WHO WISC Fellow-in-Residence Megan Heeres

WHAT WISC Fellow-in-Residence Megan Heeres talks about the Invasive/Unwanted Paper Project which uses nuisance and invasive plants to make paper.

WHEN Thursday November 8, 2018 at 5:30pm

WHERE Santa Fe Art Institute

Women’s International Study Center thanks Santa Fe Art Institute for their collaboration in producing this event.

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This Event is produced in collaboration with:


SFAI‘s mission is to cultivate creative leadership, and to invest in community, culture, and place to reimagine a more equitable world. Founded in 1985, SFAI is an independent non-profit, cultural organization, whose leaders believe that creative minds need an intentional, cultivated environment to evolve their own practice, ad that practice, if given the opportunity can have tremendous social impact. 

Megan Heeres

For four weeks, the Women’s International Study Center will host Megan Heeres as Fellows-in-Residence. Please join us for a conversation about her work.

While in Santa Fe Megan plans to pursue the Invasive / Unwanted Paper Project which has been ongoing since 2014. She seeks materials that are considered a nuisance such as invasive plants (plants threatening native plants or the ecosystem of native plants and animals by growing too aggressively) with which to make hand-made paper.


Megan Heeres

A native Michigander, Megan Heeres returned home from the West Coast in 2007 to study at Cranbrook Academy of Art where she earned her MFA. Megan has been involved in the local arts community for over ten years as an advocate, volunteer, and teacher, all roles she plays currently with her Invasive Paper Project. She participates in projects locally and nationally, most recently at the Center for the Book in New York City and the Salina Art Center in Kansas. Megan has been an artist-in-residence at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, the Michele Schara Residency at the Brightmoor Makerspace in Detroit, the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico, and Pyramid Atlantic Center for the Arts in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Megan contemplates and experiments with matters of tending, time, humor, chance and place. She begins each work by constructing controlled environments in which materials can act how they want. The materials ­– from handmade paper pulp, ink, plants, slip and latex paint, sound-responsive lights and fabric, plaster and found motors – perform actions specific to their physicality and leave marks or residues as they move. These actions and marks then inform the final work’s formal qualities and conceptual nature.

Her collaboration with the materials that determine a work’s making are similar to what she asks of her audience. The processes she employs are openly revealed to the viewer – both artist and viewer uncover the piece as it changes over the duration. Neither knows what the outcome will be. It is in this vulnerability as a maker that she connects with the work, with the space in which it resides, and the public who partake in its making.

Megan’s work takes on multiple forms from installation, to sculpture, works on paper, and socially-engaged projects. An essential thread running through them all is materiality and accessibility. Megan is committed to making work that engages an audience who are at all levels of art education and awareness. Using familiar, recognizable materials and creating pieces that are responsive and or participatory provides an opportunity to interact with art in a less threatening manner. Megan experiments with strategies to break down the barriers between artwork and audience, as well as the barriers between artist and audience. This means that her work populates non-traditional spaces and it reaches people who may not frequent galleries. Megan’s multi-disciplinary practice shifts to be responsive to the questions she is posing, the community to which she is accountable, and the materials with which she is working.


WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM MANAGER’S NOTE WISC brings incredible scholars, artists and others to Santa Fe as fellows-in-residence. We hope you will attend their presentations, meet our fellows and support this important work by becoming a member.

Sincerely, Jordan Young Program Manager Women’s International Study Center