onto watercolor paper, which is a hard, textured surface that allows me to control the depth and nuance of color. The ever-increasing layers and careful blending techniques on watercolor paper creates an unconventional, yet magical outcome. I’ve modified this piece for a few years; in fact, I’ve fine-tuned it since I decided to submit it.

Q: What led you to doing art/making this type of art?

A: I love creating. I went to art school, which trained me in the figure, and I attend a weekly drawing session in Cedar Rapids, where models come and pose for an hour and a half. Afterwards, I typically spend significant time finishing my drawings.

Q: What do you find most enjoyable about submitting your art in the Staff Art Show?

A: I love the Staff Art Show. I’ve submitted my work for about decade. It’s a very enjoyable experience. It improves all of our work lives by getting to know each other better, and I love that my coworkers get to experience a deeper understanding of me.

“Say What?” by Allison Heady