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HARVEY CAPTURES MAGIC OF THE ORDINARY

by Daniel Schere

daniel@yesweekly.com

Step into a dimly lit room full of overhead projectors, and you find something you would not normally expect to find in an art museum.

But that is what you will find at Winston- Salem’s Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, in the exhibit Claire Harvey: Daily Measures, which began last Saturday and runs until September 15. It includes drawings made on unorthodox materials such as glass slides, sticky-tack, Scotch tape and Post-it notes which act as her canvas. Most of her work depicts ordinary scenes often from the perspective of the passerby.

Harvey is a woman who thinks in pictures rather than words, and was not exactly sure what it was that got her interested in art.

“I think from a really early age I loved making images, making pictures. It was the best way to try and make sense of everything else that goes in that round,” she said.

When asked about her thought process for generating ideas for her drawings, she struggled to come up with a response.

“That’s a secret. Even I don’t know,” she said.

Harvey said most of her work is unique, in that it focuses on capturing the emotion of the moment “It’s not the object or the space, it’s more just like the encounter, the event,” she said as she pointed to a recent drawing of a young boy playing in the street. “And even those moments can just last a flash of a second.”

Harvey grew up in England and went to art school there but has lived in Amsterdam for the past 10 years. This is her first solo museum exhibition in the United States.

SECCA curator Cora Fisher said she thinks the small scale Harvey uses in her work is her defining quality as an artist.

“I think for sure what sets Claire’s work apart is just the sense of wonder that it creates, her use of materials and her ability to paint and draw on such a tiny scale,” Fisher said.

“She’s really looking at people in a public space, and kind of rendering them with this amazing, magical facility for the miniature.”

The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art hosts eight exhibitions each year, and Fisher said that plans for this have been in the works for roughly a year.

She said Harvey’s work will be followed by an exhibition from digital artist Neil Goldberg, whose work will be displayed July 18 through October 5.

“Both Claire and Neil think a lot about ordinary, everyday experience and really highlighting moments of interest that are overlooked within that, so they have a very observational practice in different media,” Fisher said.

Executive Director Mark Leach said he thinks Harvey’s work fits right in line with the museum’s mission.

“We are fortunate at SECCA to work with artists that are eager to provide such unique experiences for our visitors,” Leach said. “In this case, the ephemeral nature of the exhibition also subtly reflects much of the subject matter in Harvey’s work.” !

WANNA go?

Wanna go: Claire Harvey:Daily Measures runs June 14-September 15. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art is open from 10 am to 5 pm Tues-Sat, 10 am to 8 pm Thursday, and 1 pm to 5 pm Sunday. Admission is free. They are located at 750 Marguerite Drive in Winston-Salem. For more information go to www.secca.org or call 336-725-1904.

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