December 1, 2016—December 17, 2016 | Opening Reception: Thursday, December 1st, 6-8pm
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present Northwest Pop Up, a temporary group exhibition of Pacific Northwest artists to celebrate the holiday season. This show features a choice selection of diverse art objects including ceramic pieces, small paintings, mixed media works, and works on paper that offer the perfect gift for any art lover. The exhibition runs for only two weeks, and includes pieces by participating local artists Claire Cowie, Jenny Heishman, Bob Jones, Fay Jones, Alwyn O’Brien, Peter Olsen, Mary Ann Peters, Akio Takamori, and Brad Winchester. The work in this show is both accessible and precious, exploring the realm of the mundane in artists’ practices. The potential for functionality of the ceramic plates and vessels and the use of unconventional art materials, such as the unraveled painter’s linen in Winchester’s wall pieces or Fay Jones’ tin can ‘frescoes’, highlight a playful approach to art making and offers an informal interaction with unique and beautiful objects.
Claire Cowie uses a variety of media to reference the natural world around her home in Seattle, as well as around the world. Cowie utilizes symbols of the natural world such as birds, insects, and a variety of plant-life, as well as heavily using the negative space in a work. By using watercolor and ink in the areas around her subject Cowie references the fragmentation between the natural world and us, as well as of memory. The colors and shapes in her work create dream-like landscapes that pull in characteristics of urban architecture.
Claire Cowie lives and works in Seattle, Washington, where she is a lecturer at the University of Washington. Cowie attended both the North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem, NC) and Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO). She received her MFA from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). Cowie’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including shows at the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA), Takeda Biennial (Oaxaca, Mexico), Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA), Frye Art Museum (Seattle, WA), Shenzhen Art Institute (Shenzhen, China) and the Art Gym at Marylhurst University (Lake Oswego, OR). Her work is included in the collections of the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA), Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA), Safeco (Seattle, WA), and Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA), among others.
Jenny Heishman is a sculptor who began her artistic career creating functional ceramic works. She has since expanded her practice to incorporate all kinds of materials and to address the ideas of ceramic works as functional. Heishman uses familiar shapes and object references but by using a wide range of odd materials she is able to play with the objects that we know and make them appear new to us. Her work is playful and allows viewers a new look at the objects we think we already know.
Jenny Heishman lives and works in Seattle. She has had two solo shows at the James Harris Gallery as well as shows at Prole Drift and Howard House in Seattle. She has commissions around Seattle at the Seattle Art Fair, King County Public Library, and the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park.
Fay Jones’ work conveys the intimacy of mind, emotion, and spirituality. As a whole, Jones’ paintings echo a tremendous sense of humanity. The pieces meld figures, animals and symbols to conjure up existential meaning of human experience. Her characters become signifiers, representing the watery depth of the unconscious.
Fay Jones received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1957. Awards she has received include the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors grant in 2013, the Seattle Art Museum’s 2006 Poncho Artist of the Year award, grants from the NEA in 1983 and 1990, the Washington State Arts Commission in 1984, and La Napoli Art Foundation in 1989. Her work has been extensively collected in the Northwest, and is included in the collections of the Portland Art Museum and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Oregon, and the Seattle Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, as well as the Cities of Seattle and Portland. Major exhibitions include a 2007 retrospective at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University, a 1997 traveling retrospective with the Boise Art Museum, and exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, WA, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, and the Palm Springs Desert Museum in California.
With an extensive knowledge of the history of decorative artists and a passion for the baroque, O’Brien’s objects dissect the definition of the vessel through her use of lacey hand rolled coils used in a deliberate yet chaotic way to construct volume and shape. Pinching, rolling and fingerprints show signs of the hand and connect the material to body.
Alwyn O’Brien’s ceramic practice has taken her across Canada, studying at Capilano College, in Vancouver, Sheridan College of Ontario, the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. She received her MFA in 2010 from the University of Washington in Seattle and her BFA from Emily Carr Institute. Her work is featured in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, Boise Art Museum, the Surrey Art Gallery, and the Mackenzie Art Gallery.
“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.
Takamori was a seminal figure in ceramic art, whose work over the past thirty years has left an enduring impact on the Pacific Northwest arts and the medium itself. His work is often autobiographical, drawing on his life in Japan, his family, and mythological themes. He is known for his coil-built figurative sculptures in which the narrative painting defines the form. Takamori explored themes of cultural identity by engaging the history of Eastern and Western aesthetics. Bold form and color defines his body of work, which is highly expressive of human emotion and sensuality.
Akio Takamori was born and raised in Japan. He has been exhibiting in the United States, Europe and Asia since the mid 1980s. Takamori received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 and his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University in 1978.
Takamori’s work is included in numerous collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Los Angels County Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Ariana Museum in Geneva, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including three National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grants (1986, 1988, 1992), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2006), and the USA Ford Fellowship (2011). Takamori was a professor of art at the University of Washington. He lived and worked in Seattle.
Winchester combines his training as a painter with his current interest in process, material plurality, and postconceptualization. In his recent work, Winchester began by reconsidering painter’s linen as a sculptural and structural problematic. Using methods of deconstructing, dying, and re-presenting in unexpected ways in three dimensional space, Winchester challenges our relationship to and preconception of art objects. Winchester’s effort to lay bare his process emphasizes the equal importance of conceptualization and actualization in this work.
Winchester received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. He currently lives and works in Seattle, WA.