Artist Extraordinaire: Art Reception & FUNdraiser at the Bona Thompson

On Sunday, July 31st from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. local Irvington artist Elizabeth (Lisa) Seagull Heeter will have An Art Reception & FUNdraiser at the Bona Thompson, 5350 E. University. I first met this extraordinary artist two years ago at the Irvington Halloween Festival Poster Contest Auction. I had entered and hadn’t won anything, but my poster was being auctioned off and her poster was the first place winner. I looked at it up close trying to figure out how she did it — it was a combination of cut paper and watercolor. Both mediums I really like, but had not seen them combined this way. Elizabeth was the nicest young woman with a charming personality and very self effacing about her art.
Elizabeth is originally from the California Bay area. She went to college in Illinois (small liberal arts school) and studied Foreign Languages. She took an art class in college and realized art is another language for communicating.  After her son was born, she started cutting out birds in black paper and made him a mobile. Babies only see contrast, black and white when they are newborns. The contrast helps develop their brain faster. She ended up making all her friends with new babies a mobile. In college she’d worked in watercolor, so she started combining the two. Elizabeth says you can take a bad drawing and start cutting and turn it into a piece of art. “Every culture has some form of cut paper art,” Elizabeth says, like the German Scherenschnitte art or the Chinese cut paper art. The Irvington Halloween Poster 2014 was her first large work of art and winning first place encouraged her to try all kinds of subject matter. Like any creative endeavor, it’s best to work with what you know. So her nature, home and floral subjects are a natural for her and her chicken watercolors are a joy. She has five hens in her chicken coop. The most famous hen is Moon Feather, who some may remember being artist Rita Spalding’s model at the Halloween Festival booth last year. For the last three years Elizabeth has been displaying and selling her artwork at local art shows. This past June she had a booth at the prestigious Talbot Street Art Fair.
As an artist Elizabeth does a drawing in her sketch book every day. She dates the pages of every new sketch pad and this activity keeps her creative juices flowing. It’s like taking notes — creative notes.Heeter-Doves-DSCN9354
Elizabeth and her husband Chad moved to Irvington in 2006, when she was pregnant with her son Felix, who is now 9 and they have a daughter Rosalee who is 6. Elizabeth has a cousin who lives in Carmel and asked her when they thought about moving what place in Indianapolis was most like Berkeley, California and she told her Irvington. With it’s historic homes, quaintness and political diversity, it’s been the perfect place. They flew to Indy and in one weekend they found their home and she considers Irvington her forever home — she never misses California. She says “it’s a place where while sitting on your porch saying hi to your friends passing by on the street,  you can end up walking to the library with them and enjoying time with really good friends.”
Elizabeth’s husband’s job took them to Brooklyn for three years and then they moved back to their home in Irvington. His job also took them to the Middle East for 2 1/2 years which was “fascinating,” she says, “every country on the planet was represented there and you would hear every language unfamiliar and familiar on the streets.” They lived in Qatar, in the city of Doha in an apartment on the 15th floor of a skyscraper in the middle of the desert — a challenging place to live.
Elizabeth has a serious health issue to deal with, so this Sunday’s reception and art sale is a fundraiser for her expensive medical bills. She has original artwork on sale, as well as prints, cards, notecards and her unique little lightened lanterns. Elizabeth wants to thank Anna Noack, and Jamie and Martine Locke for putting this fundraiser together. Come enjoy talking to Elizabeth and buy some extraordinary pieces of art.