March 14, 2021—May 8, 2021 | Online Exhibition
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our eighth exhibition by Seattle artist Mary Ann Peters titled “Continental Drift.” This is our first online exhibition as we shift from our location in Pioneer Square. The gallery will mount virtual exhibitions until the next location of our physical space is announced in the fall of 2021.
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. The artist’s focus has been the parallels between diaspora experiences at the turn of the 20th c and those migrations triggered by the recent conflict in the contemporary Arab world. This exhibition brings together a series of work based on photographic records of the catastrophic effects caused by this social upheaval. For this specific body of work begun in 2014, Peters sourced material including images from citizen activists in these conflict zones. Peters, herself, did not experience this turmoil but through her research, she intuitively interpreted these moments experienced by Middle Eastern communities.
“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.