Friday, July 7th through Saturday, July 29th, 2017
OPEN: Saturday July 29th, Noon-1 pm
Alexander/Heath Contemporary is please
to announce an exhibition of local emerging artist
Painter Joe “JoJo” Harris.
Photos from July 7th Artist Opening Reception
at Alexander/Heath Contemporary, Roanoke, Virginia
Artist Statement: I have absolutely loved art for as long as I can remember. Growing up in this beautiful state allowed me to see postcard scenes every day on my way to school, to football games or on fishing trips to one of our many picturesque water bodies. A dorm mate at Morehouse College in Atlanta, an art major, saw my work and questioned why I wasn’t taking art and encouraged me to visit his professor with my portfolio. I did so, and fell in love with creating images that captured people’s attention and added life to otherwise lifeless spaces.
I have been a professional educator/ administrator for 25 years, 20 in public schools, and currently teaching U.S. Government, 20th Century History and Critical Thinking at North Cross School which I truly love. The environment is indeed a community of scholars where the ancient art of teaching and learning is still alive and well. North Cross has given me the opportunity to reignite my passion for teaching and encourages teachers to stretch and challenge ourselves so that we may do the same for our students.
“Never allow people to simply glance at your work and keep on walking. Make them stop and look ‘into’ the work.” This was told to me by my college art professor and it is the guiding force of my style of painting. I use vivid colors and daring forms and shapes to catch not only the viewers eye but their imagination. The goal is to create a piece that reveals something different each time to each person who looks into it. My art prompts conversations and brings positive energy and powerful vibrations to any setting because vibrant color and intriguing line and form forces us to FEEL what we see. This is the root of my passion for offering our world something truly unique that doesn’t grow dull over time.
Human beings have certain commonalities that only the arts can accurately portray. Only art can capture those emotions that our ‘educated’ minds cannot interpret for our souls nor explain to our hearts. Art appeals and speaks to our most primal feel good receptors and has done so since before any other means of human expression. As such, I honestly try to use my work to serve as talisman of sorts in that each time someone enters its display space, they feel themselves looking to it for inspiration, motivation or simply to remind them that something extremely beautiful was created for that exact purpose.
I sign my work ‘JoJo’ because that is my childhood nickname under which I fell in love with creating beautiful imagery