Artist Spotlight: Melanie Heindl

Alex Schaaf

Do you ever feel like your toilet is just too bland? Too plain? Surely, all of us dream of painting our toilets, but senior Melanie Heindl is the only one putting her dream into action.In the upcoming midterm Studio Art Salon for students participating in independent studies in February, Heindl will premiere her piece, The Painted Toilet, which will be exhibited in Wriston. “I decided to take Duchamp’s urinal a step farther and do a painted toilet,” she said.

Hailing from Kaukauna, Wis., Heindl is an art history and English double major with a studio art minor. She is currently partaking in an independent study of painting. “I’ve known I wanted to be in art since I was a kid,” she said. “One of the biggest steps in my life was when I realized that I could be an artist, that it doesn’t matter what other people say.”

Heindl cites artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns as major influences, describing the way they use “mixed media” as having an effect on the way she perceives art. Among other things, she produced a Curious George lunchbox her sophomore year.

“The painted toilet, like Duchamp’s work, it’s all about questioning and broadening the definition of art,” she said. Heindl will also be participating in the art minors exhibition in the Mudd Gallery in May.

After Lawrence, Heindl plans on being a residence hall director on a campus, and eventually getting her master’s in art therapy.