Heather Rigney’s first art show was in her living room at age eight. Rigney and her brother, Christian, self-juried, priced, and hung the show. Feeling the need for anonymity, the duo worked under assumed names. Christian went on to a very successful military career, while Rigney became an art teacher, artist, writer, jewelry designer, and all around quirky, crafty person.
Rigney has taught in the Warwick Public School System since 1997 and has taught many, many, skeptical, self-critical, insanely talented thirteen and fourteen year olds. She yearly participates in the Rhode Island Art Teacher’s Exhibition held at the Krause Gallery at Moses Brown. Other exhibitions include small showings at neighborhood coffee shops such as Little Falls Café in Pawtuxet Village, Cranston, RI and the Brooklyn Coffee and Tea House in Providence. In 2007, Rigney sold a work of art at auction to benefit the Children’s Art Center in San Francisco, California. Her work has also been featured in the Worcester Arts Magazine, “Blank Canvas.”
Until recently, Rigney generated large still-life paintings of the common donut utilizing acrylics on canvas. Her most recent works, however, concentrate more on the exploration of various materials and surfaces. Using collage techniques, Rigney builds a foundation on found surfaces such as discarded canvases (from skeptical, self-critical students) and record albums. She uses 2-D materials that pass through her life such as bingo cards; unused grade book sheets; discarded copies from the copy-room reflecting teaching materials from math, English, science, music, etc; discarded library check-out cards from the back of discarded library books; pages from said books; as well as unwanted wallpaper and wrapping paper. Using vibrant colors, Rigney has finally brought the characters that have haunted her sketchbooks to her paintings. With her signature use of unbalanced, over-sized eyes, and armless torsos, Rigney’s surreal females depict whimsy, fantasy, and subtle beauty. She sincerely hopes they make you smile.
Send me a note on facebook if you would like to attend the Museum Opening on June 12, 2009.