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Student Acquisition Project

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21st Century

Heather Hamann, American, b. early 21st-century

Creation Place: North America, United States, California
Medium and Support: Ink and collage elements on paper
Credit Line: Museum Purchase, Selected by Olivia Olson-Roberts, Susan Prier, Mollie Schottstaedt, and Jenny Varner, students in the Mills College Fall 2021 Museum Studies Workshop
Accession Number: 2021.3.1
Heather Hamann is a regularly featured artist at the NIAD Art Center in Richmond California. NIAD, which stands for Nurturing Independence Through Artistic Development, is a nonprofit arts organization that provides studios, art supplies, and gallery space to artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities. Hamann is a prolific storyteller, who uses watercolors and ceramics to illustrate her fantasy narratives. This paper and ink collage, reminiscent of quilts, illustrates the unseen work women do in facilitating neighborhood networking and homemaking. Each house portrays a family, but as one looks at the patterns of floral paper used in each building, a face emerges. This village is full of people who care for each other. The complex floral patterns used to make house frames and roofs suggest the flourishing of relationships and the importance of their support for everyone’s successful endeavors. Hamann’s dark ink lines mark paths that indicate the interaction of the people in each building. NIAD is especially important to Hamann, who has labeled one of the larger buildings in her piece with its name.

---Susan Prier, January 2022

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