Art making is a divine interaction. It is a transcendental experience of focused and flowing consciousness. Artistic expression entails the translation of qualitative and intangible attributes of the experiential. The inspirational capacity of art resides beyond the formulaic in its alignment with intuition, and the ability to create through feeling and feel through creativity. Intuition offers the zone of making, a state in which latent creative spirit is channeled through the vehicle called artist. The consequence of this interaction is art. Loyalty to intuition allows access to ones' innate creative nature and the energy from which all potential for true artistic growth resides. The true artist is neither motivated by trend setting nor trend following, but rather by the primordial call of human creativity. In this sense genuine artistic authority is accessed from within. Translating creative energy and aesthetic ideas into something beautiful, inspirational, or thought provoking in the world is a mystical and spiritually enriching experience. I feel extremely fortunate to have been afforded the gift of creativity, to have had the opportunity to explore it, and to share the expressions of my exploration with others.
Statement about the Artist's Work:
“In contrast to my previous body of work, which addressed the issues of American junk food, this new series focuses on promoting vegetables from my local CSA. I hope to entice the viewer with the captivating line work of my relief prints, ultimately persuading them to eat healthier foods. I plan to create 60 handmade sketchbooks with linoleum printed covers. They will be small scale (around 3×5 inches) with 100% cotton rag paper for the pages. This project relates to the CSArt Colorado Program by encouraging patrons to eat local food and to create their own art by filling the pages of the sketchbook.”
Overall, my work is autobiographical in nature and explores my perspective on life and world events: personal, social, political, visual, moral, etc. Much of the work involves social observation and more specifically observations of people within social contexts. I explore the tension, communication, or lack of communication taking place. Social anxieties play a large role in the underlying themes. I try to capture the sense of being overwhelmed by external forces, images, and ideas.
I find it important to break up these ideas with images of small, ordinary, or even random objects: a drawing of a pronghorn antelope, a paper bag, an abandoned shoe, a telephone.
Other ideas and sub-themes within the work include: written journal like entries, remembered stories from childhood, nostalgia for a past that doesn’t exist, obsessive compulsive tendencies, collecting and hoarding as a means of psychological longing, hermetic and coded connections, charts and diagrams, family, education, political events, and humor. At the moment I could go for a nice, juicy pork-chop.
Two years since I have updated my artist's statement, so I thought it was time. As of late, I have been consumed with the idea of atomic art. For me, atomic art involves art that deals not only with front and center images of the Bomb, but also atomic testing, particularly imahes of the Doomtown that was set up in the Nevada desert, and then lit up by atomic blasts to see what the effects on the typical American town would be. I am also concerned with the effect of the Bomb on American culture - the paranoia, the acknowledgement, acceptance and eventual embracing of the Bomb and its insertion into American popular culture.
There is no shortage of fodder to draw from, from educational films, to 1950s comic books, horror and science fiction movies, civil defense literature, fallout shelter plans, radiation detectors - this list goes on. This is a part of our culture that is really foreign to a lot of today's young people. I want to make art that educates about this era. Knowledge is a good thing - it's how we keep history from repeating itself, theoretically anyway.
Statement about the Sheldon Exhibit:
The 2015-2016 Sheldon Statewide exhibition will feature artwork from the permanent collection of the Sheldon Art Association and the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, that explores several common themes found in science fiction. Through paintings, photographs, and prints, artists in the exhibitions depict examples of space exploration, environmental crisis, the cosmic uncanny, the relationship between human and machine, close encounters, and creative invention.
The Romance of the Moon is the 29th Sheldon Statewide exhibition, and will display artwork from sixteen artists, including Dick Calkins, Vija Celmins, Salvador Dalí, Ian Davis, Harold Eugene Edgerton, Dana Fritz, Moebius (Jean Giraud), Nancy Graves, Phil Hale, Wassily Kandinsky, Gladys Marie Lux, Lowell Nesbitt, John Pfahl, Theodore Roszak, Kenny Scharf, and Rick Yager.
The imagery in my recent project includes steam-powered time traveling viewing devices, recovered shields from battles once to be fought, and those who will empower themselves over the population. As I peer into a dystopian future I use drawing, printmaking, painting, and mixed media as my vehicle to express social-political issues I foresee. Location and time travel find their way into a possible, fictitious future as a means of addressing the shift from an urban lifestyle to a place where nature is thought to be integrated into all aspects of everyday life. Two unthinkable worlds collide through the fusion of past technology and fururistic iconography. The reoccurring subject matter of religion, technology, and nature parallels the issues we face today. I use my own social structures, ware, and technology as a means of criticizing the human condition and the possible dystopian result of the world.
Sculpting is a way to communicate for me, a way to record my emotions. It provides an imagery where I can present my ideas and beliefs. I would like to see my work as a philosophical journey through the essential elements of life. Sculpting is an act of giving for me.
The human figure is the main source of my work. For me, sculpting is the aesthetic appreciation of beauty. But beauty can be formed out of ugliness as long as it is presented poetically.
To me art is beautiful if it is simple and quiet. I sculpt ideas without details that obscure the art’s imaginary attributes. When it is time for the realization of an idea, I start sculpting. There is always a call, but the result is unknown even though I know why I am making it.
Creating is exhausting, but it is rewarding. I work with clay which is responsive but hand has its own dreams. I stop when I see my idea born together with some magic.
Printing helps me convey my ideas in an immediate fashion. Yet, the results can be mysterious and surprising.
“Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.”
Harris believes that the act of drawing is an act of discovery. She works primarily with the figure and almost exclusively from direct observation in order to deconstruct and reconstruct on the page what she has discovered through her observations. Always intrigued by how each person is unique, she uses the body as her guidebook to a particular human being and tries to make the strongest possible representation of that specific presence. She uses a person’s physical clues to help reveal each person physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually in order to study what it is that makes us unique and a member of the human race.
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