By Julie Rodrick ’24 

Annie Heisel ’24, a studio art and biology double major from Huntersville, N.C., has been accepted into the Chautauqua Visual Arts Residency Program in upstate New York. 

The fully funded, six-week residency runs from June 21 to Aug. 3, helping emerging artists from around the world launch their careers by providing housing, studio space, and three to four hours of weekly instruction from professors. 

“You emerge as an artist by developing artistic skills,” Heisel says. “You also get to network with individuals in similar stages of life to yours.”

Heisel has always loved creating art but had never considered it a career path. That changed when she came to Wofford and met Dr. Michael Webster, Oscar Soto and Dr. Rebecca Forstater in the studio art department. She says they all have inspired her to push further. 

“They have not only helped me figure out who I am as an artist, but they have also provided me with numerous exhibition opportunities,” she says. “They’ve taught me to let go, loosen up and bounce back from failure. There is something beautiful that can be found in that failure.”

Heisel says her favorite project at Wofford was her piece, “Entropy of Fleeting Moments.” She explains, “This is where I started experimenting with matter and freezing things in time. I poured wax onto ice to capture and preserve the remnants and shadows of the ice before it melted. There were basins that collected the water into three different states. It had the remnants of ice represented by the wax, the water in the basins, and over time, captured the water in its evaporation stage. The project looked at the different phases of time acting on the water.” 

Heisel plans to maximize her Chautauqua experience by using the connections she makes to maintain ties to the art community and jump-start her career. No matter where her career path leads, she hopes to continue to find artistic inspiration and exhibit her work.