Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finding your stART in NYC - Article by Carol Tan from the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards

Taken at Harrison Love's Compressed Culture show at the Greenpoint Gallery on April 6, 2012. 

The art world can be a very daunting place, especially if you’re in New York City. There are surprisingly few places in New York that provide opportunities for young artists to show their work. Even with the resources that are available, exhibiting anywhere in this big city is a hard earned privilege. 

This was no different for artist and illustrator Harrison Love, who won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award in 2004. Looking for the right opportunity to exhibit his work without feeling the bite of a gallery’s commission or percentage was no easy task. After looking for a year, Harrison was starting to become discouraged by the long wait list and huge commission percentage of galleries around the city. Then, in the winter of 2011, there was finally a sign of light at the end of the tunnel. 

From December 13 – 20, Harrison had his work exhibited in the annual open call for artists at The Greenpoint Gallery, an artist-run art and music venue in Brooklyn, NY. There were over 200 paintings in the show from over 30 participating artists. Amongst the staggering collection of artwork, Harrison’s work stood out and was selected to receive a first place prize, a working residency at the gallery, and a solo show in the spring of 2012. Check out our interview with him as well as a slideshow of the opening night of his solo show below! Congratulations on your first solo show in NYC! What was this experience like for you? “I’ve exhibited all over the world, mostly when I was traveling. I just seemed to always find a place for my work. But, when I came to New York, every door was barred and carefully guarded. I didn’t know where to turn. 
After a year, I finally caught my break at The Greenpoint Gallery and was floored by the response! I got lucky.” How is exhibiting in New York different from elsewhere in the world? “It seems like most artists in the city start out exhibiting wherever they can, showing their work in group or salon shows at galleries that take a percentage from the sale of the work. This is the beginning of an uphill battle for young artists. In other parts of the country there are galleries and museums that are easier to access and more welcoming to young professionals. I think it is naïve to start an art career in New York and put all of your eggs in one basket. NYC is a very full and expensive basket.” 

 How has your show at The Greenpoint Gallery changed your work? 
“It is very rare for a young and emerging artist to have a solo show in NYC. It is almost like, now, everyone has seen what I am capable of and is eager to see what will come next. I have drawn the attention of the bigger collectors and galleries, and now, I think that I have more responsibility as an artist than I’ve ever had before.” What advice would you give to young artists looking to get into the art scene in New York City? “Don’t ever be discouraged. Nothing ever works out the way we fantasize. Your career will start slowly, and in a small way. But it will grow as long as you keep learning from each experience and from the other artists you will come in contact with in the process.” To learn more about Harrison Love, visit: You can also see his current project and support it online at:         TAGS: advice, alumni, art, exhibition, interview

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Harrison M. Love was born, in Bedford New York, in 1985. Harrison began his art education at an early age under the tutelage of his family who have a long standing connection to the arts. In 1991 the Love family moved to Brussels Belgium, where Harrison began his formal studies in the arts, at the International School of Brussels (ISB). After returning to the U.S., Harrison continued his art education at the Norwich Free Academy in Connecticut, utilizing their large cast* collection for his early studies. Early work from Harrison's high-school portfolio was submitted to the 2004 Scholastic Art competition, where Harrison Love became the most awarded student artist in CT state Scholastic history that year, winning five gold keys for his portfolio as well as the honor of his major work, "A Changed World" (an illustrated accordion style book), being named "Best in Show." The book was later sent to the national gallery in washington where it was further awarded a silver metal. Harrison went on to advance his art education at the Rhode Island School of Design and worked at Brown University for three years on the Harkonnen Program, which was later featured on the Discovery Channel in a special about innovative media.  While attending RISD, Harrison worked extensively in advertising abroad, in Tokyo and in Shanghai. After graduating in 2008, Harrison Love surprised everyone and began a solo expedition to remote parts of the Peruvian Amazon jungle, to study the cultural heritage of tribes living in seclusion, specifically the Ashaninca, Waorani, and Shipibo tribes. The specific purpose of study was to research the remote tribal customs of the oldest surviving tribes in the Amazon,  living near uncontacted tribes close to the Brazilian border (these tribes made international news in 2008 on BBC, while Harrison had already begun his expedition.) In June of 2009, Harrison returned from the Amazon to his family home in Connecticut, where he began preparing his artwork and research for galleries throughout the east and west coasts.  Harrison Love is currently living in San Francisco, CA where he is working on larger more complicated partnerships in the arts.