Argiope Aurantia III, 2021 performative color photograph by Heather Lyon.  PHOTO COURTESY OF HEATHER LYON 

COA to host performance artist

BAR HARBOR — Performance, video and installation artist Heather Lyon, a 1999 graduate of College of the Atlantic, is spending a month working at her alma mater this fall as the 2022 COA Kippy Stroud Artist in Residence.  

Lyon is developing work in COA’s Ethel H. Blum Gallery and within landscapes on Mount Desert Island during September. She will perform her work and attend a reception on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 6:30 p.m. on the North Lawn. The event is free and open to the public. 

Lyon, a Blue Hill resident, creates art that is deeply involved with the natural world, said COA Allan Stone Chair in the Visual Arts Catherine Clinger. 

“Heather seeks a deepening of spirit and this pursuit is implicated both in the nuance of her performances and the raw objects she creates,” Clinger said. “Heather’s practice operates within the realm of the waters and atmosphere of coast and forest, sky and sea; acknowledging the cycles of the four seasons, day and night. Moving through real and imagined landscapes, she becomes an active participant in the vagaries of their light and material environments.”    

Lyon’s art investigates relationships and the ways in which we negotiate longing, loss, desire and vulnerability, combining her interest in the meanings of materials –ranging from rebar to sequins to milk to ash – and the question of the human body. Her work has recently been exhibited and performed at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, the Maine Maritime Museum, University of Maine at Orono, Cynthia Winings Gallery, Space Gallery, Zaratan in Lisbon, Portugal, “The Picnic Pavilion,” a parallel project to the 58th Venice Biennale and the State Silk Museum of Tiblisi, Republic of Georgia. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud was an artist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and promoter of artists. She founded and funded The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, an experimental program for artists working in textiles and other media as well as the Acadia Summer Arts Program, or “Kamp Kippy” as it was more affectionately known, hosting hundreds of artists and their guests and families over close to three decades.    

As a way to honor Stroud’s legacy and commitment to artists on the island she loved, the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation and COA established a one-month artist-in-residence program in 2019 to perpetuate the spirit of Camp Kippy and provide the opportunity so treasured by Stroud of being in Maine on MDI within an artistic, intellectual and sociable community. 


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