Learn more about the MAA's annual Montgomery College scholarship winners in this feature written by MAA member Suzanne Papiewski.
Hedieh Anderson is a Graphic Design major at Montgomery College. Her lifelong dream has been to study art. She has really enjoyed her art classes at Montgomery College, “all ears, trying to absorb all the information.” The art classes taught her to think outside the box. She learned critical thinking, how to plan her artwork, and how to change her original plan. In applying these principles to her artistic process, she finds that she starts with an idea but the results are more detailed and somewhat different from her original plan.
Hedieh has created art inspired by the woman-led revolution happening in Iran, her home country. One school project required making a reliquary. A reliquary holds parts of or represents a saint. Her reliquary piece is titled "Nika, the brave daughter of Iran." Hedieh believes Nika was a saint because had a brave heart and died for her beliefs. The last photos of Nika show her standing on a dumpster in the middle of a protest, burning her head scarf. The Iranian Revolutionary forces brutally murdered her for this act, stole her body on her funeral day, and buried her miles away from where her family was planning to bury her. She was buried on her seventeenth birthday.
Hedieh mostly uses paper clay for sculpture like the reliquary piece. She typically uses everyday items such as cardboard or foil as the base, and then creates the final shape with the paper clay. It air dries, so no oven is required, making the method practical. After it sets, she paints over it. She likes paper clay because it is soft and very easy to work with, it is easy to mold the shape and add layers. In the future, Hedieh plans to take more art classes. Although she is a Graphic Design major, she is also very interested in drawing, painting, and sculpting. She will utilize the skills learned in art classes, and continually expand her art knowledge. She hopes to create more artworks around current social events, and she really hopes to create ones with uplifting themes as well as the ones she has already made that focus on tragic events.
Sarah’s home life was surrounded by singing and music, and her parents fostered her exploration of the arts as a career choice. The art media she uses includes ceramics, painting, multimedia, and drawing. Ceramics particularly resonates with her because it allows her to use her hands and her mind simultaneously. She very much enjoys the serendipity in the unique variation of each of her ceramic works.
Sarah found her art history classes more interesting than traditional history classes. She enjoyed seeing world history through the lens of artists, which provided more concrete contexts to world events than other history classes she had taken in the past. She is most influenced by the art movements of Dada and Surrealism. She like to incorporate surrealism into her art by incorporating an “out of place” element. She also likes to use certain death symbols, such as skulls, in her art to remind her audience of life’s fleeting quality.
Sarah is currently applying to art galleries and is making her entry into the local "art scene." She would like to create a supportive community of artists and ultimately use a studio in her home as a gathering place for that community.