North Cascades NPSC welcomes Spring Artist in Residence to Stehekin

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Date: May 11, 2009
Contact: Kerry Olson, 360 854-7365 ext 13

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Heather Biermann Artist in Residence at Stehekin


The North Cascades National Park Complex Artist-in-Residence program welcomes artist Heather Biermann to Stehekin for the month of May. Heather received her formal education at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, but thinks nature has been her most profound teacher. "My goal is to translate my discoveries into new visual perspectives and to understand more fully the varied meanings and layers within the places I encounter. I am fascinated by the ability of the "things" pulled out of nature - beach debris, plants, bones, and rocks, for example - to tell the story of that place." In that vein, she began working with botanical dyes, which let the plants and the water that create the dye tell the story.

In addition to painting, Heather practices photography, printmaking, bookmaking and the occasional poem. She was raised in the Skagit Valley and currently lives in Suquamish, the one-time home of Chief Seattle, near Bainbridge Island, Washington. She is in the early stages of pursuing her master’s degree in art therapy/ psychology at Antioch University in Seattle.

Heather will offer two programs while in Stehekin.

The Story of Dye-making: Saturday, May 23 at 2:00pm at the Golden West Visitor Center.

The thousands of years old practice of dye making is a simple, but quirky and surprising process. Dye tells the story of where it came from, teaches us about plants and their environment, and helps us express our feelings about where we are and what we’ve learned. This program will cover the basic process of making dyes, the complications and the "happy accidents" and will appeal to those with a renegade sense of curiosity, not necessarily to those who want precision! Personal and Native American stories will intermix with artwork and color charts from Heather’s work in Stehekin.

Artist Talk: Thursday, May 21 at 7:00pm at the Golden West Visitor Center

This discussion will begin with Heather sharing the art which has resulted from her time in Stehekin. She will talk about the conceptual elements in her paintings and how the use of botanical dyes is important to her process. She will also talk about how Stehekin, specifically, inspired the work. After her initial presentation she will open the floor for critique and discussion, to take advantage of the many artists and art-supporters in the community.

The purpose of the Artist-in-Residence program is to invite artists to immerse themselves in the park and provide visitors, staff, and neighbors with opportunities to explore the meanings and significance of park resources in new and unique ways through presentations, workshops, or performances. The artists also donate to the park a work of art representative of their residency. More information about the program and applications are available at

Examples of Heather’s work are available at:

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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