Artwork / 2003 / Heidi Preuss Grew

Heidi Preuss Grew portrait painted by a college student
Gwenn Seemel
Heidi Preuss Grew
acrylic on canvas
48 x 34 inches

For the culminating project of my four years of undergraduate study at Willamette University, I chose to paint portraits of the professors of the art and art history department. I was inspired to do this for two reasons:

  1. Though my focus had been portraits for a few years already, I had only been making portraits of family members—and with some of them, like my grandfather, I was doing so again and again. I needed to know before I entered into the real world whether or not I could make the likeness of someone who didn’t have my family’s features.
  2. I had heard that the professors were wicked mean in senior seminar critiques. While that turned out to be a an exaggeration, I knew that I wanted to involve the professors in the critique process in a new way. By painting their portraits, I made them the subject of their own evaluation, complicating the already convoluted psychology of a critique.

Heidi’s portrait is not the only painting from that series on this site. You can see what I made of Hess, Roger Hull, Jill Greenwood, and Andrea Wallace as well.