The Kaskaskia College ACE (Academic Center for Excellence) has received a generous donation of artwork by Annelies Heijnen of Mt. Vernon. The artwork formerly was on display at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital but now will have a permanent home at Kaskaskia College. The SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital Board chose to donate to the College in hopes that it would be displayed locally for the public’s appreciation and admiration for years to come.
Kaskaskia College Dean of Arts and Sciences, Kellie Henegar says of the donation, “Kaskaskia College is thrilled to have Annelies Heijnen’s work on display in the ACE Place for the KC community to see. We are also very grateful to SSM Health St. Mary's for their generous gift.”
Mrs. Heijnen was born and raised in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and has also resided in Sweden, England, Luxembourg and Ohio. Before coming to the United States, she studied ceramics and sculpture in Luxembourg at the “l'Ecole des Beaux Arts et Metiers”. After her arrival in the United States she attended art classes at Kent State University in Ohio as a special student under John Gill from 1980 to 1984.
Heijnen started her own studio in 1985, and has appeared in solo exhibitions and group shows in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and New York City. In 1988 she received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council and also the annual May Show Award for Ceramics at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
“I made this piece originally for St Mary’s Hospital and I am thrilled that they donated it to the Kaskaskia College”, said Heijnen.
She adds that “Growing up on the Dutch coast, the ocean was as close to me as the streets we lived on and the woods we hiked. However, unlike the familiar and well-traveled streets and woods of our town, the ocean, and in particular, its inhabitants, were a source of wonder and curiosity. Indeed, what wild creatures lurked beneath the waves?”
“Installing this fish sculpture in the children’s section of the library was perfect and exciting on so many levels” says Heijnen. “Like the books on the shelves, art is an incredible vehicle for communication, exploration, and discovery. Art has the power to spark new ways of thinking and challenge how we see the world, and I believe this is especially true for children. These two earthenware, whimsical fish represent the wonder of childhood, and their puzzle-like construction alludes to the mysteries of earth, perhaps even human nature. So much to imagine! I hope everyone will enjoy experiencing the fish as much as I enjoyed making them”.
The ACE Place at Kaskaskia College is a newly renovated space bringing together the library, business learning center and success center.