Pietre Sante | Holy Stones

MOCRA presents an installation of works in Carrara and Vermont marble by a master sculptor who explores themes of incarnation and spirituality in his work.

Steven Heilmer
Pietre Sante | Holy Stones

February 7 - March 16, 1997

     opening reception for the artist
     Friday, February 7   6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Artist and the Theologian Dialogue:
The Body of Christ as Veiling and Unveiling the Invisible God
     a conversation between Steven Heilmer and John Markey, O.P.

     Thursday, February 27, 1997  7:30 p.m.
       free and open to the public
       for more information click here

General Exhibition Information
Hours: Tues - Sun, 11 am - 4 pm
Directions and parking information
Group visit information

A rough-hewn stone is a repository for the soul intended to evoke that image which lives within the stone. It is both spirit and spirit's dwelling place.

-- Abram Tertz
 Heilmer - Nativity Stone: Mother's Milk (1992)
   Steven Heilmer, Nativity Stone: Mother's Milk, 1992. Carrara marble, wood. 18 x 23 x 12 in.
   Gift of Dr. Albert Gnägi to the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art.

MOCRA is pleased to present an installation of works by sculptor Steven Heilmer. Expertly carved in Carrara and Vermont marble, the pieces juxtapose raw stone with highly finished sculpted fabric. In a dramatic partnering of surfaces, the "cloth" variously presents, wraps, confines, conceals and reveals roughly hewn marble, tangibly evoking the mystery of the Incarnation and the humanity of the Word-made-flesh.

Heilmer draws on an Eastern perspective both in his handling of his medium and in the points of entry he offers to visitors. For instance, cushions around his Pietastone/Meditation on the Last Temptation invite visitors to come to floor level and spend time with the work.

Heilmer draws inspiration and insight from a variety of theological and literary sources, seeking dialogue with mythical and archetypal meanings in addition to the Judeo-Christian tradition.  

     Rock is . . . "the bone under the flesh of soil in the body of the earth. . . ."

     -- Michelle Stuart, Return to the Silent Garden

     I was a stone; mysterious stone; my breach was a violent one,
          my birth like a wounding estrangement,

     but now I should like to return to that certainty, to the place of the center,
          the matrix of mothering stone.

     -- Pablo Neruda, Skystones
About the artist
Steven Heilmer is a highly respected sculptor and educator. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Minnesota, and he has taught at the University of Minnesota, Brooklyn College, Bethel College, and Greenville College. Mr. Heilmer was the recipient of the 1995/1996 Arts Midwest/NEA Visual Arts Fellowship. In 1997 Mr. Heilmer was selected to create a sculpture titled Gratia Plena for Seattle University’s St. Ignatius Chapel.

Steven Heilmer - Pietastone/Meditation on the Last Temptation (1992) 

Steven Heilmer, Pietastone / Meditation on the Last Temptation, 1992.
Carrara marble, tile, gravel, lamp. Courtesy of the artist.

More information

Announcement of Gratia Plena dedication at Seattle University

Image of Gratia Plena

Interview with Steven Heilmer about carving Gratia Plena

Pietre Sante | Holy Stones in the media
Higher purpose. Greater good.
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