Collaborative Illustrations by Betsy Scheld and Heitor Alvelos

Betsy Scheld was a dear friend and a very sensitive artist. We had crossed paths in 1990, while both doing an MFA in Visual Communication at the Art Institute of Chicago, and had felt an immediate affinity. So I went and visited her in NYC the following Summer – she had graduated, I had one year to go.


Sometime along that Summer visit, Betsy and I spent an afternoon in her apartment on West 42nd Street Manhattan communicating through drawings – weaving dialogues out of each other’s aesthetics and narratives. We ended up with dozens of them, and split them randomly between us, while photocopying them all so we could both have the whole set.

There are both originals and photocopies in this sample, and to my knowledge this is the very first time these are seen by anyone but the two of us.

Betsy was a guarded human being, but an incredibly sweet one. The poignancy of her aesthetics was only second to her generosity. Her short life seemed to have little joy – I received very tortured letters upon moving back to Portugal, and felt so impotent in face of her suffering. The news of her passing in 1996 came as a shock, but unfortunately not as a complete surprise.


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