Visual artist Harriet Wood was exposed to abstract expressionism as a young painter living in New York. Woods’ paintings are a distillation of her response to the landscape, as well as an exercise in formal considerations within her work. The dialogue between Wood and her work, an interaction of rapt intensity and incisive focus, interchanges what is manifested on the canvas, with the response from her psyche and how she reacts to it.
Harriet attended the Art Student’s League and Pratt Institute. She graduated from Goddard College with a major in art history. In her twenties she was part of a social protest group, the NO! Art group and showed in their gallery on Tenth St., the March Gallery, as well as the Coda Gallery. More recently she has shown at the Neue Gesellschaft Fur Bildene Kunst, Berlin, Germany, the Block Museum of the University of Illinois and the Chelsea Museum in NYC. She is in the collection of the Boris Lurie Foundation, NYC. She has shown in many venues throughout Vermont.
“I had been a political protest (anti-war) artist and expressionist figure painter until around fifteen years ago when I turned to abstract expressionism. Even though it’s no longer like jumping into the abyss like it was in the fifties, I find it still a relevant genre, drawing me in with more and more complexities, distillations and challenges.
It has offered me the physicality and emotional connection with my work that I needed and along with formal considerations has proved to be a psychically integrative process. My communication with the painting continues until it leaves my studio. For me, there is a connection between writing poetry and painting out of my unconscious, in the sense that both are grabbing the moment and distilling the emotions.
The immediacy of the work and approaching the unknown each time I paint makes it virtually impossible to copy a painting. It is practice, giving myself completely to the moment in the least self-conscious way possible. This way of working has been noted by Zen masters who consider it a form of practice/meditation.&rdquo
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About RIVER ARTS GALLERY
River Arts is a community arts organization based in Morrisville, Vermont, which formed in 1999 as the result of a community planning forum that set creating an intergenerational community arts center as a top priority. At that time, there were no arts programs available to most residents of Lamoille County. Since 2000, we have offered classes, workshops, exhibits, concerts, and other special events to the residents of Lamoille County for free or at affordable costs. Our mission is to enrich the community through the arts. From the start, River Arts has been committed to making the arts accessible for everyone no matter what their ability, age, or financial means. We are determined to ensure that cost will not prevent program participation, an operating principle that sets us apart from many similar organizations. We strive to keep our programs free to the neediest populations—low-income children and elders. For others, we work to keep the tuition and fees affordable and to always have financial assistance available.
“Arts for Everyone” is part of the River Arts logo because it is our basic operating value and our commitment to our community. We strive for affordability and actively reach out to engage people who are unlikely to ever consider themselves artists or consumers of art, whether they are elders who have never picked up a paintbrush or been to a orchestral concert, teens disengaged from academic expectations or sports-focused culture, or our next-door neighbors. We believe that participation in the arts, particularly hands-on, do-it-yourself arts, can change lives. This is especially true in a non-competitive environment that encourages creative risk taking with the support of strong relationships with skilled artist teachers.
Collaboration with other organizations enables us to make the most of community resources and reach the greatest number of people, especially underserved populations. We partner with over fifty schools, social service agencies, and state and local organizations to reach underserved populations, reduce program duplication, leverage funding, and maximize our use of resources. ►more