Rain HarrisKansas City, Missouri

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Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2019

Rain Harris is a sculptor and installation artist who who lives in Kansas City. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from The Ohio University. She has participated in residencies at the Clay Studio, Philadelphia Pa, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME, The Pottery Workshop, Jingdezhen, China, The International Ceramic Research Center, Guldageraard, Denmark, and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including ones at the US Chamber of Commerce, The Ferrin Gallery, and the Garth Clark Gallery. She had a 3-person show at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio and she has had solo shows at the Philadelphia International Airport, The Portland Craft Museum, Duane reed Gallery, and most recently at The Sherry Leedy Gallery. Rain has presented many lectures at colleges, museums and conferences including one in San Diego where she was an NCECA emerging artist. She has received many grants and fellowships including an American Craft Council Emerging Artist Grant, an Independence Foundation Fellowship, three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Special Opportunity Stipends, a Leeway Foundation Achievement Grant and two Window of Opportunity Grants. Her work is in private collections and over a dozen national and international museums.

While my work ranges in scale from dainty diminutive pedestal objects to large sprawling installations, there is a common thread that runs through these seemingly disparate bodies of work. My ideas are spurred by an analytical interest in the ironies associated with excess and class, which become interpreted visually through color, pattern and decoration. I freely borrow stylistic embellishments and motifs from the decorative arts and combine incongruous elements to create work that pushes decorative eclecticism to a point of excessive overindulgence. This allows the work to transcend itself, re-compose itself and find a new coherence
I look to the contradictions that reside between the tasteful and the tawdry and I create arguably elegant objects that oscillate between good and bad taste. I ask if an ugly object be in “good taste?” Also, can a beautiful object also be a tasteless object? Frequently, I integrate lowbrow materials into my work to create “refined” work that teeters on the edge of ironic gaudiness. At other times I incorporate jarring color combinations and allow the work to indulge itself and brazenly flaunt it tastelessness.