Exhibit | September 25, 2014

The 2014 Harnett Biennial Of American Prints Exhibit

The 2014 Harnett Biennial of American Prints is the eleventh competitive national exhibition organized by the University of Richmond Museums and is a celebration of contemporary printmaking by artists throughout the United States. The juror, Mary Fisher, artist, author, advocate, and social entrepreneur, selected prints by 45 artists from 24 states from entries submitted by 209 artists. The exhibition is on view from October 28 to December 12, 2014.

Fisher is an American designer who has survived AIDS and cancer to become a globally recognized artist, author, advocate, and social entrepreneur. She made history in 1992 when she addressed the Republican National Convention with a speech about advocacy in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The artist is founder of the Mary Fisher Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Fund at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In her juror’s statement, Fisher states, “What I now know is that judging is no more comfortable for an artist than being judged. I approached the 537 pieces submitted for this exhibit as if each was being created in a shared studio with friends. We are, after all, colleagues, collaborators.” 

“What, then, distinguished those I recommended from those I merely admired? Some criteria were fairly objective. There’s a mastery over process that shows in some of the works - the artist wasn’t just reaching for an idea, she had one. In the best of the best, use of color or black-and-white was spot-on; that, with shading, showed maturity not in years but in skill. The use of symmetry and texture was smart. Risks were taken but they were creative, not foolish. The technique surprised me, engaged me, made me want to call the artist and say, “Hi, I just saw this piece of yours and I’d like to know how you did this….”’

“Hardest for me to define but clearest for me to sense is the power of honesty that comes through a piece. It’s emotionally appealing. It tugs at me. I look away, then come back to look again. It’s what artist David Smith had in mind when he wrote, “Art is made from dreams and visions, and things not known, and least of all from things that can be said. It comes from the inside of who you are, when you face yourself.” In many of the pieces I was allowed to see, the work carried a truth that could not be said. All 45 chosen finalists - and many others as well - spoke silently of something true, sometimes achingly true.”

Fisher continues, “As an artist, judging the works of others is an immediate course in humility. I was humbled by this work. To all who submitted pieces, my thanks for coming into my studio and into my life. I’m honored to be an artist in the company of such splendid artists.”

The participating artists are: Lucy Aiken (Mechanicsville, VA), Erin Almazan (Dayton, OH), Mika Aono Boyd (Eugene, OR), Janet Badger (Houston, TX), Joshua Butler (Grand Junction, CO), Laurie Carnohan (Richmond, VA), Tyrus Clutter (Ocala, FL), Thomas Condon (Richmond, VA), Raymond DeCicco (Orlando, FL), Jean Dibble (South Bend, IN), Stephanie Dykes (Salt Lake City, UT), DebiLynn Fendley (Arkdelphia, AR), Jill Fitterer (Boise, ID), Jenny Freestone (Takoma Park, MD), Donald Furst (Wilmington, NC), Christopher Hickey (Avondale Estates, GA), Yuji Hiratsuka (Corvallis, OR), Zachary Kator (Brooklyn, NY), Lauren Kinney (Moorhead, MN), Mario Kiran (Odessa, TX), Padaric Kolander (Austin, TX), Brian Kreydatus (Williamsburg, VA), Alan Larkin (South Bend, IN), Diego Lasansky (Iowa City, IA), Tony Lazorko (Mesilla, NM), Mary Mead (Warner, NH), Jody Mitchell (Bloomington, IN), R. Bruce Muirhead (Clinton, NY), Akemi Ohira (Charlottesville, VA), Barry O’Keefe (Athens, OH), Bruce Pollock (Philadelphia, PA), Jeera Rattanangkoon (Ocean View, HI), Rashaun Rucker (Grosse Point Park, MI), Jill Schwartz (Coral Gables, FL), Neil Shigley (San Diego, CA), Edgar Soberon (New York, NY), Mike Stephens (Portland, TX), Lisa Sweet (Olympia, WA), Thomas Tartaglino (Palmyra, VA), Caroline Thorington (Bethesda, MD), Jono Vaughan (Tampa, FL), Chris Warot (Glendale, CO), Josh Winkler (Mankato, MN), Rina Yoon (Milwaukee, WI), and Angela Young (Cedarburg, WI).

Also opening on October 28, 2014, in the Harnett Museum of Art is Mary Fisher: Messages from My Sketchbook.  The exhibition features a selection of works in fiber, sculpture, prints, and handmade paper, by contemporary artist Mary Fisher (American, born 1948) from her most recent series titled “Messages from My Sketchbook.”  Created in 2014, the pieces are all hand-dyed and handprinted silk and cotton collage with painted additions by the artist. The group of works is based on the artist’s journal and her accompanying sketchbook. As she records her experiences, questions, deep fears, and sources of laughter, the artist moves from words in the journal to design and images in her sketchbook giving visual expression to her ideas. The works she creates in this series continue the artist’s visual exploration begun in her journal and sketchbook. Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition is curated by Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums, in collaboration with the artist.


Monday, October 27, 2014, 6 to 8 p.m.

6 p.m., Lecture, Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Center for the Arts

Paging Through My Sketchbook

Mary Fisher, artist and juror of the exhibition The 2014 Harnett Biennial of American Prints

7 to 8 p.m., Artists reception and preview of the exhibitions The 2014 Harnett Biennial

of American Prints and Mary Fisher: Messages from My Sketchbook

Harnett Museum of Art, University Museums

Monday, December 1, 2014, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

AIDS Day Theater Reading, Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Arts

Readings from the writings of Mary Fisher and others

by students and faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance

In conjunction with the exhibiton Mary Fisher: Messages from My Sketchbook