Youngblood Artist Profile: Michael Heufelder
During the next few weeks, I'll be sharing my thoughts on the three artists who showed at our recent Contemplating Peace show at Youngblood Art Studio in The Plains. This week, we'll begin with Michael Heufelder.
I met Michael while he was giving a “show and tell” to the kids at A Place to Be. When I saw what he was doing, I was very moved. The concept of this show was born out of that day.
Michael is a veteran who served in the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since his return from an extended service, where he went above and beyond his original call to duty, Michael has used the arts for self-induced therapeutic purposes.
Art therapy is a particular interest of mine, so I was happy to meet this amazing man, who so beautifully lives the benefits of self-healing through the arts.
Michael now captures peace with his iPhone, implementing similar strategies of focus and timing that he needed in his life as a warrior. He also spends hours burning detailed wood carvings of animals to give himself a reason to focus for long, intense periods of time. His astute training in observation shines in his artistic endeavors. He has found a new way to use the skills he developed as a soldier and beautifully he captures peaceful moments, transforming them into images he can share with you.
Michael’s work caused me to reflect on how very close war and peace really are. Getting to know him has heightened my respect and gratitude for his efforts that were made at his personal psychological expense. I want to show support for his healing efforts and help his artwork be even more effective than acts of war.