Jamie Harris, Cut Outs Wall Sconce (Orange), USA, 2023
For Harris, his work is a relentless examination of the purity of color and the limitless modulations that can evoke emotional resonance through visual contrasts. Notably, 20th Century Modernist painters like Mark Rothko, Kenneth Nolan, and Ellsworth Kelly have been a source of inspiration, as has the extensive color theory of Joseph Albers. Glass has been a near lifelong obsession for the artist. A chance encounter with glass blowing at a summer arts camp captivated him well before he reached his teens. Though he pursued a degree in literature at Brown University, the school’s connection with the Rhode Island School of Design was a deliberate draw, granting him access and opportunity to pursue his devotion to the craft. When Harris moved to New York City in the late 1990s, he was suddenly thrust into a community of artists and makers whose kinship helped develop his own unique design aesthetic.
Within the scope of Fine Art there is probably no practice more miraculous, physically demanding, and precarious than glass making. Glass only has a transitory period when it can be manipulated, requiring a team of people to work in tandem to achieve the artist’s ambition. Understandably Harris describes the process as a dance or a performance. His multi-disciplinary method reinterprets traditional techniques, utilizing the foundations of glass blowing as a method of building up an initial form. Today in addition to his fine art glass sculptures, Harris creates unique, hand-made sculptural lighting. Drawing on organic, hand-made glass forms, his pendants, sconces, and chandeliers achieve a balanced universality. By altering the opacity, employing metallic finishes, or creating opalescent and iridescent surfaces, the works can sit at either ends of the spectrum from minimal to extravagant.
Harris has studied at some of the most prestigious glass schools in the country: The Pilchuck Glass School, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Penland School of Crafts, the Haystack School and the Corning Museum of Glass. He also studied with some of the most renowned glass artists in the world, including Dante Marioni, Josiah McElheny, Benjamin Moore, Kathy Eliot and Ben Edols.
His work has been collected by the Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, AL), the Museum of American Glass (Millville, NJ), and Glasmuseum Ebeltoft (Ebeltoft, Denmark). He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including those from the Corning Museum of Glass, Creative Glass Center of America, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Metropolitan Contemporary Glass Group.
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