On Sept. 7, Professor Emeritus Wendel Heers is opening his home and garden to the public to show his massive stone sculptures.
A very special public art opportunity is being offered to the Ann Arbor community by the nationally recognized, long time Ann Arbor citizen, educator, artist and community treasure, Wendel Heers. Originally from a family of nine in a rural community in Minnesota, Heers was recruited by the University of Michigan in the early 1960’s to set up a metals and jewelry program. A pioneer in developing art education in his native Minnesota, he was the sole art educator in his district in the 1950’s and when he left MN to come to Ann Arbor there were 10 art teachers working in his school district. He studied art at the University of Minnesota and became a member of the MN sculpture group and exhibited at the Minneapolis Museum of Art. Wendel is a Professor Emeritus at the Penny Stamps School of Art & Design and served as interim dean during his prolific and well respected tenure as an honored, well loved member of the faculty. Many of his students are successful and respected artists and academics themselves and many of their children can also boast that they have been educated and mentored by Heers.
Wendel has experienced great critical and commercial success as well. He has completed public art commissions in Michigan, MA, PA, and France, including large scale stone meditation gardens and commemorative stone and rock sculpture installations. His work and commissions can be seen in the Providence Park Hospital in Novi and the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor and at the Mary Egan Memorial Garden at Deacon-Waltham Hospital in MA. He is currently completing a major commission “Periodic Table” for the Quaker School, Westtown in West Chester PA which will be installed in the science center. A new major, large scale rock series “Walking Boulders” will be installed and ready for viewing on site at the September 7th event.
Wendel’s residence on Liberty Street is home to many of his outdoor works which are installed on his property and gardens. The scale, design, placement and materials of these major outdoor sculptures rival the works seen and experienced in the best public sculpture parks nationally. River Gallery will be hosting this one day event with Wendel and his wife Nancy Heers as they invite us to walk the grounds with them and marvel at the presence, grace and strength of these contemporary studies in stone, copper, wrought iron and antique farm implements and materials.