Artist uses work to share stories

By Ryan Chodora

A faculty member and artist showcased her work from throughout the years at a Wednesday presentation.

Cynthia Hellyer-Heinz, School of Art foundations coordinator, gave a presentation where she showcased her work with colored pencils at noon Wednesday in Altgeld Hall, Room 315. After sharing her work, Hellyer-Heinz also displayed her skills, sketching a moth, while attendees looked on.

Hellyer-Heinz, a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, passed her work around the audience, showing attendees her drawings of birds, insects and women interacting with nature.

Some of the pieces shared were from Hellyer-Heinz’s early days as an artist.

“One of the things I do is I am a storyteller,” said Hellyer-Heinz, who has been an artist since she was 3 years old.

Hellyer-Heinz creates what she calls visual surrealist narratives. She wants her work to evoke active dialogue instead of passively hang on a wall.

“I think [the presentation] was very educational,” said freshman psychology major Jordan Peaster, who attended the event. “It was amazing, too.”

Hellyer-Heinz said she likes to put real-world objects together in unexpected ways.

“I like to work intuitively, which means that I like to work spontaneously without having a lot of pre-thought,” Hellyer-Heinz said.

Michael Delazzer, sophomore political science major, said the presentation was more interesting than he had expected.

Hellyer-Heinz ended her presentation with a colored pencil and pastel demonstration. She began to draw a moth, which she said are one of her favorite insects to draw.

Hellyer-Heinz said she plans to do more events like Tuesday’s in the future.

“This is our art museum, and I want to support our art museum in any way that I possibly can,” Hellyer-Heinz said. “I think it’s a gift in a large university like this, that we have this beautiful museum and we have the people that are putting the time and effort to curate some really interesting exhibitions.”

Hellyer-Heinz’s portfolio can be viewed at