by Christy Rodriguez de Conte
A serene sanctuary of collected art lies among the steel structures of airport terminals and the monotonous routine of luggage carousels and security lines. Thanks to the 20-year presence of COCA’s Artport Gallery, local artists can share their work with global travelers.
Most recently, the Artport Gallery has curated and displayed the works of Tallahassee artist, Harris Wiltsher.
Wiltsher steps with intention into this gallery confident that his series, “Crowns, Concerns, and Eyes Wide Open,” will morph into any space to connect with everyone’s own personal relationship with art.
Wiltsher draws on his experience with a variety of mediums including painting, drafting, and collage to create unique vibrant silkscreen prints that invite an open dialogue about Black beauty.
“I think my work only accentuates Black beauty, as I feel it is elevated through the means of being a completed work of creative energy for others to experience,” says Wiltsher, “I am looking to challenge the viewer’s thinking and celebrate my viewpoint as an artist of color responding to my own experiences.”
Wiltsher’s artistic success has been hard-earned and rooted in a deep artistic education. He attended New York City’s High School of Art & Design, Florida A&M University’s prestigious Fine Arts program, and ultimately was awarded an MFA in Printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Since then, he has lived and worked in Tallahassee for over 25 years and participated in numerous activities as a juror, exhibitor, and curator both locally and around the country.
Wiltsher’s process uses photoshopped copied images of his friends and acquaintances as the foundation for his current silkscreen print work. He then layers collaged images from newspapers and the internet to create spirited drawn images that are ultimately printed in the background.
It is evident when viewing Wiltsher’s work, that there is an immediacy to his use of pattern and color that speaks to his own ideas of Black beauty. Viewers are confronted with the hard edges of geometrical shapes and lines layered on the softness of black skin.
Read the rest of the article on the Tallahassee Democrat.