Sarah Heitmeyer ’16g (Ceramics) came to SUNY New Paltz looking to develop her already impressive portfolio as a ceramicist. She graduated with new knowledge of computer-aided design methods, and new ideas for applying them to her craft.
“I did a residency in Rochester, and someone there told me about how great the New Paltz ceramics program is,” said Sarah. “I knew I wanted the lifestyle of living in the country, but still having access to the resources coming out of New York City, especially the arts scene. New Paltz was a great fit for that.”
She added: “I started getting opportunities as soon as I got here. I’d heard about an internship at KleinReid, a high-end ceramic design and production studio in the city, and I told my new advisors that I was interested.”
Sarah was also hired at the SUNY New Paltz Art Department’s Digital Fabrication Lab on campus, and later moved on to a position with the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC), the College’s primary 3-D printing hub.
Her work with 3-D design and her work in ceramics quickly began to merge.
“Through my research and my time in the labs, I was learning things that were perfect for what I was trying to do in my studio,” she said. “I was focused on working with photographs of water. Using Rhino [3-D modeling software] to process those images and print 3-D molds and prototypes just opened up everything for me.”
Sarah’s work culminated at the MFA exhibition, where students show their visual art theses before an audience of hundreds of students, faculty and staff at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art on the New Paltz campus.
“For the exhibition, I wanted to create the experience of being in your own space or your own room, surrounded by the work, where you feel like you’re overlooking into a vast landscape, where you can just lose yourself into that water, that horizon line, that space,” she said.
Her ultimate goal is to have her own design and production business.
“My new knowledge of computer-aided design processes is very marketable right now. I know if I get opportunities to do 3-D rendering or designs, I’ll be able to provide that service,” Sarah said. “My time at the HVAMC had a major impact on what that future might look like.”