Photo courtesy Heather Lyon.

Performance, video and installation artist Heather Lyon (‘99) is spending a month working at College of the Atlantic this fall as the 2022 COA Kippy Stroud Artist in Residence. 

Lyon developed work in COA’s Ethel H. Blum Gallery and within landscapes on Mount Desert Island during September. She performed her work on Sept. 20.

Lyon, of Blue Hill, creates art that is deeply involved with the natural world, said COA Allan Stone Chair in the Visual Arts Catherine Clinger.

“Heather seeks a deepening of spirit and this pursuit is implicated both in the nuance of her performances and the raw objects she creates,” Clinger said. “Heather’s practice operates within the realm of the waters and atmosphere of coast and forest, sky and sea; acknowledging the cycles of the four seasons, day and night. Moving through real and imagined landscapes, she becomes an active participant in the vagaries of their light and material environments.”

Photo courtesy Heather Lyon.

Lyon’s art investigates relationships and the ways in which we negotiate longing, loss, desire, and vulnerability, combining her interest in the meanings of materials (ranging from rebar to sequins to milk to ash) and the question of the human body. Her work has recently been exhibited and performed at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, the Maine Maritime Museum, University of Maine, Orono, Cynthia Winings Gallery, Space Gallery, Zaratan in Lisbon, Portugal, “The Picnic Pavilion,” a parallel project to the 58th Venice Biennale, the State Silk Museum of Tiblisi, Republic of Georgia. She holds a BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud was a talented artist, entrepreneur, generous philanthropist, and impassioned promoter of artists. She founded and funded The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, an experimental program for artists working in textiles and other media as well as the Acadia Summer Arts Program, or “Kamp Kippy” as it was more affectionately known, hosting hundreds of artists and their guests and families over close to three decades.   

As a way to honor Stroud’s legacy and commitment to artists on the island she loved, the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation and COA established a one month artist-in-residence program in 2019 to perpetuate the spirit of Camp Kippy and provide the opportunity so treasured by Stroud of being in Maine on Mount Desert Island within an artistic, intellectual, and sociable community.

College of the Atlantic is the first college in the U.S. to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty enriches the liberal arts tradition through a distinctive educational philosophy — human ecology. A human ecological perspective integrates knowledge from all academic disciplines and from personal experience to investigate — and ultimately improve — the relationships between human beings and our social, natural, built, and technological environments. The human ecological perspective guides all aspects of education, research, activism, and interactions among the college’s students, faculty, staff and trustees.