Freight Gallery | Heloisa Escudero’s Site-Specific Installation: Uplift

By East City Art Editorial Team on July 8, 2024

Sun, July 14 2024 — Sun, July 14 2024

Uplift still from video. Image credit: Heloisa Escudero
Opening: Sunday, July 14 from 4-6pm

Freight Gallery is pleased to present Uplift, a site-specific interactive installation by Heloisa Escudero on July 14 from 4-6 PM.

“My current work focuses on mental health in an ableist society, where people with physical and mental health challenges are often marginalized. In the United States, mental health issues in particular carry a significant stigma, even though “it is estimated that more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (57.8 million in 2021). Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe.” *

UPLIFT, my site-specific interactive video/sculpture installation in the elevator, is the latest incarnation of my ongoing project, DYSFUNCTIONAL BEAUTY. In this project, I collect discarded materials from my work at VisArts and the Hirshhorn Museum that are deemed worthless, useless, and ugly. I breathe new life and meaning into these objects by arranging and displaying them in ways that give them new importance and force people to interact with them and to pay attention.

This conceptual project aims to spotlight mental health, destigmatize mental health issues, and to promote positive mental health. By transforming discarded materials into objects of importance, I challenge perceptions and inspire change. Viewers engage in a small performance art piece by interacting with the installation; each time an item is touched, picked up, and moved, a wish or prayer is sent to someone suffering from mental health issues.” -Heloisa Escudero

*National Institute of Mental Health, 2021

About the artist:
Heloisa Escudero was born and grew up in in São Paulo, Brazil, and relocated to the United States in 1987 where her interest in Fine Arts developed. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. She holds American, Italian and Brazilian citizenships. She is interested in conceptually based art that is both tactile and interactive. Her most recent art projects focus on art that emphasizes the participation of the viewer. In 2007 she moved to Sweden where she worked as a full-time artist, creating four successful projects and exhibiting in Sweden at the Uppsala Art Museum and in Spain at the University of Valencia. While in Sweden she built the first three BackPack Gallery Sculpture Units, starting the BackPack Gallery Project. One of her BackPack Gallery exhibitions/ performances was held at the popular urban park, The High Line. In the beginning of 2013, Heloisa set up her studio in Arlington, Virginia, where she works on several different art projects. When Heloisa Escudero is not in her studio making art, she is working at the Hirshhorn Museum as an Exhibit Specialist and as Curator for Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and SoloLab 5 Project at VisArts. Escudero has been showing in the DC area, New York City and Boston on a regular basis. Every year she participates in the Governors Island Art Fair in New York City where her performance engages the audience to interact and become part of the art. In the Fall of 2017, she completed an Artist in Residence at Montgomery College in Silver Spring, MD. On January 2018 Heloisa began a five months Bresler Artist Residency at VisArts where she concluded the program in 2019 with a solo show. Escudero has had numerous solo exhibitions including Arlington Art Center (Arlington, VA), Object Center Gallery (Boston, MA), The New Gallery at NOVA Woodbridge Campus (Woodbridge, VA) and many more. Her art has been mentioned in the The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Resource Magazine, Harvard University Archive, and in the Washington Post.

Freight Gallery is located at 2414 Douglas Street NE in Washington, DC. There is plenty of on-street parking. Please text (202) 276-5430 if you need parking accommodations. Enter on the side of the building through the loading dock.

*Please note: the exhibition is on view and open to the public for the duration of the 2 hour reception only.

Freight Gallery
2414 Douglas Street NE