‘Contrapuntal Hitch’ opens tonight at Prairie Lights

A tale for the end of a millennium,
“A tale for the end of a millennium,” 2014. Ink, acrylic varnish on paper, mounted on assembled, waxed wood panels. — image courtesy of Jen P. Harris

Contrapuntal Hitch

Prairie Lights — Reception on Jan. 23, 6-8 p.m.

A opening reception for Contrapuntal Hitch, an ongoing exhibit of small works by Iowa City-based artist Jen P. Harris, is taking place tonight at Prairie Lights café.

Harris has shown her work nationally and is the recipient of multiple awards and grants, including the New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship. Her work in Contrapuntal Hitch consists of vividly colored and intricately layered imagery, and the symbols she depicts are extracted from both the distant past and the present era. Her surprising compositions and lush palette lend an unpredictable and slightly mischievous air to the mythic symbols seen in her work.

One of the greatest strengths of Harris’s work is its acceptance of the unknown — of mystery. This is a rare trait in itself and one especially so in a technological age where the demand for rapid dissemination of information often leaves us stuck in a feedback loop of misinformation. In Harris’ capable hands, symbols like the esoteric Ouroboros don’t seem anachronistic at all. In fact, they couldn’t seem more relevant.

The exhibit runs Jan. 5 through Feb. 1.

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