Students of all majors gathered in the Nicholson Library on Nov.. 7 to listen to a talk by artist Daniel Heffernan, who currently has an exhibit on display at the James Miller Fine Art Center at the Linfield campus. The Linfield Gallery exhibition will be his first show in the Pacific Northwest.
Heffernan, a visual and media artist based in New York City whose paintings and video art have been internationally exhibited, originally studied international relations and political science in college.
“When my friends would talk to me about art, I would get this intense pain in my stomach. It was then that I realized that the pain was desire and that I needed to pursue art,” Heffernan said.
With no background in any form of art, he began studying art at New York University. He started painting, and success followed. One of his projects was painting images from the popular video game Madden Football.
Shortly thereafter, he got involved in theater design, which eventually led him to video art. Throughout his work in painting and video, he explores escapism.
“These wonderful opportunities kept happening to me, and I became deeper involved in video art,” Heffernan said
Heffernan teaches filmmaking at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and video design with the International Schools Theatre Association. He received a master of fine arts from New York University.
His art seems to forecast a new wave of modern art. It integrates various disciplines, including movement, video, music, writing and the visual arts.
“I realized that video, painting and theater were able to come together. I really like being exposed to other people’s art and learning all of the different mediums of art,” Heffernan said.
Heffernan’s talk served to inspire artists at Linfield to likewise explore different mediums and definitions of art.
“I really appreciated how he had worked with other art forms,” freshman Breanna Suguitan said. “Hearing that really ignited a passion inside me. I could really envision what he was saying. I was encouraged to continue pursing what I love, and my horizon was broadened about working with other art forms. I love how he is pushing the boundaries of what we consider art.”
“It is so modern to see how he uses video with painting. It’s not the traditional art, but it is still art. I love how all of this is considered art,” freshman Megan Justice said.
As times change, the definition of art changes, as well. In his presentation to Linfield students, Heffernan conveyed the importance of not having boundaries on art. He was able to impress students with his modern video art, which seemed to make them ponder the infinite possibilities of art.