I'm attending the Voices of Contemporary Art: Artist Interview Training Workshop @ LACMA!
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Heidi Rider is a Las Vegas based interdisciplinary artist, curator, and educator with extensive experience in theatre, performance, and visual based art practices. She is particularly invested in bridging community connection through creative practices- both between artists of differing disciplines and between artists and their local communities. Heidi believes that Las Vegas has a thriving art scene and is dedicated to expanding Las Vegas' identity as a vibrant and exciting destination for the creation and launching of new contemporary works.
Her personal art practice obsessively explores the playful intersections between performance and visual art. She consciously works against definition, intermingling creation methods to bridge the divide between high art and performance; and for her, this is where the gold lies. These intentionally crossed medium boundaries expand within her practice into large-scale world building. Using her body in solo performance, or in collaboration with others, she wears hand cobbled costumes, props and objects, and inhabits installed worlds deliberately and lovingly made with cheap, common materials. She creates personae who symbolize cherished American cultural mythologies and then blasts them apart with wit, love, irony and a splash of vulgar raunchiness. The common materials she uses directly contradict the preciousness of the beloved stereotypical tropes she embodies. Her process is exploratory and curious and it is always filtered through a clown perspective: one who responds immediately to stimuli without a personal agenda or strong-handed opinion, but rather through the wonder-based logic and eager curiosity of the “clown character.” It is imperative that her work always incorporates humor, even when it isn’t funny.
Heidi is skilled at instigating generative, creative connections and leading artists through both intimate and large scale collaborative projects. She has extensive experience with researching, planning, organizing, building and installing, designing and promoting multi-disciplinary art projects in the realms of theatre, visual art, and the indefinable in-betweens. She was the Artistic Director, Co-Curator and Co-Producer of Small Space Fest, a large scale immersive art and performance experience which took over both floors of the Emergency Arts building in downtown Las Vegas in June of 2016. This project brought together 120 local and national artists and performers for one night of explosive performance, followed by a one-month installation of the visual works. In 2017, she curated and produced Dancing with Tears in My Eyes, a three person art show featuring works on paper, in the Suite 250 gallery in Warhol’s Loft. She is currently in the early planning stages of curating a domestic practice based series of backyard activations and site specific installations. This project will feature both local and national artists in order to highlight Las Vegas as a viable site for contemporary art practice, and to help forge new friendships and future artistic collaborations across the nation.
She graduated from CUNY Hunter College with a double major BA in Studio Art and Theatre, with honors. At Hunter, Heidi was a painting fellow in the prestigious Kossak Fellowship for Excellence in Painting, and was awarded a substantial post-graduate Robert LoBianco Scholarship for Excellence in Theatre. She studied Ensemble Based Physical Theatre at Dell'Arte International and continues to train in clown and experimental performance practices, handicraft skill building, and curatorial practices.
Heidi was an invited inaugural Artist in Residence at Sedona Arts Colony in 2016, and an invited Artist in Residence at the Z Forge Performance Devising Residency in Hudson, NY in 2018 and 2019. She was awarded a Kindle Project, LLC Carousel Grant in 2019 in support of her collaborative performance, video and installation project, The Garbage Pile Babiez. She is currently a full-time clown in Spiegelworld’s Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace and has performed locally in The Miss Behave Gameshow (with Murray Hill), Cirque du Soleil’s One Night for One Drop, Opium, with Sin City Gallery, and the Cockroach Theatre Company. She regularly performs new works and investigational characters in the local experimental performance evenings at RADAR, Sh!t Show, and Clown Orgy. Heidi additionally maintains a vigorous studio-based practice, and was most recently an invited artist in the 2019 Inaugural Bullfrog Biennial launched in collaboration with the Goldwell Open Air Museum in Beatty, Nevada.