Artist Watch: Laura Harris

Laura Harris of Melonhead Gallery, was first “introduced” to me by Carol Shelkin. An email from Carol, read, click and… POW! I was literally blown away. That hasn’t happened to me, to that extent,  in a long time. Her work is magnificent. To be perfectly honest I grapple for the words that describe how I feel when I view her work, and that is all in a photo on my trusty ol’ computer, so I can’t imagine what it would be like in person.  She is in my mind a Mythmaker, to borrow a term from the righteous James Hubbell.

Born in Wisconsin she is the daughter of late Midwest sculptor/painter, Walter Lenz.  Laura has been working in mixed media, including fiber art, acrylic art and mosaic art for over 25 years.  More recently, Laura has concentrated on mosaic portrait art.  Using a preferred direct method of application, her choice in tesserae include venetian and dichroic glass, 24 Kt. Italian gold smalti, porcelain, ceramic tile, mirror, stone and salvaged or recycled materials.

Laura’s career was not always limited to the field of art.  She worked as a speech-language pathologist for over 15 years and was recognized in 1998 as one of the top 5 teachers in Wisconsin for her efforts in the field of Assistive Technology and voted New Berlin Public School Teacher of the Year in 2001.

Laura got into mosaics in 1985 after having to quit teaching due to her worsening Multiple Sclerosis. She has risen above her physical limitations, as her artwork shows, but also in her attitude towards her MS: “I can’t feel all of my cuts so I guess there is a silver lining in everything, you just have to look for it.”

Her father has played a vital role in her life as she states: “I have been involved in art my whole life. My dad was an artist and a strong influence. I remember even as a young kid that my dad banned coloring books, he felt they were too restrictive and didn’t challenge the imagination. He also died from complications of MS in 2006.”

Ballerina

Ballerina

Ashima

Evolution of Wish

Creeping Thyme

Lady with Roses

“Today, the world can appear fragmented and its people disconnected,  mosaics allow me to fuse the pieces  together to create something cohesive and beautiful , what I wish the world could be.”  –Laura Harris

LHarris

The lovely Laura in the Cave of the Mounds on a family holiday, before exhibiting in Madison’s Art on the Square.

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18 Comments

Filed under Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Female, Flickr, Inspiration, Laura Harris, Mosaic, Ornamental, Portraiture, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

18 responses to “Artist Watch: Laura Harris

  1. Kay Phillips

    I am a mosaic artist. But seeing this work makes me want to put away my tools and hide under the bed. They are magnificent.

  2. Отличный пост – слов нет. Спасибо.

  3. отлично тут у вас 🙂

  4. Danette

    I too was in awe of her work when I found it on the internet. Her work is so original from the idea to the execution. I marvel at many of her pieces but my favorites are Ashim and Creeping Thyme.

  5. This is remarkable work, I am so glad I stopped by your website this morning. The work speaks volumes.

  6. Barb Keith

    I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across her on flickr. Amazing work!!!

  7. Pow is right!!! Oh my gosh. Love the post and how you started with 2 very oh so pretty pieces, really really lovely, and then you moved into the way odd and way cool clock part head-gear piece. That is the most amazing work I have seen in awhile. That one is just far beyond perfect. Laura …great work …Kim, great well written post.

  8. Kim, your blurb about Laura is sweet, warm, well received and appreciated. Thank you for being so supportive to the community of mosaicists.

    Laura, you have charmed me with your art and you have touched me in many ways and on many levels. Thank you for continuing your passion. I’m looking forward and hoping to see more.

    ~Carol

  9. Очень познавательно. Спасибо.

  10. What an imagination!!!!! Love the incorporation of found objects.

  11. Очень познавательно. Спасибо.

  12. Пора переименовать блог, присвоив название связанное с доменами 🙂 может хватит про них?

    • Kim

      Marinkina – no, I don’t think that’s necessary. I promote my fellow mosaic artists, not pretend that their work is mine, nor hide behind it.

  13. Kim

    oops… I must have missed including the link to her flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33264631@N04/

    Laura’s thoroughly amazing… I’m coveting the top ballerina pic – I just love it…

  14. WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! I’m delightfully flabbergasted. Unbelievable! Her work takes my breath away. What is her flickr name? Thanks for the blog post Kimbo!

  15. I had the exact thing happen, Kim – it had been a long time since somebody’s work just blew me away like that. It’s so fun to newly discover somebody so skilled in mosaics – but how did she stay undetected so long is what I want to know! So glad she joined Flickr so we could all enjoy her artwork.

  16. I agree! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first spotted her mosaics on Flickr. She has a similar style to Carol.

  17. No kidding! When I first saw “Ashima” on flickr I was literally stopped in my tracks.
    What an incredible work.

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