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Featured Artist: Ronna S. Harris

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“RONNA S. HARRIS works in an American Realist tradition with the goal of conferring “an illusion of reality to something that is not real.” Using oil and pastel to paint figurative and still life pieces, her emphasis is on the quality of light and the illusory and abstract effects of color and mark making. Harris’s figurative paintings speak to “female attitudes, orientations, point of view, and emotions on birth, loss and social relationships.” The artist’s introspective figures reside within intimate narrative spaces that speak to her emphasis on internal perspectives and the “psychological phases of female development.” Her paintings merge inner dialogue with illusory worlds of light and color, inviting exploration and contemplation.

Harris holds a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Bachelor of Art in drawing from California State University, Northridge, CA. She is currently an associate professor of Art for the Newcomb College Art Department at Tulane University in New Orleans and has had solo shows with galleries in New Orleans, LA; South Miami, FL; Los Angeles, CA; and Mobile, AL. She has participated in group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea at the Florence Biennale in Italy. She contributed to the White House Bicentennial Celebration: Part Two: Commemorative White House Calendar and her works have appeared in Magazine Contemporary Art, Art and Beyond Magazine and New American Paintings. Harris is represented in the collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art (New Orleans, LA), the Jacksonville Art Museum (Jacksonville, FL), the Morris Museum (Augusta, GA), The Huntsville Museum of Art (Huntsville, AL) and the Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, AL).

Harris lives and works in New Orleans, LA, and Boone, NC.” 

Ronna S. Harris, Pygmalion, 69 x 84″

Excerpt from the Proceedings of the Representational Art Conference, 2012:

“A particularly interesting mythological subject is Pygmalion, explored by the French Neo-Classicist Gerome and others such as Bronzino, Daumier, Rodin, and Goya. The story depicts a an artist bringing to life his own ideal, posed on a pedestal and who only truly exists in the artist’s mind….Contemporary painter, Ronna S. Harris, explores the subject of Pygmalion in her monumental painting of the same title.

Harris depicts a female sculptor in her studio placing the finishing touches on, or holding the hand of the young girl. The girl/sculpture is painted with the fleshtones of a live figure, although standing on a sculpture stand. This sort of contemporary commentary brings figure painting today into a new place that deserves analysis and attention.”

( Ozols, Saskia) Classicism, Feminism, and Realism: Re-Framing the Boundaries of Representation. Paper presented and published in Conference Proceedings of the Representational Art Conference 2012, “The Real Snake: Conference Proceedings of the Representational Art Conference, 2012” Ed. Michael Pearce, Phd.

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