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Erica E Harris
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Kensington



ARTIST STATEMENT: I live in Brooklyn, New York. The history, debris, languages, and industries of my metropolis are a huge source of materials and inspiration. I also teach art to children, both here and internationally. In recent years I have facilitated projects in India, Guatemala, Macedonia, Brazil, El Salvador, Southeast Asia, and Brooklyn. These settings have had a profound influence on my work, and the collaborations with children have been extremely rewarding exchanges. I learn as much, if not more, from looking at children's art and talking with them about their process and ideas as I do from the museums and galleries of New York. Using art as a tool to outline and interpret their relationships to family, school, work, play, death, violence, society, and the environment, I am provided with such a simple visual vocabulary, so eloquent and universal. Working in collaboration with communities where English is not spoken has also shaped the content of my work, particularly my relationship to language. I like using text; I use the printed word as a pattern, and I often refer to how words and images are interchangeable symbols. The story of the 20th century as told through an English as a Second Language primer is one I am compelled to cut up and re-tell. The basic sentences found in these elementary grammar books narrate customs, historic events, and approaches to everyday life in poetic ways that no history textbook has outlined. While traveling, I concentrate on collecting collage material: children's encyclopedias and alphabet books, found photographs, sewing patterns, maps, deeds, gravestone rubbings, diagrams and instructional manuals, mid-century magazine advertisements, medicine labels, food packaging, candy wrappers and other ephemera. I incorporate what I find and see in the streets, neighborhoods and marketplaces into the narratives of my pieces: people carrying towers of goods on their heads, toys constructed from tin cans and old bottles, houses and bird-feeders made of corroding metal bomb carcasses. In these countries that have been so damaged by years of war and poverty, I became fascinated by how everyday experiences and ordinary objects related to destruction, chaos, immigration, memory, survival and loss. Something very mundane and ordinary could be a symbol of safety, shelter, or peace, while simultaneously being a relic of war. It is in this context that I am drawn to the use of simple imagery: an airplane, a house, water, shoes, birds. Combining discarded materials to make these narratives, such as a schoolgirl with a dress quilted from teabags, or a nest of old road maps, is like creating a shrine, or providing a sanctuary for people, places and objects that need mending.
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ARTIST RESUME:


EDUCATION

1993 University of Wisconsin at Madison
Bachelor of Fine Arts, painting and drawing


RESIDENCIES

2010 Kriti Gallery Varanasi, India

2009 Yaddo Saratoga Springs, NY
New York State Council on the Arts, Arts Bring Change: Teaching Artist Grant NY, NY

2008 Artpoint Gumno Sloeshtica, Macedonia

2007 Instituto Sacatar Itaparica, Bahia Brazil
San Francisco State sponsored Colima Community Art Project, Colima, El Salvador

2006 Blue Mountain Center Blue Mountain Lake, NY
San Francisco State sponsored Colima Community Art Project, Colima, El Salvador

2005 Women’s Studio Workshop Artists’ Book Grant Rosendale, NY
Hall Farm Center for Arts and Education Townshend, VT
San Francisco State sponsored Colima Community Art Project, Colima, El Salvador

2004 Blue Mountain Center Blue Mountain Lake, NY
San Francisco State sponsored Colima Community Art Project, Colima, El Salvador

2003 Hall Farm Center for Arts and Education Townshend, VT

2002 Hall Farm Center for Arts and Education Townshend, VT


SOLO EXHIBITS

2010 ISE Cultural Foundation, NY, NY

2009 E.J. Belloq Gallery, LA Tech University Monroe, LA

2008 Object Image Gallery, What in the World: Work from Brazil and Macedonia Brooklyn, NY

2007 Object Image Gallery, Flight Patterns Brooklyn, NY

2005 Binnewater Arts Center, Smalls Rosendale, NY
Object Image Gallery, Mayday Brooklyn, NY

2004 Object Image Gallery, Burma to Brooklyn Brooklyn, NY

2002 Williamsburg Art and Historical Center Brooklyn, NY




SELECTED TWO-PERSON & GROUP EXHIBITS

2011 Sideshow Gallery, It’s All Good, apocalypse now Brooklyn, NY

2010 440 Gallery, Amoeba to Zebra Brooklyn, NY
Bond Street Gallery, Social Security Brooklyn, NY

2009 Lyons Wier Gallery, Art Bazaar NY, NY

2008 St. Ann’s Warehouse, Great Small Works’ Toy Theater Festival Brooklyn, NY

2007 Fenn Gallery of Contemporary Art, Woodbury, CT
Catherine Person Gallery, Seattle, WA
St. Ann’s Warehouse, Great Small Works’ Toy Theater Festival Brooklyn, NY

2006 Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Penumbra Charleston, SC
Zimmer Children's Museum, The Art of Time Los Angeles, CA

2005 Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition, Pier Exhibit Brooklyn, NY
St. Ann’s Warehouse, Great Small Works’ Toy Theater Festival Brooklyn, NY

2004 Michael Petronko Gallery, -Scope London London, England
Michael Petronko Gallery, -Scope L.A. Los Angeles, CA
Zimmer Children's Museum, show&tel Los Angeles, CA
White Columns Gallery, Groundswell Community Mural Project NY, NY
Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition, Pier 12 Exhibit Brooklyn, NY

2003 Object Image Gallery, Small Works Show Brooklyn, NY
HERE Gallery, Great Small Works’ Toy Theater Museum New York, NY

2002 Center for the Book Arts, Rare Books of the Future New York, NY
Object Image Gallery, Lost Object, Found Image Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition, Pier 10 Exhibit Brooklyn, NY
Municipal Building Gallery, Faces/ Phases New York, NY
Brooklyn Museum, Groundswell Community Mural Project Brooklyn, NY

2001 Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition, Pier 9 Exhibit Brooklyn, NY
Kentler International Drawing Space, Small Works Exhibit Brooklyn,NY
Object Image Gallery, Myths and Visions Brooklyn, NY
Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, The 20’s Brooklyn, NY

2000 HERE Gallery, Toy Theater Museum New York, NY

1997 Michael Petronko Gallery, Perceptions New York, NY
The Puck Building , Media d’Arte Exhibit New York, NY

 








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