Pulling at the Heartstrings: The Eco-Art and Activism of Heather Freitas

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Heather Freitas, a stunning mixed media artist who employs recycled materials, has a cause. Although she graduated from ASU in 2014, she says she really found her calling in February when she was preparing for the WHAM West Gallery Recycled Art Festival in Surprise. It was then that she realized that her deepest passion was EcoArt, and she would become an eco-art activist. She would use recycled materials, our waste, to produce art to make statements about our problems of waste, and the human impact on our deteriorating environment.

“Deforestation, GMO’s, a plastic wasteland and PCB’s along with DDT still reside around us and will continue to impact us in the long run building to a point where at one time there may be no turning back,” she says in her Bio.

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Thank You for Shopping, Mixed Media, 24 x 24 x 1.5 in.

This sad little turtle breaks my heart as he innocently swims in waste, not understanding why he suffers or the human factors that create his dilemma. According to Freitas, “The piece speaks about turtles mistaking plastic bags for their prey, jellyfish, and thus consuming and even choking on our waste.” He is but one stunning example of the pieces you will see at her Solo Show, Wasteland, which opens this First Friday, November 4th, at First Studio at 631 North 1st Avenue.

In explaining Wasteland, she writes, “All around us there are hidden toxins that are damaging not only our environment and everything in it, but us as well. The worst part? We are the ones creating most of these toxins.”

Freitas’ work is as impressive as it is beautiful. She is to be commended for using recycled materials, an exciting way of creating art that is growing in popularity. But that she uses those recycled materials to drive home to us the need to recycle, because those very materials are crippling our environment, is doubly impressive.

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Upcoming Shows
The beauty and originality of her art has not gone unnoticed, and Freitas has shows running back to back through 2017. She has two additional shows running this month along with Wasteland. They are Unmasked at Banner Health University in Tucson (November 10th-January 29th 2017) and the Nationally juried Altered States of Collage by Collage Artists of America in Trazna, CA (November 15th- December 3rd). She also has a pop up printed art show that will be on display from November 8th to December 8th in Penne, Largo SAN Nicola 2, Italy.

Freitas is now working on an Armageddon Series for a show later in 2017. The pieces are about extinction of animals due to the human carbon footprint. Two of the first finished pieces will be shown at {9} Gallery on December’s First Friday show: Tiny Works, Tiny Dances.

Then from August through December 2017, she will have a dual exhibition with artist Nicolas Rascona entitled, “Can You Hear Me Now?” at the Tempe Public Library.

Freitas says it’s important to realize how influential art can be in making a difference in the world. Art should not only “document the times” but bring awareness to the need to formulate real solutions to critical contemporary issues. “It is said that one person can not change the world, but it is with my deepest hopes that my artwork can.”

Freitas can be reached at contemporaryandmodern@gmail.com or visit http://www.contemporaryandmodern.com.  Follow follow at facebook.com/contemporaryandmodern or contact at (480)234-1604.

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