Harrell's Open Road

There are no excerpts for this Leader.

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Here, There and Everywhere

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Portland, OR

  • ON DVD:

HARRELL FLETCHER

Social Artist

“When you're doing what you think is the right thing to do, you're going to be a happier, more satisfied person.”

INTERESTS:

Art

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Choices Fulfillment Inspiration Instincts Opportunity Self-Reflection

FOUNDATION:

Learning / Challenging Myself Communicating / Sharing Stories

TAGS:

art, art school, community, contribution, drawing, film, giving, movies, painting, Portland State University, professor, small projects, teacher

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Was always encouraged to make art; started drawing at age 10, picked up photography down the line.
  • Went to a state university, then transferred to an art institute; realized he’d started to lose his creative impulse, was too focused on success.
  • Took a year to teach art at a grade school to get back in touch with his “original intentions” for making art.
  • Was inspired by a five-year-old who’d make a book about something he loved, show all of his friends, throw it away, and make a new one.
  • When he went back to do his MFA, he realized he didn’t want to make art in a studio; he wanted to interact with local places and people.
  • Developed “social art” while working with a Portland gas station owner—gave this man the means to live out his dream of shooting a video at his gas station.
  • Acted on the gas station owner’s vision, used Portland residents in the film, invited the participants to the showing—made it a communal artwork.
  • Says you have the option to be selfish and greedy, but it’s more “interesting, satisfying, and fun to try to contribute [to society] in a positive way.”

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)