Virginia Harrison was born in Denver Colorado in 1950. She was raised in an elegant mansion and was destined to become a debutant. However her inclination toward sculpting had already begun in her father’s tool shop and in the Rocky Mountains. After 2 years at a woman’s college in Virginia she traveled to Europe and India. She married Allan in 1974. They raised two daughters who remember the numerous art and craft projects that were the mainstay of playtime.
In 1988-90 she attended Sonoma State University, pursuing her love of tools and sculpture. She wove her first basket out of copper and aluminum wire for and installation she called “Mother Basket”. After graduating she was hired at the Bronze Plus foundry in Sebastopol as a metal chaser. She continued to weave copper baskets, and during that time developed a way to weave with bronze wire. At the foundry bronze wire is used for welding, but by casting a bronze bowl as a base and welding bronze spines to it she found it was possible to weave the welding wire in the open spines. She then soldered another larger wire around the top to finish the vessel. Soon she found that she was able to go beyond the vessel shape and create more and more complex sculptures. The patina which was added at the end gave the color which completed the work.
The sculptor Rodin and the painter Kandinsky are the artists who inspire Virginia the most. Kandinsky believed that music was the purest form of abstraction in art and he worked in his painting to bring color and form to that same level of purity. As with Kandinsky, music plays a fundamental role in Virginia’s creations. She uses movement of the rhythms and the arc of the sound to create shapes in her mind and then transforms them into sculptures. Virginia has shown in group and solo exhibitions internationally and her sculptures are in private collections throughout the U.S.
I was raised at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, where the history and lore of the gold and silver mines gave me an early understanding of metal. Over the past 17 years, I’ve been refining a technique combining the ignitive force of casting with the delicacy of weaving to create woven bronze sculptures that evoke both literal and emotional interpretation. I sculpt each base in wax and then cast them into bronze. I then weld spines to the base and weave the thin bronze wire, and sometimes beads or other objects, around the spines. After the weaving is complete, a patina is applied.
Sometimes the shapes that emerge are extremely deliberate, while other times they evolve during the process of creating them.
Combining bronze casting and weaving connects me to some of the most ancient human activities, and offers a way of lending grace and movement to bronze.
You can contact Virginia in whatever way works best for you.
Phone: (707) 293-6997
Fax: (707) 573-9426
1585 Terrace Way
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Virginia also creates custom bronze plaques and other bronze work. To learn more, visit the website for Memory Markers at www.memorymarkers-plaques.com.
Exhibitions and gallery shows
|2011||Represented artist||Just For You Gallery of Fine Arts||Healdsburg, CA|
|2010||Winner: Best in Show||Juried show: Innovations in Fiber Arts V
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
|2010||Represented artist||Sebastopol Art Gallery||Sebastopol, CA|
|2010||Represented artist||Albany Arts Gallery||Albany, CA|
|2009-2010||Represented artist||Rice/Polak Gallery||Provincetown, MA|
|2009||Featured artist||Pallette Art Café||Healdsburg, CA|
|2008||Represented artist||Pallette Art Café||Healdsburg, CA|
|2007-present||Represented artist||Pop Gallery||Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|2007||Invited participant||Juried show, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art||Sonoma, California|
|2007||Represented artist||Kirchman Gallery||Johnson City, Texas|
|2007-present||Represented artist||Highlight Gallery||Mendocino, California|
|2006-2008||Represented artist||Sculptors Dominion||San Antonio, Texas|
|2006||Fire Goodshow||A St. Gallery||Santa Rosa, California|
3rd Place Winner for Sculpture
|2005 Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea||Florence, Italy|
|2005-Present||Represented artist||Laurence Gallery||Occidental, CA|
|2005||Participant in group exhibition||Arches Gallery||Healdsburg, CA|
|2005||Participant in group exhibition||Hanson Howard Gallery||Ashland, OR|
|2005||Participant in group exhibition||Virginia Breier Gallery||San Francisco, CA|
|2005||Participant in group exhibition||Highlight Gallery||Mendocino, CA|
4th Place Winner for Sculpture
|2003 Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea||Florence, Italy|
|Participant||ARTrails Open Studios tour||Santa Rosa, CA|
|Participant||Art For Life, Aids Fundraiser||Santa Rosa, CA|
|2003||Personal showing||Imani Gallery||Napa, California|
|2000||Day of the Dead show||A St. Gallery||Santa Rosa, California|
|1999||Personal showing||Kajul Gallery||Healdsburg, California|
|1994||Personal showing||Branscomb Gallery||Bodega Bay, California|
|1992||Personal showing||Forecast Gallery||Portland, Oregon|
|1990, 1991||Small Works Show||California Museum of Art||Santa Rosa, California|
|1990||Senior Show||Sonoma State University||Rohnert Park, California|
Work and schooling experience
|2003||Contributer||Featured on Sparks, a show featuring artists broadcast on KQED, the San Francisco PBS station||San Francisco, California|
|1999-present||Founder and owner||Memory Markers, a custom bronze-plaque studio||Santa Rosa, California|
|1992-2007||Foundry technician and chaser||Bronze+ Foundry||Sebastopol, California|
|1990||Bachelor of Arts||Graduated with honors in sculpture and drawing||Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, California
|1980-1984||Jeweler||Bagley and Hotchkiss Jewelers||Guerneville, California|