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Artist Interview #21: Sculptor Jaclyn Harris

· artist interview,glass,sculpture,ceramics

We've known Jaclyn for ages- since she first participated in the high school program at Pittsburgh Glass Center. She went away to college and later returned to Pittsburgh where she's developing a robust creative practice. It has been a real joy for us to watch her develop as an artist and to call her a friend. Her work is super experimental so there's always new textures and surfaces to check out when we catch up with her.

Where can we find you online?
jaclynmarieharris.com

Where are you from?
Zelienople, PA

What neighborhood do you live in now?
Garfield in Pittsburgh, PA

What type of artist are you?
Fine artist/sculptor. My practice is mostly atmospheric fired ceramic and kiln worked glass.

Why do you choose to make art in Pittsburgh?
I choose to make art in Pittsburgh for two reasons. 1. The glass. I've been at Pittsburgh Glass Center for over ten years. I love everything that the glass center offers, especially the glass community.
2. The ceramics. There is such a thriving and competitive ceramic community here in Pittsburgh that it keeps me very active. The local resources of Union Project, PCA, and the local potters are all great resources.

Between these two communities, I find myself continuously inspired and motivated.

What is your favorite part of being an artist in Pittsburgh?
A lively and diverse arts scene. Pittsburgh is very active in the arts, it's hard to compare to any other city. The arts community is the main reason why I stay here.
My collaborator, and partner, Jarrod Futscher (Takttime Design) and I feel very comfortable here. We're so fortunate to have accessible studio space; I now have 2 that serve my practice. The private studios and housing here are both affordable and accessible, which helps me maintain two art forms and my position as Ceramics Studio Coordinator at Union Project.

What would you love to see more of in the Pittsburgh art scene?
I see a lot of tradition, so I want to see more experimentation. Maybe that's just me speaking as an experimental artist, but I would love to see more experimenting, collaboration, and engaging artworks.
Pittsburgh is doing a great job of making the arts inclusive for all communities. Community projects are everywhere, which helps to liven up the city highly our strong arts scene.
I also see a lot of makers right now that are focusing on production and starting their own studios. Private and community access studios are necessary tools for the individual and the whole.

What is your favorite music to jam to in the studio?
I listen to a lot of Neil Young and American singer-song writers.

What other things do you do when you are not making art?
I'm constantly making art, it's also my day job.
With the little time that I have, I've been focusing on the business side of being a maker and artist.

What would you tell artists who are just starting out?
Work hard and be nice.

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