AMY BETH HARRISON
What’s your story?
Growing up, I ruined my mom’s scissors and knives on cardboard boxes to make elaborate constructions, including a two-story My Little Pony cardboard house with carpet that earned me a wooden dollhouse kit from my parents. At a very young age I decided I wanted to be an artist, and I’ve never wavered in that conviction. Becoming an adult was an incredibly painful experience for me, including losing a very close family member. Life is hard, and experiencing some of that first hand opened my eyes to how many people suffer. In the face of that knowledge, I find that making art, even if it be but small windows of time, helps me hold onto the wonder and creativity of my childhood self. At the same time, the medium allows me to express my many, often difficult, emotions. My hope is that viewing this expression will also be therapeutic to other people. I believe that every person, no matter their profession, can be creative and helped by creativity.
What do you make?
I make sculptures, installations, drawings and collages. I believe humanity hasn’t blown itself up quite yet because of the mostly anonymous doings of good humans. History is as much about the connections and good actions of decent people as it is about wars and famous leaders. Unfortunately, this kind of history has mostly gone unrecorded and the people unnoticed. I am fascinated in unearthing this history by looking for the moments when it has bubbled up to the surface of recorded history and culture. Working with these images–along with materials that have emotional connections for me–I work to create 2D and 3D constructions that connect history to the problems of today.
How did you get involved in Miranda’s Hearth?
Miranda and I met when both educators at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. One time at lunch I sat down to talk with her and we had the most amazing and inspiring conversation. Miranda was working on her master’s thesis at the time, and I loved hearing her many ideas for her book and its promotion. I loved her enthusiasm and knew I wanted to be part of the community she was starting.