Heather Schulte

Boulder, CO

Heather Schulte is an interdisciplinary artist in Boulder, CO. Her mother taught her to stitch around the age of 7, when her family also bought their first computer—an Apple II. Growing up, she spent hours in this room, making clothes on her mother’s sewing machine, knitting and embroidering by hand, or playing games and practicing BASIC coding on the computer. This relationship between ancient and developing human technologies, and their influence on human culture, is central to her work. Ranging from hand made textile materials and techniques to digital fabrication and design processes, she analyzes the intersection of personal and public forms of language and communication. Her pieces invite viewer interaction through touch, deciphering code, or physical movement in space; this participation in generating meaning expanded into collaborative forms of making through her most recent project, Stitching the Situation. Inspired by meditative practices and both personal and societal textile-making gatherings, this project brings people together during the pandemic crisis, creating shared space to grieve, process our experiences (especially how systemic oppression reinforces and compounds the harmful effects of global health crises), discuss action, find healing, and imagine equitable futures. This project is ongoing, and as we begin to exit survival mode and enter the recovery phase, it is essential we have places to contemplate and heal, both individually and together. We cannot "move on," or "go back"--we must move through and be present to our collective, and complex, truth.