Sam Uttecht Heltibridle, Black Hills Artist

Sam Uttecht Heltibridle
Black Hills Artist

Tell us a brief history of your journey into art.

I have been drawing ever since I can remember. It has always been an outlet for my imagination, whether it was doodles on the edges of math homework or a half-full sketchbook being lugged around every day. After graduating from Sturgis Brown High School, it was natural to go into Fine Art. I went to the Metropolitan State College of Denver for their Art Program, majoring in Fine Art with a concentration in Drawing. After two years, I decided that city life wasn’t for me and transferred to Black Hills State University to complete my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree. I am currently working as a full-time Artist, making original artwork as well as commission work.

What is your style of art? What drew you to it?

I make Mixed Media artwork. It consists primarily of colored pencil, with acrylic paint, ink, burning, and carving as accents, depending on the piece. It is all done on wood: pine, bugwood, cedar, oak, elm, alder, apricot, you name it. A lot of the wood that I use for my artwork is either reclaimed or ‘scrap’ wood. I created my style of Mixed Media while at MSCD. A “no traditional materials” assignment led me to carving and burning on a pair of pine cabinet door, using colored pencil as an accent. I loved the process, and have made that my main media ever since.

What is your favorite subject matter?

I find inspiration in fauna, particularly those creatures that I’ve had the chance to see in the wild. Those animals always find their way into my artwork, usually with a bit of whimsy added in for good measure.

How did you learn your specific art skills?

I learned the basic techniques for drawing and painting while getting my BFA, but most of the techniques used in my Mixed Media pieces I discovered myself from years of working with and experimenting with mediums and tools on wood.

PfeilCan you share a favorite piece you have done and explain why it is your favorite?

“Pfeil” is my favorite piece that I have done in recent years. It is filled with such conflict but is altogether a beautiful piece. Geometric lines versus organic forms. An ethereal being against a dark night sky. A healthy, beautiful woman who is so forlorn. This piece draws you in and makes you wonder after it.

What tips or advice do you have for other aspiring artists?

Experiment. Try new techniques, new subject matter, new tools. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. You may stumble upon something you never thought you could do.

Which artists have inspired you?

Impressionists Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh, Installation artist Sandy Skoglund, Painter and Illustrator Kinuko Y. Craft, and Oil Painter Kelsey Beckett.

Where we can see your work?


Display locations:

  • Shaviq Studio & Gallery in Rapid City, SD
  • ArtForms Gallery in Hill City, SD
  • the Dahl Fine Arts Center’s Gift Shop in Rapid City, SD
  • During October, the Lost Cabin Beer Co., in Rapid City, SD

Via Boutique

Black Hills Symphony Orchestra

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