Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Today’s Illuminati

You could say this is a story about illuminati, and you’d be right. It’s just not about the Illuminati of centuries past or any of the secret societies or conspiracy ideas that attend them. Our illuminati are three contemporary artists living and working in Tucson, Arizona, and their medium is light. For Sarah Cathcart, it’s also leather. For Zee Haag, it’s also gemstones and minerals. For Alex Heveri, it’s also glass and steel.

We’re all familiar with light and know what illuminate means, more or less: to shed light on, literally or figuratively, photons and wavelengths and spirituality. There are many dictionary definitions, too, and beholding the work of these artists, I thought about which definitions from Merriam Webster seemed to best apply to each one’s work.

Alex Heveri

Portrait sculptor, welder, stained glass and steel artist Alex Heveri creates pieces that illuminate in these senses: 1: supply or brighten with light; 2: make luminous, shining, and resplendent.

I first met Alex in Tucson in 1994 at a place that fired ceramics. I had just been gushing over an enormously cool mosaic paving stone with a skull and flower motif that she had made. (Me: “Wow — that is so cool!” Alex: “I know!”) We’ve been mostly agreeing on things ever since.

Heveri, an attorney, is one of those people one could easily hate, art-wise, because while most artists have to endure self-doubt, Alex just decided one day that she was a sculptor and proceeded to be one, starting that day. No inner turmoil, just amazing things emerging from clay and (really heavy) metal.

Heveri is about 5'3", tops, which makes the fact that she manipulates literally tons of steel and glass in her sculptures even more impressive. She bought a house based largely on the fact that the massive garage

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