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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Local artist’s private works tell stories on SE Campus

By Autumn Walsh/reporter

Private Archaeology in Art Corridor I on SE Campus features pieces from Brian Harper's collection of sculptures. He uses different techniques to fire his art to create unique, interesting textures and colors.  Photo by Brandon Tompkins/The Collegian
Private Archaeology in Art Corridor I on SE Campus features pieces from Brian Harper’s collection of sculptures. He uses different techniques to fire his art to create unique, interesting textures and colors. Photo by Brandon Tompkins/The Collegian

Local artist Brian Harper hopes to encourage the viewer’s creation of a private mythology through his installationPrivate Archaeology on SE Campus.

In his artist statement, Harper discusses the importance of “the viewer’s participation in the final outcome of the work. Right or wrong stories do not exist.”

Each piece of work “asks questions of what, where, when and who: these questions being the necessary steps toward the development of a story—a narrative unique to each viewer,” he writes.

A full-time lecturer teaching ceramics at Baylor University in Waco, Harper does his sculpting in a “non-traditional way.” Instead of sculpting and then firing clay, Harper sculpts into already fired ceramics—a style he picked up in graduate school at the University of Iowa.

Harper completed his bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Northern Arizona University in December 2001 and completed his master’s degree in fine arts at the University of Iowa in 2005.

“Wonderment of the unknown has no cultural imports, no territorial boundaries, no language barriers; it is inherent in all of us,” he said.

Harper not only creates art but also builds soda kilns (in which salt is introduced during the firing process) and anagama kilns (an Asian style used since medieval times), and he maintains several other types. 

A piece from Brian Harper's collection of sculptures.  Photo by Brandon Tompkins/The Collegian
A piece from Brian Harper’s collection of sculptures. Photo by Brandon Tompkins/The Collegian

He said he experiments in many types of firing methods including electric low-fire, low-fire salt fuming, high-fire soda, salt and residual salt, raku and wood-firing.

Private Archaeology can be viewed in Art Corridor I until Feb. 29. There are nine pieces in the show, seven of which are from his New Myth Series. The exhibit is free and available 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

A piece from Brian Harper's collection of sculptures.  Photo by Brandon Tompkins/The Collegian
A piece from Brian Harper’s collection of sculptures. Photo by Brandon Tompkins/The Collegian
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