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Carla Jay Harris - Projects - Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Carla Jay Harris
Zahari I, 2021
Photography, digital painting, and acrylic on paper
33 x 45.25 in.

The Lancaster Museum of Art and History is opening its latest exhibition season, Activation, a series of solo exhibitions from artists Mark Steven Greenfield, April Bey, Paul Stephen Benjamin, Carla Jay Harris, and Keith Collins. The opening reception for Activation will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022 from 4 to 6 p.m., in tandem with What Would You Say? Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the second exhibition in its Local Access series. The exhibitions will remain on view until April 17, 2022.​

Born in Indiana while her father was stationed at Fort Benjamin, Carla Jay Harris spent most of her childhood in flux, moving every two or three years in and out of the United States. “My nomadic childhood is what, in part, has attracted me to photography. The camera is a way for me to attach permanence,” she says. “A Season in the Wilderness” is the most recent development of “Celestial Bodies”, an ongoing series by Harris, which stems from her experiences as a ‘third-culture kid’ — feeling othered by race, culture, language, and nationality. “Throughout history, mythology has served humankind’s need to understand its surroundings... Through myth-making, I have been able to tap into a sense of belonging that extends from a connection to universal cultural concerns and narratives,” Harris says. 

Carla Jay Harris trained as a photographer and cinematographer, working in the commercial art field in New York for nearly ten years before committing herself to a contemporary art practice in 2011. In 2013, she moved to Southern California to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has stayed in the area ever since. Over the last decade, Carla Jay Harris’ artistic practice has evolved to include installation, collage, and drawing in addition to photographic methods. 

Harris has exhibited extensively in California and on the East Coast, participating in solo, two-person, and group exhibitions. She has received numerous awards, grants, residencies, and fellowships, and her work can be found in the collections of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, and the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, among others.

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