Christopher + Rachel Smith Hecker: Biennial Resident

Residency: July 1 – July 30, 2010
Exhibition: opens August 5, Riverfront Park Suites #135
Exhibition continues through August 27, 2010
A Special Biennial of the Americas Residency

Life Portraits: Laura, Troy, Aztechan

Portraits created by artists have historically been reserved for the rich and influential and would capture only a snapshot of the person.  We wanted to encapsulate the entire life of a regular person – what creates and defines them.  To begin, we met with and listened to several life stories from the community before finding inspiration in the three narratives of Laura, Troy and Aztechan.  From there, Rachel distilled each story into fourteen verses.  Christopher used these verses as a blueprint to create abstract sculptures out of metal, stone and wood.  The struggles, joys and passions of these three lives inspired the design of each room.

Rachel Smith Hecker: Because of my endless curiosity about the human condition, I write to question, to illuminate, to celebrate why and how we are.

Christopher Hecker: My objective is to create work that derives from the common experiences in life, while catching a familiarity that graciously challenges the viewer to identify with the symbolic representation, as well as being salient, beautiful and provoking.

Rachel was born and raised in Colorado.  She moved to Southern California where she received her degree in Film and Screenwriting and worked on documentary and feature films.  The birth of her daughter navigated her away form the hectic L.A. culture and back to Colorado where she has enjoyed collaborations with her artist husband.


Christopher is a sculptor whose skills have come from years of apprenticing in various trades of woodworking, metalworking and stone carving. The diversity and depth of his experience comes from a desire to infuse intelligent, resourceful, design with quality craftsmanship and beauty. Christopher recently moved back to Denver after spending time absorbing and influencing the Los Angeles artist community. Before that, he studied sculpture in Serravezza, Italy. Now that he has returned to the state in which he grew up, Christopher has increased his focus on enhancing his own community through art.

We would like to thank Paul Denmark for his help with the graphics, Ethan Hutchinson for the use of his shop and supplies, and PlatteForum and Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop for the support of this project. And, of course, our steady assistant little Neille.

Photos by Efrain Cruz