MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2017, 2014
Artist StatementI am interested in hidden infrastructures and invisible ordering mechanisms – things like gravity, quantum physics, and radio waves, but also the human body, memory, and contradictory emotions like aversion and affection. My work exists somewhere between painting, sculpture, and drawing, and embodies aspects of each. I often work directly on gallery walls with the same materials the walls are made of – plaster, paint, drywall, spackling – to subtly transform the placid, inanimate architectural space into something stranger and less expected. The wall becomes a fluid, fluctuating zone rather than a hard architectural divider; a flimsy barrier between here and somewhere else. The sense of suspended fluidity and accumulated layers capture and sustain ephemeral moments. As metaphoric embodiments of time, they evince a tenderness towards the material world, and the fleeting moments when things are made, changed, or destroyed. All of this has to do with mortality as well. The bubbles, plops, puddles and stains in my work reference the tragicomedy of inhabiting a human body, and allude to natural processes of transformation and decay. There is a tension between chaos, dissolution, and destruction on one hand, and order, balance, and beauty on the other. The work also deals with absence, empty space, and traces of things that cannot be seen or are no longer there. In some installations, there is a sense of a concealed event happening just behind the wall’s surface. This alludes to other intangibles: unseen infrastructures, unrelenting change, and half-intuited realities.
Heather Harvey's work has been exhibited at The Painting Center in New York City, Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, NUTUREaTt in Brooklyn, NY, the Anderson Gallery in Richmond, VA, Denise Bibro in New YorkCity, the Mclean Project for the Arts, Vanderbilt University, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA, Hunt Gallery inStaunton, VA, McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Dallas, TX, the William King Museum, PLAYSPACE in SanFrancisco, CA, and the Claremont Graduate University Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.Harvey's most recent solo exhibitions were at Maryland Art Place in Baltimore, March 2017 and Second Street inCharlottesville, Virginia in March 2016, She has an upcoming solo exhibition at Maryland Art Place in Baltimore in January. Harvey wrote the forthcoming book chapter, "Outliers, Fringes, Speculation, and Complicity: On making and teaching complex, contradictory art" in Redefining Creativity: Multi-layered Collaboration in Art & Art Historical Practice a collection of essays edited by M. Kathryn Shields and Sunny Spillane to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Awards include the Maryland State Art Council, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship, and a SustainableArts Foundation Grant. She was a resident artist at the Vermont Studio Center in 201-5 and Virginia Center forCreative Arts in 2014 and 2003. Harvey received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. ln addition, Harvey's writing has been published in Art Papers, Sculpture Magazine, and NYArts. She is currentlyAssistant Professor of Art and Studio Coordinator at Washington College in Chestertown, MD.