Mary Ann Peters: traveler

September 11, 2019—October 26, 2019 | Reception Saturday Sept 14th 11:30am to 1:30PM

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our seventh exhibition by Seattle artist Mary Ann Peters titled “traveler.”  For nearly a decade Peters, a second generation Lebanese American, has created a diverse body of work including installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to provide a window into a complicated, multilayered cultural landscape.  Referencing historical and photographic sources, along with architecture, contemporary records and personal observation, Peters undermines, questions and interrogates the paradox of our knowledge space between truth and fiction aligned with the Middle East.  Her work becomes its own archive that loosely uses narrative as its conceptual framework, each piece interpreting a scenario that is constantly in a state of flux and often subject to the interpretative lenses of shifting contexts.  Keenly aware of the gallery’s architecture, the artist has created three bodies of work to emphasize the hope and struggles of contemporary events connected to historical precedents.    As you move through the three exhibition spaces, one sees a shift from referential imagery to abstraction, and lightness to darkness. 

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traveler, 2019
courtyard, 2019
field, 2019
way station, 2019
blind, 2019
canopy, 2019
nightingale, 2019
impossible monuments: beacon, 2019
this trembling turf (oasis), 2019
this trembling turf (burst), 2019
this trembling turf (the shadows), 2019

Mary Ann Peters

“I work from the premise that images are never neutral and that they sustain layered meaning from the inception of an idea to the completed piece. Historical narratives, architecture, science, personal heritage, politics and questions of perception have all played a part in my thinking over the years.  I look for seemingly disparate elements that can coalesce and redefine a topic.  I have traveled extensively, most frequently in non-Western cultures. Traveling has informed my understanding of the global roots of aesthetics. It consistently defines for me those social practices that provide outlines for cultural inquiry, including which ethical questions should be considered or supported. In the end I work to the afterimage of the viewer and the potential discourse that might ensue.  The kiss of death for any artist is the work that no one can remember.”

- Mary Ann Peters

Mary Ann Peters lives and works in Seattle, WA  She received an MFA from the University of Washington in 1978. She has received numerous awards including an Art Matters Foundaton Grant, New York that allowed her to travel to Paris and Mexico City to research the migration from the Middle East after World War II, a grant from The New Foundation, Seattle in 2014,  a MacDowell Fellowship in 2010, a Jentel residency in 2009, the Northwest Institute of Architecture & Urban Studies in Italy (NIAUSI) residency in 2003 and the Neddy Fellowship from the Behnke Foundation in 2000. Collections include Microsoft, Seattle Art Museum, 4Culture, Tacoma Art Museum, and others.