A Kalamazoo College alumna who got her start in art as a child by making creations out of everything from McDonald’s containers to acorns, will be the guest of honor in a reception highlighting her recent work at the Light Fine Arts Gallery.
The Department of Art and Art History is presenting COVID Purse Diary, an exhibition by alumna Heather Boersma ’89, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 12. In the exhibit, Boersma uses recycled materials and random objects to represent a variety of subjects related to the COVID-19 quarantine. At her reception—from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, September 22—Boersma will read a few poems related to her visual art at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Rather than shopping for a new spring purse in 2020, Boersma started taking longer walks, slower bike rides and collecting natural specimens and discarded artifacts that spoke to her about the shifting values of the world through the quarantine. Baking bread, walking on trails, trying to cut our own hair, hoarding toilet paper and wearing masks became global trends that fascinated her, inspiring her art for the exhibit. She hopes that in years to come people will look at the series and be able to find pieces that they can relate to and be inspired to use art to help process challenging times.
Since studying art and English at K and earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Western Michigan University, Boersma has taught writing, reading and aesthetic education at WMU and elementary schools throughout Kalamazoo County. She has received multiple grants and awards in Western Michigan shows and at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Since the pandemic, she has shifted to creating and she exhibits her artwork full-time in shows and competitions.
The public is invited to the free exhibit and the free reception. No registration is necessary. For more information on her work, visit her website.