Michael A. Heberlein was born in Hanover (York County), Pennsylvania, on July 14, 1949, son of Herbert Louis and Madelein Meyer Heberlein. He later moved to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and there he received his liberal arts degree in painting in 1975 at Millersville University.
After a period of self-study in Europe (1969), he maintained a professional art studio on Grant Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from 1976 until 1984 at which time he opened Lancaster Galleries, a fine art, restoration, and framing business that complements his studio. He has served on the boards of the Charles Demuth Museum Foundation, and the David Brumbach Trust, and is a Certified Member in the Appraisers Association of America, New York, New York.
A 1981 review in the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal featured Heberlein in the "early days." The reviewer stated: "Heberlein's work rivets your eye and you find yourself stepping closer to inspect it. What is this bright orange here? What is this shiny texture? What is it that makes his work different from everyone's preconceived notion of a landscape?" Heberlein's response: "What I'm trying to do in my painting is to reestablish realism as an end to itself...." "Heberlein's landscapes are a traditional form of art, but he treats them differently, primarily by using acrylic paint in a traditional manner reserved for oils. It was at this time that Heberlein was one of 20 Pennsylvania artists whose work was selected to tour with an international exhibition aboard the ship "Point Counterpoint II.
A 1983 Art Review of a show at the Sykes Gallery on the Millersville University campus indicated, "Heberlein achieves in his work a poetic, sometimes unearthly, light, which he attributes to the under-painting. He celebrates orderly farms, although he is now adding figures - where needed for compositional purposes... He also uses tiny dots of paint very effectively for accents and to break up large area that, otherwise, might be uninteresting..."
In 1985, Heberlein was part of a group exhibit entitled "Five in Focus" at the Reading Museum in Berks County, Pennsylvania. A review of the exhibit indicated that "Heberlein's radiant acrylic-on-canvas paintings, such as the magnificent pointillist picture called "Mont de Joie" or the haunting rural landscape entitled "Big Barn Fire" are alluring and entrancing enough in themselves to garner the lion's share of attention. The reviewer further stated: "Heberlein's elegantly obsessive facture embodies the chiaroscuro draftsmanship, smooth surface, and high finish of old-master paintings. His imagery is surrealist; his perspective is modern; his vision is contemporary.
His work is in the permanent collection of the Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Association Exhibitions: Solo/Group:
"25th Chautauqua National Exhibition of American Art", Chautauqua, New York. (Hulda and Earle Miller Memorial Award) (Jack Beal, Sondra Freckleton, judging)
Biennial Exhibition, 1978, University of Delaware, Wilmington, DE
"Seven Pennsylvania Artists", 1978, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA
"Gallery Artists", 1982 Benjamin Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Salmagundi Club 2nd Annual Non Members National Juried Exhibition (Certificate of Merit), New York, NY
Cheltenham 41st Annual Award Painting Exhibition, 1982, Philadelphia, PA Biennial Exhibition, 1982, University of Delaware, (Certificate of Merit, Patterson Sims, Whitney Museum, judging), Wilmington, DE
National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic, 23rd National Traveling Exhibition.
National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic 23rd, 26th (Honorable Mention Award), 27th and 28th Annual Exhibitions. New York, NY
"Collection of 12", 1983. Benjamin Mange! Gallery, Philadelphia. PA
United States League of Cities National Conference Invitational Exhibition", 1983, Harrisburg, PA
"Paintings and Drawings", 1983, Millersville University, Millersville, PA
"Five in Focus", 1985, Reading Museum of Art, Reading, PA
"Pennsylvania Artists", William Penn Museum, National Governor s Convention, Harrisburg, PA
Harrisburg Art Association 52nd Annual Juried Exhibition (Painting on Canvas Award). 53rd (Third Prize, painting), 54th (Honorable Mention), 55th (Honorable Mention)
"Grumbacher Gold Medal for Excellence in Painting, Harrisburg Art Assoc 61st annual, 1989, Harrisburg, PA
"Lancaster Artists-Past and Present," 1992, Lancaster Museum of Art
"‘Figures in the Landscape", 2001, Harrisburg Art Association, Harrisburg, PA
Annual Figure Exhibition, Lancaster Galleries, Lancaster Galleries West, 2000, 01,02,03,04,05,06 Lancaster, PA
Periodicals and newspapers where Referenced:
Painters Choose Art Sunday to Showcase New Directions, Heberlein/Brumbach, Lancaster New Era, 9/30/82 Susquehanna Monthly Magazine, Cover Art for January, 1984; June 1984, August 1984, December 1985,
Museum Deals Full House with "Five in focus", Reading Eagle, Sunday, May 19, 1985
1998 Cover Art, 4th in a series, 13th annual Heart Ball, American Heart Association, Bent Creek, Lancaster, PA
Artists of America Calendar, 1985, 2003 McCleery Cummings Inc.
New Galleries Reflect future paths of proprietors, The Sunday News, Lancaster, PA Sept. 20, 1987
Artwork Appraisals added to Faire, Solanco Sun Ledger, April 10, 2003
"Lancaster People", Yvonne Ricketts
Creative Expressions, Millersville Review, Millersville University, Fall, 2000
Art by Michael A. Heberlein is held in the following Public and Corporate Collections:
Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster. PA
IBM Corporation, New York. NY
Merril Lynch. Lancaster, PA
Bank of Pennsylvania, Reading, PA
First Federal Savings & Loan, Lancaster PA
McCleery Cummings, Inc. Iowa
Art Investments, Grantville, PA
Safe Harbor Hydro-Electric Company, Safe Harbor, PA
Foltz-Wessinger Inc. Lancaster, PA
Hubbard Hatcheries, Massachusetts
Cardiovascular Associates, Lancaster, PA
Gardner Investments, Lancaster, PA
Farmers and Merchants Trust, Chambersburg, PA
"From Darkness into Light, the Legacy of Artist David Brumbach", cover story, Inside, November, 1988
"Open and Shut Case: Demuth Ushers in Modern Art, Brumbach Helps It Exit" article from the Illustrated Historical Atlas of Lancaster County. Published 2006 by Fox Chapel Publishing, East Petersburg, PA
Memberships in Art-Related Associations:
Octorara Art Association
Harrisburg Art Association
Appraisers Association of America, Inc.