A Not-So-Still Life

“As a single parent of three, I have to be very intentional with my time and what I choose to study. I saw the relevance of this type of program in both the nonprofit field and in my work as a community-based artist.”

Heidi Jeub painting Removed From a Line CrossedHeidi Jeub was searching for a master’s program that would complement her role as full-time artist and educator. She needed a degree that would give her an edge when dealing with organizations, institutions, budgets, boards, and other professionals. Enter the Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership.

“Everything has to be very applicable to what I intend on doing to support my family. There’s so much to know about ethics, management, law, and finance, that this is a very practical degree to obtain.”

Multitasker

Jeub, a recipient of the CCE Graduate Studies and Ingrid Lenz-Harrison scholarships, sees the role of the artist as a community leader especially relevant today. And she acknowledges that you need a certain amount of organizational knowledge and management skills to be effective.

“I encourage artists who want to see change in our communities to use the ACL program as a way to navigate the systems we encounter.” 

How does she see herself fulfilling this responsibility? “I have a specific set of skills, experiences, and a vision that allows me to be the conduit between various entities—aesthetic, governmental, educational, etc. That really excites me, and possibly makes me look a bit crazy, but I don’t care about that!” 

As a teaching artist in bookmaking and painting, her residencies in elementary and high schools “have gone from art for art’s sake to dealing with issues like differences in learning styles and gender inequality in STEM programming.” 

Jeub sees “no divide between living life and living life as an artist.” She believes that every role a person serves can be infused with creativity. 

“As a bookbinder in the schools, an abstract painter in the studio, and a collaborator on the roads of rural Minnesota, I attempt to address the collective imagination of the world in which we live and work.”

Motivator

Plains II painting by Heidi Jeub

This attitude extends into her home and the way her three children—whose ages range from 7 to 14—experience life raised by an artist and teacher.

“They don’t come from a community with colleges, so higher education is not something they are exposed to,” she says. “Therefore, I often explain how school is different the older we get. I hope that they see that I work hard and that I love learning.” 

Her kids study and make art alongside her, “painting, critiquing, and displaying their own work. They understand this as my job, not a hobby, and that there are many complexities to my work as an artist.” 

Jeub, who recently received an Emerging Artist grant from Forecast Public Art, infuses her abstract paintings with architectural and structural elements, often highlighting the “geographic challenges and strengths of rural communities.”

She frequently uses grids to “invoke order, systems, and plots of land expressing how our world is divided by ownership of property and ideas, creating inequity, bigotry, and unrest.” 

Jeub, who will graduate this spring, is fully equipped to bring her big-picture outlook and passion for justice to her next project. You’re likely to see her influence in a piece of public artwork, on a poster at a rally, or in a school near you.

Visit Jeub’s website to see her impressive collection of work in the visual arts, education, and community building.

Photos: Top left, painting by Heidi Jeub, Removed from a Line Crossed; bottom right, Plains II painting by Heidi Jeub

Artist Heidi Jeub in her studio
“I look back on my board experience as inspiration to look at leadership in a new way, and keep asking 'is this the best way to do things?' There’s always a new way to do something. I mean, we are the ARTS, right?! Let’s get creative!”
Favorite Courses: 
  • Design Thinking with Virajita Singh (taken as an elective). "The methodology is applicable to every aspect of my creative life, and can be used in business, nonprofit strategy, classrooms, and the studio."
Tips for Future Students: 
  • Don’t hesitate to be part of the conversation! There’s so much knowledge in the room.
  • Push the boundaries, because in the end, this IS the arts…. that’s what we should be doing.