“My work is about beauty, truth, and connectivity. With a global pandemic now more than ever people need this type of artwork to connect to.”
It’s critical for any artist to innovate. Especially these days, and in a region as costly as Greater Boston. Very few of us can simply hang out and create without also having to worry about paying exorbitant rents.
We see a lot of different kinds of crowdfunding in these spaces, and were drawn to Boston artist Heather Buechler’s note in our inbox about her raising funds “for a new project to send light and love out into the Northeast.” It involves “a matching grant from Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC),” and we wanted to know more.
Heather is the owner of Heather Buechler Art, a “LGTBQ+ woman-owned small local business in Boston” who “has been a working artist for over 28 years.” “She spent the last six years working on a series of paintings based on spirituality and interconnectivity,” and started her current “project to obtain a work vehicle because she realized how much she was missing out on opportunities because of not having the option to drive her paintings to shows outside of Boston.”
We asked Buechler about all of the above and more …
This is a cool way to raise money as an artist. Have you ever done anything like this before? Any crowdfunding campaigns of any sort?
The South End Art Diva’s Vehicle Project is my first experience at crowdfunding on my own. Previously, I have donated artwork to various fundraisers and also sold paintings to raise money for the NAACP legal defense fund in support of BLM. I have participated in group fundraisers. Recently the SOWA Artists Guild that I am a member of did a fundraiser that was also supported by a matched grant to raise funds for World Central Kitchen to support Ukrainian relief aid. Small works of art were donated by guild artists and the Daymarc Foundation triple matched donations, so the guild raised over $100,000. This is a great example about how crowdfunding can work.
And also please tell us a little more about the match …
My goal is to raise $10,916 in crowdfunding and every dollar raised will be matched by MGCC. I do have to hit the goal of $10,916 to secure the MGCC match which means all donations will be collected as pledges and credit cards won’t be charged until I hit that goal. Additionally: Business owner can not contribute to their own campaign; Have at least 20 patrons; No single supporter can contribute more than 50% towards your goal; Have at least 10% of your contributions submitted online through the platform.
Tell us why it’s so important for an artist like you to have a vehicle. Is it as simple as getting paintings around in?
I started this project to obtain a work vehicle because I had realized I was missing out on exhibition and sales opportunities because of not having the option to drive my paintings to shows outside of Boston. Boston is a great walking city and we also have great public transit so outside of needing a work vehicle I don’t really need to drive anywhere. However, I do need a vehicle to transport my artwork. For years I relied on friends and taxis then Zipcar and now Uber. But that puts a burden on friends to help me transport my artwork and Uber drivers sometimes are not overly excited about having large canvases in their vehicles.
Basically, I have been limiting myself because I don’t apply for any shows that are outside of Boston because it would be too difficult for me to transport my work there. This means that I’m missing out on exhibition and sales opportunities for my small business. Having the opportunity to drive my artwork outside of Boston will greatly advance my career in the art world.
You have a lot of New England influences in your work. Tell us about this particular set of paintings related to this project …
My abstract paintings are based on interconnectivity and spirituality. As such, at first glance my art appears to be merely abstract, but upon careful visual interaction with it one cannot help but feel the soothing peacefulness that emanates from the canvas. This feeling isn’t coincidental—it is intentionally crafted and it is the force behind my work. This visual interpretation of universal connectivity allows the viewer to lose themselves within the borders of the canvas. On a rudimentary level, my work is about beauty, truth, and connectivity. With a global pandemic now more than ever people need this type of artwork to connect to.
I begin every painting with meditation. I studied Reiki energy healing and the Sutras of Zen Buddhism. These practices and spiritual beliefs are the essence of my artistic inspirations. I practice Reiki on myself, the canvas, and my painting tools. This allows me to connect to my intuition and creates a soothing space for me to paint. I make a request to the universe to make something that’s beautiful and meaningful for someone else. I believe each painting has a person that it’s meant for. Once I get in the flow the painting takes on a life of its own- balancing happy accidents with composition, color, and expression. This artistic experiment highlights the need to find a calm state of mind to find balance in today’s stressful world. My work continues to provide a powerful example of finding peace despite the difficulties of the past two years.
During the 2020 COVID restrictions we were getting a lot of rain during Nor’easters. I decided to do a series inspired by watching the Boston lights through the rain from my window. The new series utilizes bright colors and energetic brush strokes. I decided to title this new series Driving lessons with mermaids to symbolize the craziness we’ve all experienced during this time.
What are your observations of the Boston art scene at this moment in time? Any chance you’ll be taking this vehicle and heading someplace else? Or are you here to stay?
Boston has a thriving art scene. Not only do we have major art museums, but we also have the SOWA Art District. In my studio building at 450 Harrison Ave we have over 100 artists. The artists and galleries open up to the public every First Friday evening and Sundays year-round. Also, on Sundays during the summer we have the SOWA market and Art Gallery stroll with hundreds of artists in their studios, outdoor art and food vendors, cafe and drinks, outdoor lawn games and a DJ every week. Both events draw not only locals but tourists with an average over 1000 people coming through on First Friday. I’ve never been anywhere that has such a thriving art scene so I’m definitely here to stay.
First Friday and SOWA Sundays are great events and I encourage art lovers to stop by Studio 215 at 450 Harrison Ave and if you can’t stop by you can check out my artwork online at www.heatherbuechler.com.