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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Art to the Editor – 3/27/03

UMass Boston art student Skyela Heitz is a sophomore this year and is currently enrolled in her third Painting Workshop, instructed by Professor Wilfredo Chiesa. Her untitled piece (seen at right) was created earlier this semester, and is a brilliant culmination of her recent experiences traveling abroad, her explorations of art history, and her ongoing experimentations with painting.

Through her studies in both studio art and art history, and through a recent trip to Florence, Italy, Heitz has successfully developed a very unique style, and an acute comprehension of it.

Over the winter break, Heitz went to Florence, Italy for two weeks, and was impressed by the ancient architecture there. “I’m a big fan of Byzantine Art, and when I went to my favorite cathedral in Florence, the Duomo, I was inspired by the gold leaf Madonnas that decorate the inside. The Duomo is huge and really gaudy, but it’s so overwhelming that the first time I saw it, I cried.”

Heitz incorporated this gold leaf effect into her painting by simulating the shiny metal’s surface in layers of acrylic paint and hot glue.

By applying red paint over a black gessoed canvas, and then adding gold paint amidst hot glue formations, the artist achieved a very textural, and somewhat eerie result.

“I was also inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt,” whom the artist learned about in her Modern Art History class taught by Professor Paul Tucker.

“When I first came to UMass, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I sat in on one of Paul’s classes, and that’s when I realized I really had to come here and study art.”

Heitz transferred to UMass Boston after a year-long break from academia, before which she was enrolled at Northeastern, studying Music Industry.

“The best thing about [UMass Boston] is that the scenery does not distract you, whereas at Northeastern, it was so beautiful, with flowers all over, you could just lay out on the grass all day. Here, you are made to study, you have no choice. Everything is brick walls. You’re in a prison. It’s meant for one thing, and one thing only, and that’s to study. It really puts you in your place.”