Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria Jose Subiria
Fifteen angels are on display at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The 32-by-48-inch canvas prints by artist, Timothy Hedden, are part of an exhibit entitled "Angels of Virtue" in the Atrium Gallery until Jan. 13.
"These angels, they allow me the opportunity to share my art and my passion with the world, as well as the opportunity and possibility to make a difference in the lives of others," said Hedden, who works from an art studio in Macon, Ga.
Hedden said he named each angel after a virtue, such as hope, love, joy, peace, faith, loyalty and majesty, because "they are not just visually appealing, but they are angels with a purpose, a message and intention."
"I believe angels are all around us," he said. "They are here to bring us joy and healing, especially when our intentions are good."
The angels were originally created on 3.5-inch by 5-inch canvases, said Hedden.
He said that while the angels might look like paintings, they are actually collages which utilize images from magazines and other publications. Hedden said that if viewers look closely, they will see images like chocolate cake icing used for an angel's hair, or an image of a mountain used for a dress.
According to Hedden, he contacted Katherine Marbury, aviation special programs manager for the Airport Art Program at Hartsfield-Jackson, in the spring of 2009 about showcasing his angels at the airport. Marbury decided to include Hedden's collage pieces in the Atrium Gallery during, and after, the winter holiday season.
"I think they bring to mind the qualities that people think about toward the end of the year and during the winter holidays," said Marbury. "As with all our Art Program offerings, we hope passengers will enjoy a moment of leisure outside the travel experience."
Hedden said that since his original collage pieces were small, Marbury asked him to enlarge his angels and to adorn each piece. Hedden said he worked with OrangePiel, a textile printing company based in Sausalito, Calif., to enlarge and print the works. Hedden then decorated the images by applying beads, glitter and other embellishments, he said.
According to Hedden, he was born in Warner Robins, Ga., and has had a passion for art since childhood.
He said he began creating the angel images in 1996, after turning to God for help through a transitional phase in his life.
Hedden said he has created about 50 collage angels over the past 13 years.
"Sometimes I may go days, or weeks, before doing another angel, and sometimes ... it's something that kind of happens," he explained.
Hedden said he chose the 15 angels to display in the "Angels of Virtue" exhibit because they closely represent the virtue in their title.
"We appreciate Timothy's approach to materials. He works very intuitively in both his collage and assemblage methods, which makes the pieces engaging and exciting," said Marbury. "Timothy's artwork is visually engaging -- there is always a lot to look at and find in the pieces."
Hedden said that in 2006, a number of his works made from found objects were exhibited on Concourse E of Hartsfield-Jackson for 9 months.
He said the Airport Art Program at Hartsfield-Jackson purchased one of his original pieces, entitled "Summer Time in the South," to showcase as a permanent exhibit in the Immigrations Corridor Gallery of Concourse E. The piece, created from found objects such as fabric, paper, metal and wood, portrayed a Southern village.
"The town is representational of the Southern region of the country," said Hedden. "I grew up in the South, so it's kind of what I've seen all of my life."
According to Katy Malone, senior administrative assistant for the Airport Art Program, the piece was installed in late 2008.
Hedden said that in the future, he would like to capitalize on his collage angels by putting the images on items such as coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments and mouse pads, with most of the proceeds from their sale going to non-profit organizations.
"I look forward to these angel products taking flight, as they would allow me more opportunity to spread light to others ... to give back, to ultimately market these products and raise money for charity," he said.