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Local Artist Feature Wall: April Henegar

Displayed on our Local Artist Wall in the Gill Library, our spring feature artist April Henegar and her series of mesmerizing acrylic and resin works.

Lakewood, Dallas-based artist April Henegar uses texture in various mediums to create impressionistic artwork inspired by travel, nature, & landscape. Balance, organization, drafting, and space, all relate to her process. Henegar works with oil paint, acrylic, watercolor, resin, and incorporates materials such as textured paper from her travels, adding another layer of expression and depth to her work. The Art Around Campus Committee spoke with Henegar last week to gain some further insight into her art.

Was there a particular influence with these works, and how do you decide on the arrangement of the subject matter? 

Each section is symbolic of an important season in my life, like when I lost my Mom, or when I was at UNT. The colors represent the people, there are important building references, and the mosaic appearance is life's bits and pieces coming together to, in the end, become something beautiful. 

The circular ones, that’s paper collected in my travels. They symbolize to me, the Colorado riverbed rocks. I love the way those rocks all lean on each other.  It reminds me of my church community, the way we lean on and look after each other. Through all of life’s hurts and hang-ups (like the rough, textured rocks), we have been there for each other, for about twenty years now.  

Our art students are really curious about the way that you made these artworks, can you describe the practical layering process? 

Firstly, I gessoed the canvas, then used a scrapping tool (I actually used a room-card key)!  Next, I applied the layers of acrylic paint, then the resin. I use an “Art Resin,” so not the horrible smelling stuff, and a heat gun typically used to take off wallpaper. You mix 50/50 epoxy resin with a hardener. Mix it for about 3 minutes and then pour. Once you pour it, you have about an hour to manipulate it before it sets. I use the heat gun to get rid of any bubbles. You have to support the middle when using canvas, but I love the non-perfect elements that can come from this whole process.

Our ESD art students will discuss the importance of symbolism in art, exploring ideas shared about seasons in one’s life, aspects of storytelling, and notions of what it means to interpret an artist’s narrative and share these sentiments with the world.