About Me

My name is Mai Harris, I write and make everything you see on this blog. I am a visual artist located in Murfreesboro, TN. In addition to my art work, I curate local art and music shows and am a regular contributor to the Murfreesboro Pulse arts section. That pretty much sums it up, but for more specifics on what all I get into then keep reading….

Artist’s Statement:
My paintings, done in a combination of acrylics and oil, are both narrative and surreal. The core of the work is usually very personal, but with generic elements that relate to the larger human race. I present a story to the viewer for them to make of it what they wish. The symbols have meaning for me that tell a very specific story, just as they will have meanings for the viewer for them to use to construct their own story.
The female characters I create are often in a dreamlike state, in large rooms where you see space instead of a ceiling, and water instead of a solid floor. Random animals are often found roaming the scene, the way odd things that seem out of place find their way into our dreams. All of this is inspired by dreams, fantasies, things that have happened to me, things I wish would happen. Regardless of what issue I am sorting through or what part of life I am trying to make sense of in the story, death is the only certainty, so of course it is a valid influence on everything and always present. Amidst whimsical, decedent, and indulgent elements there is always a lingering darkness or symbol of death. This reminder of death is represented in different ways, such as the figure’s body appearing to decay or being composed of bones and organs. Sometimes it is shown as a skeleton that lingers over the body, with its limbs becoming interchangeable with that of the living figure.
The issues at hand are difficult and serious, the reality of how short life is and the certainty of death is absolute and inescapable. Framing these ideas with whimsy, escapism, and superficial sources of inspiration, fashion ads being a key inspiration for what I do for example, brings up the question: what is truly important? How should we spend our time? And are all of the answers so large and out of grasp or impossible that we should just run away into our own worlds within our minds and wait until it’s over?

Exhibition History of Mai Harris:
_Nym Show: 310 Chestnut Street, Nashville, TN – 2007
Breakfast at Chestnut with _Nym: 310 Chestnut Street, Nashville, TN 2007
Sugar Free Atrophy with _Nym: 310 Chestnut Street, Nashville, TN – 2007
Sex Show with _Nym: Pilcher Avenue, Nashville, TN – 2008
Salon Show – Brownlee O’ Curry Gallery – 2008
Earthly Delights – Senior Thesis Exhibition: Brownlee O’ Curry Gallery – 2008
Flood Benefit: Billups Art Gallery, Nashville, TN – May 2010
MARC Show: 423 Kings Hwy, Murfreesboro, TN – August 2010
Diorama-O-Rama: Billups Art Gallery, Nashville, TN – August 2010
Art Life with Tetsuo: Pawbowskys, Murfreesboro, TN – August 2010
Art Life Exhibition: 120 First Street, Murfreesboro, TN – August 2010
Art Life Exhibition: 120 First Street, Murfreesboro, TN – September 2010
Fight Back, Move Forward: Billups Art Gallery – Nashville, TN – October 2010
Day of the Dead Pin Up Pageant with Art Life-Pawbowskys – October 2010
From Buffalo with Love: 12th & Porter, Nashville, TN – November 2010
Art Show at 3 Brothers: Murfreesboro, TN – January 2011
Art Show at 3 Brothers: Murfreesboro, TN – February 2011
Art Show at 3 Brothers: Murfreesboro, TN – Marc 2011
Colors & Chromatics at Moxie Art Supply – Murfreesboro, TN – March 2011
The Work of Mai Harris & Paige Ridley at Liquid Smoke – March-April 2011
The Grand Opening of Earthsoul Gallery – Smyrna, TN – January 2012
To Stand Strong – A Solo Exhibition by Mai Harris: EarthSoul Gallery – Smyrna, TN – March 2012
One Love – EarthSoul Gallery – Smyrna, TN – February 2013
Eclectic – Earthsoul Gallery – Smyrna, TN – October 2013
Valentine’s Masquerade Event – Boheme Collectif, Nashville TN, February 2014
METAL – Blackbird Tattoo & Art Gallery, Nashville TN, May 2014

Ongoing:
Paintings rotated annually at 3 Brothers and LimeTiger, both in Murfreesboro, TN
Work rotated monthly at Earthsoul Gallery in Smyrna, TN

Live Painting Events:
JonesWorld: The Rutledge, Nashville, TN – December 2010, January 2011
That’s My Kid: 3 Brothers, Murfreesboro, TN – November 2011
Skeetzo N’ Krysis: The Boro, Murfreesboro, TN – November 2011
ShyGuy: The Boro, Murfreesboro, TN – November 2011
Body of Light: Bluesboro, Murfreesboro, TN – November 2011
WMTS Benefit Show: Bluesboro, Murfreesboro, TN – December 2011
Langoliers, TN Scum: 3 Brothers, Murfreesboro, TN – January 2012
Skeetzo N’ Krysis: 3 Brothers, Murfreesboro, TN – February 2014
….
(Full live painting resume available upon request)

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