Sense of Place Activities: It is Never Too Late

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It is Never Too Late

Today, let’s look at art by cubist-inspired artist, Jeannette Heiberger, a heritage member of the Wichita Falls Art Association. Following the spirit of ‘it is never too late,’ Jeannette began seriously studying art in her mid 50s, producing her personal creative style for 39 more years.

The early part of her life was standard for the time – she grew up in Oklahoma, married, and raised her children. At this point she decided to take her art to a remarkable level. She enrolled at Maryland School of Art and Design in Baltimore, where she studied with Oscar Chelminsky and graduated earning a BFA with honors. As she developed her figurative abstract style, her process was to mix colors, sketch, push paint on her canvas, and sketch more. At one point she filled 30 sketchbooks in pursuit of her goal of “pushing paint to reach my objective: ambiguity between abstraction and image.”*

Jeannette Heiberger was inspired by her “sense of place.” Having grown up familiar with Native American history and tradition, she gained a passion to document the vanishing native Texoma history and culture, particularly public ceremonies and their color and movement.

Jeannette was another regional artist that I was fortunate to befriend. Hours were spent discussing how she achieved such expressive work. I am even the proud owner of her reference library and her well-used painting brushes. Despite starting her career in her 50s, these personal pieces show her natural talent in capturing her love of Native American culture and her passion to paint in the abstract figurative style.

*The Art of Jeannette Heiberger: Honoring Native American Contributions to Texoma Culture; Pride of Place (educational curriculum), https://wfma.msutexas.edu/…/08/Pride-in-Place-curriculum.pdf (2013).