Perpich News

Charlotte Heins (Visual Arts 2005) Speaks to Students During Common Experience

Charlotte Heins (Visual Arts 2005)

April 17, 2023

Perpich alum, Charlotte Heins (Visual Arts 2005), spoke with students during Common Ex on Monday, April 17th. Common Ex is a series of presentations where students hear about the artistic life from practicing artists, many of whom are Perpich graduates.

After graduating from Perpich Arts High School, Heins went on to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree with a focus in sculpture from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She currently works as a prosthetist at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System with a focus in research and development. A prosthetist is a healthcare professional who makes and fits artificial limbs (prostheses) for people with disabilities. This includes artificial legs and arms for people who have had amputations due to conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or injury.

Charlotte sees a lot of opportunity in her industry for artistic individuals. “We need more people that think outside of the box in the field,” she said. “We need more artists in STEM fields, in my opinion. because people can memorize a book but we need somebody that takes all that knowledge and puts it in different directions.”

Other related fields that would be good opportunities for artistic people are ocularistry (specializing in the fabricating and fitting of custom-made ocular prosthetics/artificial eyes), anaplastology (prosthetic rehabilitation of an absent, disfigured, or malformed anatomically critical location of the face or body), and medical illustration (illustrations and models of medical subjects for use in publications, training materials, exhibits and research, and consultations).

“Before I went to Perpich, I was actually failing out of high school,” said Heins. “I was able to take a tour and my parents said that, if I was able to get my grades up, that I could go here. And this is where I found my people. I was able to take the classes that I wanted to take and I was able to really experience what it was like to be passionate about certain subjects. Where I am now is directly related to going to Perpich. I discovered my passion for history and different kinds of art here and I was actually scouted for School of the Art Institute here. Going to School of the Art Institute directly led me to my career path because someone there introduced me to anaplastology which introduced me to the career field that I’m in today. It’s all connected.”

“Charlotte’s story was another great example that the art-infused education students receive here [at Perpich] expands, rather than restricts, their post-high school possibilities,” said Conn McCartan, Arts High School Principal. “Not many people would think that a designer of prosthetics would come from an arts school!”