I am known for my abstract paintings, public art, and local arts activity. This perspective and drive started with an insincere desire to become an architect. This series is a detour from my usual work, reflecting on my abandonment of architecture as a life long career. It is about regret, desire, wonder, and cultural and societal critique.
I did everything right before going into architecture school: I had a mentorship with a local architect. I took drafting. I got a bunch of fancy books.
Yet when I built models, they fell apart. When I took tests on the major architectural wonders of the world, I failed miserably. I mispronounced French, Greek, and Italian towns and couldn’t get my centuries straight. I had no skills, no worldly context, or the ability to catch up in the typical college semester time frame.
I was screwed.
So, I left the program, much to my female dean’s dismay. I saw her rigid “wearing all black” Ayn Rand-ish self, slump in her chair, almost “whining” that I was only 1 of 3 young women n the program, and to please reconsider. I told her that I was afraid I wouldn’t be doing much more than nice garages and church additions. Nothing truly great. I didn’t even know where the Louvre was! I had a strip mall in my town of Sartell… and a paper mill, of course. This was not ample preparation for greatness. And I wanted to be great at something, dangit.
This series of collages allowed me to come to terms with this story. I don’t like blaming society, but after I looked through the magazines my mother (Home Beautiful) and my engineering grandfather (Scientific American) most likely read, I realized that it would have taken a much stronger desire for me to truly succeed in that field of Architecture. MUCH STRONGER.
Yet, if I would have seen more female architects, had more women mentors, or maybe a few more toys to help me imagine my future as an architect, then maybe it would be different.
So, although I kinda gave up, I still dance within space like I built it, admire the queen bees that made it, and keep making something out of nothing everyday. I teach art in STEM based programs at schools because I believe that this quitting story must be told. I want to look girls in the eyes and encourage them to push themselves into spaces that are still not truly open to them.
Be Bold. Make Stuff.
- Heidi Jeub, Artist.
nexus |ˈneksəs| noun (pl.same or nexuses)
a connection or series of connections linking two or more things: the nexus between industry and political power.
• a connected group or series: a nexus of ideas.
• the central and most important point or place: the nexus of allthis activity was the disco.
Architectural systems are not about the walls that are built but how the people flow through that space. HVAC pipes push air to where we need to be cool or warm, or take away toxic air that would make us uncomfortable. So when we think of systems that are bigger than what we can see, are we being given the air to breath, or are we saved from the discomfort of our own toxicity?
This work is a visual representation of such systems. It could be applied to any aspect of our discourse in politics, social justice, spirituality or ourselves. It is meant to prompt questions of the larger system, not just about our own selves within that system.
When creating GRIDS, as found in the work in this exhibit, the ideas of our communities are so narrowly focused on the moment/day/space/idea at hand. Issues and ideas are being dropped with a simple click of the track pad or swipe of the screen. One tragedy is outshining another injustice. This is a daily occurrence.
The victims are our neighbors, but we find comfort in blaming them for not being like us... in this house... with these locks. Until we are truly affected by the system that breaks into our space, will we realize that we are all affected.
This is not meant to be a hopeless analysis of our society, but rather, to be aware of the walls that hold us in, and reach through the windows and doors that are passages past complacency and disengagement. Tell your story and listen to other’s stories. Feel a pain that you may not ever have to endure. Look into the eyes of those you are told to fear. Let love be the air you breathe and let toxic hate be taken away.
- Heidi A. Jeub, 2016