Cross-Eyed: Two Siblings / Distinct Memories
Through writings and artworks, siblings John and Leah Harper have created a magical and humorous exhibit drawn from diverging memories of shared childhood experiences.
The Reynolds Gallery presents Cross-Eyed: Two Siblings/Distinct Memories, an exhibition of works by brother and sister John and Leah Harper, on view February 27 through March 31, 2017. Gallery reception and presentation by the artists, Thursday, March 9 at 6:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Through writings and artworks, siblings John and Leah Harper have created a magical and humorous exhibit drawn from diverging memories of shared childhood experiences. Growing up in a family of little means, the Harpers did not have an abundance of material wealth. However, they did have a rich cultural background of California pioneer and Native American heritage. Active imaginations and childhood creativity more than made up for a lack of fancy toys, board games or television. John Harper notes: "We were a very large and religious family sharing an acre of land with our chickens, pigs, turkeys, ducks and at least one cow, not to mention the fruit trees, a vegetable garden and Mom's strawberry patch. It seemed to me we had everything."
The result of the Harpers' collective memories is a wonderful multidimensional exhibition with whimsical, artworks likely to evoke childhood memories from visitors to the gallery. This exhibition revives colorful childhood antics and absurdities through a mixture of natural materials and iconography that were commonplace to their childhood. Each artwork is accompanied by a narrative panel, through which the artists' share their distinct and divergent memories of the same event.
This exhibition originated at the Redding Art Museum in 1998 and has traveled to the National John Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, The Hermitage Museum in Nashville Tennessee and returned to Redding, California with an exhibition and lecture presentation at the Shasta College Art Gallery. John Harper is an Emeritus Professor of Art at Shasta College in Redding, California. Leah Harper is a teacher, artist, musician and puppeteer. She is also a native healer for the NorRelMuk Wintu tribe.