Kia Ora

The Martha Gault Art Gallery proudly presents Kia Ora by Heather Hertel. Exhibition on view from August 26th through September 19th with an opening reception Thursday, September 5th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. During the Opening Reception between 5 pm and 8 pm, a dance performance by Professors Heather Hertel, Ursula Payne, Lindsay Viatori, with alumni Molly Huey, Kaitlin Kulasa, Olivia Nellis. Additional special events include two Artist Talks, in Room 107 in Art Building I. Xavier Meade from Waikato Institute of Technology, New Zealand, presents on September 5th at 12:30. Heather Hertel speaks about her experience in New Zealand, on September 12th at 12:30.

Kia Ora is the next chapter in Hertel’s ongoing Sailcloth Art Project. The idea began as the artist, while racing on a J35, observed a spinnaker sail becoming unleashed from the vessel ahead, floating adrift, parallel to the water, above the tree tops on the peninsula of Presque Isle Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. This moment inspired the artist to imbue figurative art with the feeling of wind, movement, weightlessness, anti-gravity, and freedom. Hertel’s paintings on sailcloth connect the passions of dancing, painting and sailing. The first built environments include collaged figures of dancers floating up away from the sails to share the experiential and freeing feeling of dancing, sailing, and art making.

The Sailcloth Art Project includes artists, sailors, dancers, musicians, poets, and scientists extending cross-disciplinary responses at both art and sailing venues. The first exhibition was at the Bayfront Maritime Center, in Erie, PA, during Tall Ships Erie 2016. The Sailcloth Art Project was recently on view with the exhibition Dream Sails, created at the Waikato Institute of Technology, (WINTEC) and exhibited at the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland. Martha Gault Art Gallery proudly invites Slippery Rock University and the Pittsburgh community to witness Kia Ora, artworks that evoke the fluidity of sailing and the energy of the wind, with both indoor and outdoor installations consisting of large-scale painting and sculpture on recycled racing sails.

Martha Gault Art Gallery is located in the Maltby Center, on Maltby Ave. Accessible permit parking available on College Drive Near Rhoads Hall. For more information contact