James C. (Jim) Heck, a Wyoming native, grew up surrounded by the rugged beauty of the mountains and the harsh plateaus of the high plains. His art is heavily influenced by the natural dichotomy represented by the primitive and pristine landscapes coexisting with progressive and productive modern man.
As the son of a life-long artist, Heck was continually encouraged in expression, experience, and involvement in art. The tools at his disposal were restricted only by their availability. If they were in his father’s shop, they were to use. The tools are much the same today, only bigger, better, and more of them!
Heck’s philosophy of art includes an understanding that an artist is influenced by his environment, and his creative output is an imperfect report of what he observes, absorbs, and retains. As prehistoric cave paintings and petroglyphs offer insights into events and conditions of the past, current artistic offerings reflect an individual’s concept of how the world is, was, or should be. While Heck’s Warrior/Contender pieces retain elements of old-time armor, they often reveal a quiet commentary on political and social observations. His classical carving approach of faces, masks, gargoyles, and form is accented with a contemporary texture, temper, and humor.
Having recently adapted his wood-lathe and turning-tools to the task of shaping and hollowing limestone and marble, he is creating forms reminiscent of objects recovered from early First and Second Dynasty ruins. The turned vases, jars, and lidded boxes can also be a compliment to modern architecture and design. As with lathe-turned wood, lathe-turned stone exposes evidence of the distant past, revealing fossil inclusion and cataclysmic intrusion creating totally unique pieces that cannot be duplicated.
Heck maintains a studio for carving and turning limestone and marble found and quarried in Missouri, as well as sculpting in wood, metal, and clay. His work may be found in private collections in Texas, Illinois, California, Washington, Wyoming, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska.
Art for me is the imperfect representation of life and nature as experienced by the artist. It is my intention to express myself in my chosen media so as to encourage the observer to become emotionally involved through sight and touch.