An Artist Among Us

Story by Danielle Hoopaugh

From the nearby city of Luverne, Minnesota hails an artist and teacher at USF, Cody Henrichs. Cody attended USF as an English Education Major, though he mostly came to play football. Cody’s stay at USF was cut short when he decided to join the army after his first year. After two years in the army, he decided to return to school, but this time as an Art Education major at Northwestern College where he received his undergraduate degree. Heirichs later graduated with his Masters in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. After schooling, Cody returned to Minnesota.

Despite taking what was supposed to be the temporary role of the Washington Pavillion’s Curator back in 2019, he still fills that position today. Heinrichs taught sculpture last semester and will be teaching art history to next year’s art enthusiasts. Heinrichs didn’t apply for any of these jobs, but was offered the positions by those who think fondly of him.

Last year, Associate Professor of Art Ceca Cooper jokingly asked Heinrichs, “Would you like to teach sculpture?” She had several classes to teach already. Cooper was surprised when Heinrichs agreed. There is some irony in the fact that he now works here, as Heinrichs will tell you, he was not the best student when he attended. “I’ve been given many second chances,” he explained. Heinrichs feels that many of the second chances were undeserved, which is one of his striving forces to work hard.

Aside from teaching sculpture, he also creates his own. He usually has two to three shows year and has shown in Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Illinois. Though the majority of his shows take place in Minnesota. Heinrich’s first show in South Dakota, Forthcoming, will take place this year at the IPSO gallery, but if you visited the Jeschke Gallery before winter break, you may have already seen some.

According to Heinrichs, there are three key aspects that make a successful piece. The first is that it makes you ask a question. Second, the piece is something people want to look at The third and most difficult to achieve is that people want to come back to see your piece

He divulged his sculpture-making process. First, he hyper focuses on a topic or subject and researches it intensely. One of his more recent interests focuses on time travel and mystic numbers. From there, he starts drafting multiple ideas and tests them out on a smaller scale. Then he decides if a piece is worth pursuing or not. After some time, he will lose interest I a topic and pick up something else, and the process starts over again.

Along with his process on how to create sculptures, he also explained why he loves sculpture and what it actually is. “When you strip everything else away, the sculpture is about communication.” Creating a conversation and invoking an emotion, even a negative one, essentially the goal of creating something. As he explains, it is better for someone to hate piece than feel nothing at all. The sculpture also has more freedom than other art medium “With a painting, it has to be that, a painting. But a painting could be a sculpture.”

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