A native Michigander, Megan Heeres returned home from the West Coast in 2007 to study at Cranbrook Academy of Art where she earned her Master of Fine Art in 2009. Megan has been involved in the Detroit arts community for over nine years as an advocate, volunteer, and teacher, all roles she plays currently with her Invasive Paper Project. She participates in projects locally and nationally, most recently at the Center for the Book in New York City and the Salina Art Center in Kansas. Megan has been an artist-in-residence at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, the Michele Schara Residency at the Brightmoor Makerspace in Detroit, the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, and the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico.
I experiment with matters of tending, time, chance and place. I begin each work by constructing controlled environments in which materials act as they may. The materials—from plaster, ink, slip and latex paint, sound-responsive lights to fabric, plants, handmade paper pulp and found motors—perform actions specific to their physicality and leave marks or residues as they move. These actions and marks then inform the final work’s formal qualities and conceptual nature. Just as I collaborates with the materials to determine a work’s making, I also ask the same of my audience. The processes I employ are openly revealed to the viewer—everyone uncovers the piece as it changes over the duration of its exhibition. Neither knows what the outcome will be. It is in this vulnerability as a maker that I connect with the work, with the space in which it resides, and the public who partake in its making.
The more we get together the more I remove the interference of my hand as the artist the more I call on my capacity as a, Communicator Educator Organizer What is the role of the artist after all? Experimenting with invasive plants Transforming them into paper pulp is a continuation of my fascination, With materiality With time With chance With play The more we get together Within community Is where ideas and outcomes can perpetually shift. The more Communities continue to engage in their future The more I continue to challenge my practice, my role as an artist The more we get together this project, these processes will continue Like the phragmites, I am an invasive artist White-skinned and middle-class, I know opportunity and learned privilege. Living in a black city, That knows depletion and learned misfortune. Like the garlic mustard, Us white artists move in where the land has been disrupted Invasive artists are fast to put down roots Where others may not be willing yet Our numbers increase slowly at first, Unknowingly. And then, in an instant! The entire space is overrun Invasive artists sequester carbon. Invasive artists bring needed oxygen. But we’ve taken over the patch where the natives once grew. We’ve crowded over the sidewalk. Are we taking up too much room? Am I taking up too much room? Do I belong here? Who decides what is invasive? Who decides what is native? The more we get together We can ask these questions The more we get together We can examine our differences The more we get together We can acknowledge our affinities