Robert Hein Presents “Stillness Between”
On May 6th, Frostburg State University Professor Robert Hein from the art department will being exhibiting his still life photography in a showcase titled “Stillness Between” in Hagerstown, MD.
In a one-one interview Hein was asked to speak a little about the art that would be displayed at the exhibit. Hein explain “It’s photographically based, which means I tend to capture on film instead of using a digital camera. From there I will typically scan the film in and produce work through traditional digit means. The work I have going up in Hagerstown, those are from film scans.” When asked how the ideas for his photographs come about, Hein’s answer was simple. “The ideas typically aren’t preconceived meaning; I don’t have a big set stage and you have to pose this way or look this way. A lot of the images are encountered or found, and they are with my family, my kids. They happen to be the main subjects of my work for the last several years.”
Over the past several years Robert Hein has been the recipient of a multifold of honors, including the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, which is a program in which artists are selected anonymously to submit art for an out-of-state panel to judge. Winners are then awarded cash to go towards their art. The goal of the Individual Arts Award is to recognize the importance that artists and their art have in helping the Maryland culture thrive. Hein was also a winner of a fellowship at the Midwest Center for Photography which is also a competitive program. His art was selected to be presented in a gallery in Kansas along with the other winners.
Hein’s exhibit starting on May 6th was an idea he had been thinking of for the past five to six years. During his interview, he referred to his still life photos as “solitude in the chaos.” The pictures were often taken during some chaotic moment in his family home or backyard where, in the midst of all the disorder, he was able to find a moment of order, even if it was just for a second. He described his art displays as “stillness in between the craziness of everyday life.”
Hein received his BFA from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. During his undergraduate career he pursued swimming and fine arts. A major reason why he chose photography as a post-college career is because during his time at Ball State he said “working with photography helped me to work with media at faster at the time, and what I’ve loved about photography since then is the expansive media options.”
When asked what he hopes people would take away from “Stillness Between,” he responded calmly, “I’m hoping a sense of peace, just that the images are about those quiet moments so there’s a sense of peace, I’m expressing a sense of peace. I hope they take away a satisfaction I guess that they liked the work. I don’t really have a goal for the viewers, I just want viewers.”
Because the pieces that will be presented at the show are mainly of his family and personal life, Hein was asked to describe his art with one word. His answer was that of a true family man and artist, “Love.” Hein replied “love for my family and love for my work and what I do.”