The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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April 19, 2013

Area artist's paintings, pottery spotlighted in three exhibits

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Heather Grills has been an active member of the Joplin art community since moving to the area in 1998. She has since then affiliated herself with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Spiva Art Gallery, the Cultural Affairs committee and has established her own pottery workshop, Phoenix Fired Art.

Grills has had her landscapes and pottery displayed in the Wells Public Library in Maine, the Portland Museum of Art and the Contemporary Museum of Maine Art in Rockland.

Grills' latest display will be at artCentral in Carthage. The display will be divided between two galleries and three bodies of work.

The main gallery features "Marine Musings," a collection of Grills' plein air landscapes from the coast of Maine and a collection of nautically inspired pots shaped after sea sponges and corals.

The members gallery features two of Grills' other distinctive bodies of work: "Into the Void" and "Paget's Pots."

"I created (Into the Void) in 2002," Grills said. "The first significant paintings include a set of portraits, the first painting of a person that I did, a self-portrait. In there, there's a self-portrait I did as an overeater, as well and ... images of bulimia and anorexia ... based on images that were shared with me in eating disorder group therapy."

The gallery also includes work that demonstrates the thought process behind eating disorders and personal journal entries from Grills.

"Paget's Pots" includes a number of small pinch pots imbued with a distinct rash pattern that Grills created after being diagnosed with Paget's Disease, a rare form of vulva cancer.

"Last spring, while I was up in Phoenix, I had surgery for it," Grills said. "I'm displaying ("Paget's Pots") with a pamphlet from the American College OBGYN called 'Diseases of the Vulva,' and in there it explains how to do a monthly self-exam, because I think that is something that women don't realize they should do."

Grills insisted that women should not ignore discomfort and see their doctors regularly for papsmears and mammograms, and that they should be vigilant and do both types of exams.

Want to see?

Three exhibits by Heather Grills will open today at artCentral during a reception at 6 p.m. at Hyde House Gallery, 1110 E. 13th St. The exhibits are "Into the Void: Images of Eating Disorders," "Paget's Pots: Vulvar Cancer Awareness Vessels" and "Marine Musings." The works will be on display until May 5. Details: 417-358-4404.

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