Featured in our gallery for the month of December is the work of Oklahoma City artists Heidi Ghassempour and Sean Vali.

Join us Thursday, December 8th from 6-9pm for the Artist Preview Reception preceding our regularly scheduled 2nd Friday Opening the following night during Live On The Plaza from 7-11pm.

Artist Preview Reception: December 8th // 6pm-9pm
LIVE On The Plaza Opening: December 9th // 7pm-11pm
Exhibit Runs December 9th - January 8th

Artist Questions//  Heidi Ghassempour

What is your medium/process?

Wood doubles as both my substrate and primary medium. I create intricate stencils using tape which are layered with acrylic and removed to expose stained wood. I combine this process with mixed media elements including mylar and string to create stylized nature scenes.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. I attended UCO in Edmond and I have now been an OKC resident for almost two years.

How would you describe your latest body of work?

My current body of work focuses primarily on our relationship with Earth and the wonders it possesses. Comments on our relationship with the universe are still present, much like my past work, as seen through my representation of space. However, I have chosen to focus more on the earthly elements in this series, making my trees and mountains more visually stimulating. To me this represents how astonishing  and wonderful our home planet is, as opposed to focusing solely on the wonders of the universe as a whole.

What inspires you?

First and foremost, nature is my muse and inspiration. Nature to me encompasses all things natural including the universe, animals and humans, plants, even consciousness and emotion... I am constantly in awe of what this earth can create and sustain. I try to look at things through the eyes of someone or some thing that has no prior knowledge of the subject. From a tiny leaf on the sidewalk to a beautiful sunset, I am constantly witnessing the unimaginable and we have the Earth to thank for that.

How did you get started?

I can recall putting serious effort into drawing as far back as I can remember. We found these thick rolls of paper in the basement of a house we bought when I was 5. I would start drawing at the end and just keep unrolling as I went. I was in a constant state of doodling. It wasn't until high school that I realized that making "actual art" was a possibility for me. I decided to enroll in art class and never looked back. I would then go on to get my BFA from the University of Central Oklahoma while discovering my passion for nature and the universe.

What are your goals for the future?

My main goal is to see and appreciate as much of this earth as I can before I'm gone. I will continue to make art and further my concept through my experiences. Always thinking, always changing, always growing...

What advice do you have for other artists?

If you are struggling, look around you. Look within you. It's all the same, it's all connected, and it's all beautiful. None of us can fully understand how lucky we are, but try to. Try as hard as you can. And if you can't, do it anyway. You have something divine within you and within all things, find it and let it out.