Heidi Preuss Grew: Into the Wilderness

Make a point of seeing Heidi Preuss Grew’s new show of work in clay at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, up until May 11, 2014.  The work is funny, beautiful, sad, mysterious…thought provoking.  The narrative thread is strong, and yesterday I went to hear her talk about her work in the gallery, hoping she would give us a few clues about her process and her thinking.  She did.  The figures are all “portraits”… sometimes of individuals, sometimes portraits of gestures and postures.  The figures evoke feelings and, it must be said, recognition from viewers, and a certain fondness for some of these “persons” emerging from the clay.  Here Grew talks to a large and interested group…

Heid Preuss Grew

The show is called “Into the Wilderness” and so is this group of Limoges porcelain figures…

into the Wilderness

Heidi with duo

duo detail

Heidi 3Heidi 2


Just this year, her 15th in Oregon, Grew has begun to think of herself as a “Northwest Artist.”   She has combined ther figures with burls and other natural items to excellent effect…saying that in every case the burls she was given or found (burls being tree irregularities resulting from disease or injury to the tree root or trunk) were as good as anything she could make in expressive terms.


narrative detail

narrative 23

narrative 3


from Joseph

Grew almost never uses color, feeling that conventional glazing removes detail from the figures…these aren’t “pots” after all, but sculpture.  BUT…there is one colorful figure in the show…


The recent winter show at the Hallie Ford Museum, “Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth,” featured many small objects from from collections of ancient near eastern cultures, including some intriguing small carved cylinders which were used to emboss clay strips…early transactional receipts and documents.  Grew, who bases most of her work on drawings, made drawings and a cylinder of her own…don’t miss these filmic little wall pieces…

brown 3 brown 2 brown 1

seal and drawing

Look for more of Heidi Preuss Grew’s work this fall in a show at the museum where her work will be featured with the work of Oregon artists Rick Bartow and Frank Boyden.






    1. WOW…what a creative mind! and hanks for the heads up on the upcoming show this fall. it will be a first class knockout!

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