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SAS gallery exhibit features Covid reflections

Posted on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 10:23 am

The St. Andrew’s-Sewanee Art Gallery features the work of Susan Harrison, a seasoned artist educator who has been an exhibiting member of Pyro Gallery in Louisville, KY since 2005.

The show is titled “Keeping Cozy During Covid and Crossing Paths,” and will run from October 7 through November 6, at the St. Andrew’s Sewanee Gallery.

Over the years Harrison has developed art installations concerning the nature of comfort and security, recently creating “Covid comfort blankets” and personal flotation devices as a metaphor for how people keep themselves afloat and navigate troubled times. Currently she is a high school art teacher in Louisville, an instructor for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and maintains her personal studio at Brick Street Art Studio, located in New Albany. Her work is often a hybrid of 2D printmaking elements with 3D woven or constructed forms. She dedicates this show to the incredible resiliency and staying power of her many art students over the years.

Her work stems from being sequestered in her house during the pandemic in 2020 reflecting on her life, choices and the paths she took. As she ‘doodled’ with her india ink markers during these times of reflection, she created designs she then turned into blankets. In addition to the blankets she exhibits, experimental in nature, the series of spontaneously carved, inked and layered relief mono prints represents her struggle with limitations. The paper is discarded student gesture drawings, the ink was expired and salvaged, and the carving blocks are left-over linoleum tiles from a bathroom renovation. These materials are comforting and familiar to her as she has always lived with clutter— perhaps a reflection of wide-ranging interests, a need to save family hand-me-downs, keep stuff out of landfills, and see the potential in discarded, neglected things. And so, this project is also about using up, working the materials beyond recognition, figuring out what she wants, defiantly resisting the creative void, and reviving what feels like an extinguishing flame.

St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School is committed to arts education and creativity. In addition to offering a wide range of courses and afternoon programs in the visual and performing arts, SAS welcomes professional artists throughout the year for gallery exhibitions, performances, and workshops. The school is also home to Shakerag Workshops, a residential summer arts program for adults.

About St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School: St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School is a private, co-educational,

Episcopal, boarding and day college preparatory school serving 211 students in grades 6-12.

We challenge our students to fulfill their greatest potential while helping them to cultivate lives of balance and joy.