Elisha HarteisMissoula, Montana

Red Lodge Clay – Center Short-Term Resident 2016

Elisha was born in Butte, Montana, but shortly after, her family moved to Missoula, Montana. She attended Sentinel High School and was encourage to develop her skills in Drawing and Photography. After High School, Elisha went on to study Surgical Technology at the Missoula College of Technology where she received and Associates Degree in Surgical Technology. She practiced in that field for 3 years and then decided to further her education.
Elisha received and BFA in ceramics from the University of Montana in May of 2015. She is currently teaching art at a preschool and works in her studio with the Voncommon Artist Collective in Missoula, Montana. She will also start a short term residency at the red Lodge Clay Center to further education and passion for clay.

The work that I am most passionate about focuses on depictions of children and animals. In this work, I address the social issues of child abuse by juxtaposing the quiet brutality of abuse against the perceived, inherent innocence of children. The familiarity of the narrative context challenges the viewer, creating an unsettling relationship between the audience and the figures. The space between the viewer and figure directly challenges the silence about such issues and, hopefully, calls attention to the myriad of societal issues that we tend to not acknowledge in our daily lives.

Every art work, in one way or another, is my expression of negotiating my own history with the world. My art is a subjective dance between the fissures of expectation and experience. My articulations, though potentially limited and, at times, pointed toward something that is not collectively experienced, strive to seek out the moments when & where we can find opportunities to communicate together. Perhaps, they’re incomplete, incommensurate, and, more times than not, indulgent; however, I attempt to convey moments where and when personal experience endeavors to participate in forming our interpretations of the world.