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YI Writers Meet Kira Lynn Harris

MAR 8, 2013

Kira Lynn Harris speaks to students in the Youth Insights Writers program, March 2013. Photograph by Carda Burke

Kira Lynn Harris speaks to students in the Youth Insights Writers program, March 2013. Photograph by Carda Burke

On Tuesday, March 5, participants in the Youth Insights Writers program met the artist Kira Lynn Harris. Harris, whose work is currently on view at the Whitney as part of the exhibition Blues for Smoke, will be working with YI Writers as our Artist-in-Residence to create artwork and writing with us over the course of the semester. First she gave us the inside scoop on her art and her life as an artist. Born in California in 1963, Harris became interested in science fiction and comic books at a young age. She often incorporates sci-fi into her work, even though it can be somewhat concealed or hard to detect. Harris’s art includes large-scale wall drawings and works that use light and mirrors to play with perspective, reflections, and perception.

Kira Lynn Harris, Blues for Breuer, 2013 (foreground). Installation view of Blues for Smoke (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, February 7–April 28, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

Kira Lynn Harris, Blues for Breuer, 2013 (foreground). Installation view of Blues for Smoke (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, February 7–April 28, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

It was inspiring to meet Harris and learn about who she really is, as an artist and as a person. She didn’t start out wanting to be an artist—her plans changed. She went to college for math and science, choosing to do something more practical because she was the first in her family to attend college. She thought she would become a nurse, but then started to become interested in art. Today, she is a professional artist and teacher. Meeting Harris and hearing her story has made me more confident of my goals—like her, I want to live an eventful, interesting life that changes from time to time.

By Simona, Youth Insights Writer