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"Intensely Arizona!": New Work by Greg Heil
Exhibition at James Ratliff Gallery, Sedona, Arizona, June 7 - 21
The Greg Heil story offers a glimmer into the life and development of the contemporary artist, more specifically, the a maturation particularly experienced by living, studying and preferring to be cultivated, shaped, and creating in the American Southwest.
Heil’s unlikely major influence as a youth was living and working in Lake Havasu City. It was there he also became self taught in Photoshop and other technological applications for which he recognized a singular talent. As often happens today in the USA’s public school system, art was a class either non-existent or relegated to the students who were otherwise “difficult”
If there is such a thing as coincidence, Heil’s art teacher was selected to design and implement an art program for the city’s Mohave Community College at the same time that Heil graduated from high school. So, of course, Heil took advantage of the opportunity. In this art class composed of many students of varying age was a recognizably senior citizen who quietly participated while continually exhibiting unique talents in color and composition. As time went on, both Heil and his teacher took advantage to paint, sketch and actually do plein air art with this ‘’senior”
Through association with Hixson, Heil imbibed his fascination with color. To this day, Heil regards Hixson as his mentor. Throughout the last several years, they have painted together and Heil has eagerly drunk at the fountain of Hixson’s wisdom. Now 91, Hixson is somewhat compromised in his frontal vision due to macular degeneration. He is permanently endowed with the title of Greg Heil’s mentor and has given Heil one of his original paintings which Heil displays in his Kingman home.
Friendship with peers is another aspect to Heil’s career. With fellow artist and companion, Chris Fanning in early days of Heil’s career, the duo would pull a large lawn cart through the desert (about 2 miles into some rough trails in Sara Park/Lake Havasu City). Heil states: “We’
Heil is an artist who not only looks and listens but also sees. The French word, regard, explains how the now 34-year-old Arizona painter develops. Heil respects the guidance and career direction offered by James Ratliff’ which led to an exhibition in 2007 as well as the June show. The James Ratliff Gallery has fifty-years’
For further information about Heil, contact the James Ratliff Gallery:ph. 928-282-