Harrell's Open Road
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Here, There and Everywhere
art, art school, community, contribution, drawing, film, giving, movies, painting, Portland State University, professor, small projects, teacher
- 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.”