Bio + CV

Jen P. Harris makes formally innovative paintings and installations that have appeared in exhibitions nationwide. Drawing from the visual material of many archives, she layers disparate images and subjects in compositions that upend expected categories and hierarchies in favor of invention. Her fluid recombination of symbols and vocabularies generates unexpected connections, implying that all images are part of a common visual vocabulary. By insisting that meaning-making is an ongoing and participatory process, she questions the perceived authority of dominant ideologies.

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Harris holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Queens College, CUNY. She is the recipient of many awards, notably a Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2012 and grants from the Puffin Foundation and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice in 2011.

Ghost Prairie, her most ambitious project to date, was funded by the Iowa Arts Council and premiered at CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids, IA in April 2016 before traveling to the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Other solo exhibitions have been presented at Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Wilmington; Daniel Cooney Fine Art, NYC; and John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY.

She recently co-organized Nasty Women in Iowa (2017), an exhibition that involved over 60 artists in a fundraiser for women’s health organizations. The success of this event, which was part of a nationwide movement, exceeded all expectations and was widely covered in the local and national press.

Harris serves on the Board of Public Space One in Iowa City, where she currently lives.