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Frank Heyming, Local Artist, Donates Sculpture to Riverside City College


Frank Heyming, Local Artist, Donates Sculpture to Riverside City College

​​Frank Heyming has a passion that few ever saw. Until now.

Retired, after 40 years in real estate and as a property manager, he can no longer hide his sculpturing talents. Or keep his art pieces for himself. 

Riverside City College recently became the second local college to install a sculpture by the Riverside artist. Last August, California Baptist University accepted a sculpture called Inspiration

Heyming's friends and family joined members of the RCC campus community for an unveiling ceremony on May 8, 2019 in the Arthur G. Paul Quadrangle.

The donation of the piece, called Aspiration, combines Heyming's love of art and his passion for philanthropy. He has never sold any of his pieces, he says.

“It isn't about the money, but more about the idea that other people will appreciate them," he said. “My wife and I have always believed in being philanthropic. When we were young, we were giving to various organizations and causes. (So, donating the piece) is more about giving."

His wife, Lucy, also an artist, attended RCC and was a staff reporter for Viewpoints, the College newspaper. Her specialty is water color, and she runs a business called Garden Glass which repurposes glass for garden art. 

It wasn't until his retirement that Heyming began his art career. He took classes at the Lynn Forbes School of Sculpture in Carlsbad for four years. His time was spent mainly sculpturing in clay.

“I never pursued art as a career, however, I have to say my wife and I have always been drawn to art," Heyming said. “We have traveled a lot and visited a number of museums and sculpture parks."

In high school, Heyming did oil painting and sand sculptures. In fact, in 2017, he won the Manhattan Beach Sand Sculpture competition in the solo category after building a 40-foot sperm whale in two hours.

Ultimately, it wasn't sand, but a phone call that took his career to a new level. A few years ago, he said, he reached out to UC Riverside about getting involved with the University in some facet having to do with art. Eventually, he was tasked with re-establishing its dormant Art Committee. He said, the goal of the committee was to increase community art on the campus.

While he was trying to increase campus art, his mind was pushing Heyming into building larger pieces. And soon clay gave way to PVC pipe. His first large piece was a 10-foot tall outline of a head with a mind that revolves. Appropriately, he named it Changing Mind. It is now a centerpiece at his five-acre botanical garden/sculpture park at his home in the Arlington neighborhood of Riverside.

Changing Mind led him to stainless steel.

When Heyming approached Launa Wilson, executive director of the Riverside Community College District Foundation, about donating a piece of art to the College he envisioned a tiger. His drawings were of a “multi-facet tiger with a number of different facets." But one day, he glanced at the College seal which contains the lamp of learning with a burning flame. The flame leaped at him and ignited another idea.

“I thought, wow, I have some experience with flames," he said. “Flames are actually one of my trademarks, so I started drawing a flame…and thought I have to do something with the flame. I took the flame and multiplied it four times. Giving me a flame with dimension."

“Not having the equipment needed for what he envisioned, Heyming took his sketches to a metal fabricator. With the help of a fiber optic laser and a 130-ton break (a large press) his work began to take shape. The laser cut the flames with precision and the break soon made the 1/8-inch thick flames flicker. The stainless steel was then polished to a “steel shine." The piece will stand nine-feet tall, six-feet of flames on a three-foot base. It will be housed in the Quad, a student gathering point on campus.

“I envisioned all along that the piece would be housed in the Quad," Heyming said.

As the piece progressed, Heyming struggled with what to call it. But once again, the flames lit a fire of ideas in him.“The piece represented truth and knowledge to me which ultimately would be the words on the base."

However, a change in the base design allowed for two more words to be added. So, he reached out to then-president Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D.


Sculpture unveiling at RCC


“I mentioned my two words, but said there was room for two more, so I asked him what two words (resonated with him)," Heyming said. “He was excited and added the words liberty and justice.

From there, I came up with the name, Aspiration. Aspirations are timeless. (Also,) to me, an aspiration is a goal, an aim, something you strive for. It isn't judgmental. It doesn't talk about how you should strive for those things or how much of it you need or what your interpretation isit just says those are things we should aspire for in life. I hope students and staff read (the inscription) and think about those aspirations and what they mean to them."​


Published by External Relations & Strategic Communications