Carol Hepper is an award-winning sculptor who lives and works in New York. Her work evokes the landscape, wildlife, and indigenous people of the Great Plains. Her prints and sculptures have been exhibited extensively throughout the US and are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, the Walker Art Center, the New York Public Library, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Detroit Art Institute, and the Portland Art Museum. She currently (as of late 1996) has a piece on view in the Sculpture Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Carol’s sculptures often incorporate animal hides and skins stretched over a built structure or form. Her interest in utilizing salmon skin as the basis of a sculptural painting was the primary exploration of her residency. She arrived in early August and set up studio space at Portland State University. After consulting with a variety of people, Carol found a source for the skins and began experimenting with methods for stretching, drying, and preserving them. Working with special needles and surgical sutures, Carol created several “skin paintings” which played off the unique characteristics of each skin and species. On September 15 [1996], local artists and PICA members were invited to her studio to view her work-in-progress and discuss her process. Thanks to an anonymous gift, PICA will be publishing a limited edition book of prints from this body of work, created by the artist in collaboration with Jeff Ryan of 21 Steps. The book will be available this spring.

PICA’s residency program connects visiting artists with the local arts community by providing them with exposure to the resources and talent specific to this region. Each artist determines the parameters of the residency and what they hope to accomplish. Unlike exhibitions which generate more public exposure, the residencies support the private practice of an artist and the natural relationships that arise as a result of their process. As the program grows, PICA hopes to award up to six residencies per year. This past summer, PICA initiated its residency program by awarding two artists—Cuban photographer Marta María Pérez Bravo and New York sculptor Carol Hepper—with material stipends, studio space, round trip travel, and shipping budgets.

We would like to thank Rebecca and Alexander Steward, Maureen O’Connor, Eloise MacMurray and Gary Hartnet, Susan Harlan and the PSU Art Department Graduate Studies Program, Susan Seubert and Sally Schoolmaster, and PICA’s Enthusiast members for generously contributing to these initial residencies.