Heather D. Freeman is Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Art & Art History. She holds a BA in Fine Art and German Studies from Oberlin College (1997), an MFA in Studio Art from Rutgers University (2000), and has taught at UNC Charlotte since 2006. Previously, Freeman worked as an art director, graphic designer, editor, and animator in New York and New Jersey. She has also taught art, graphic design, and visual rhetoric since 2001 at Allegheny College, The University of Kentucky, and Clemson University.
Freeman has created work and taught classes in digital print and collage, 2D and 3D animation, 3D modeling, video art, digital fabrication, mobile app design, and game design since 2001. She is also the author of The Moving Image Workshop: Introducing animation, motion graphics and visual effects in 45 practical projects, published by Fairchild Press, an imprint of Bloomsbury Academic. Regardless of media, Freeman's artworks combine traditional and digital technologies to weave together the symbolic forms of science, magic, mythology, and popular culture. Her animations, films, and interactive works have screened internationally and won numerous awards, while her prints and mixed media works have appeared in group and solo shows around the country. In 2020-21, she created the movie-turned-podcast series Familiar Shapes about the early modern English witch trials and bots on social media. The project included a 20-minute documentary film, which enjoyed a successful run at film festivals, including the Bristol International Short Film Festival in England and locally at the Charlotte Film Festival.
In 2023, Freeman was awarded a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to produce her podcast, Magic in the United States. The $389,000 grant will fund the production of three seasons of the podcast, which explores how magical beliefs and practices have evolved in the U.S. from the 1600s to the present. Launching October 24, 2023, the podcast is marketed and distributed by Public Radio International (PRX) and made available for free through all major podcast outlets.
Read more about Freeman and the Magic podcast in this feature story in Queen City Nerve. Hear a full discussion of the topic on the October 31st broadcast of Charlotte Talks on WFAE 90.7 FM.
Freeman is also acting director of Charlotte Night Owl Interactive, a nestling games and XR cooperative based in the College of Arts + Architecture.
To learn more about Freeman's creative works in animation, interactive design, and 2D media, visit her website.