Contemporary realist artist displays ‘Stories’

By Brittany Lavin
March 29, 2007

Meghan Hurley

Two children stand on a beach holding hands next to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Dumbo. Next to them, two more children share a chair with Pete, the dog from “Our Gang,” and seem to be smiling at something across the way. But is it the bumper cars they are smiling at or the robot with shining red eyes?

These vivid images could be every child’s fantasy, but really they are the work of Stephen Heigh, whose exhibit of Contemporary Realist paintings opened in the Grace and Joseph Gorevin Fine Arts Gallery on the second floor of Holy Spirit Library on March 11.

The exhibit, called “Stories,” was inspired by Heigh’s childhood memories of growing up in the ’60s and ’70s. Heigh also drew inspiration from his father, who was an industrial designer.

“This exhibit reflects so many of my influences and interests,” Heigh said. “We all have stories of people, places and things. It was fun recalling a simple time.”

His use of color and a simplistic style seem to bring the past to life. According to Heigh, the idea of celebrating the simple joys of the past is the center of his work.

One of his paintings shows three tiny goldfish bowels surrounded by ping-pong balls. One can almost imagine a younger Stephen Heigh trying to win a goldfish by throwing the tiny ball into the tiny bowel.

“I think much of my work is about sharing and I try to do work that makes people smile and be nostalgic,” he said. “The past offers us so much in all aspects of life.”

Heigh has created artwork for corporations such as Disney Clothing and American Eagle Outfitters. He has also written and illustrated two children’s books, “The Snowman in the Moon” and “Mr. George and the Red Hat.”

According to Heigh, his work has been well received by the Cabrini community, with an opening day of over 100 people. “Stories” will be on display through April 15. For more information about the artist and his work, go to

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Brittany Lavin

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