Raven Harper

I am an African American artist who works primarily in printmaking, painting, fiber and ceramics. 

Learning new skills and improving my craft is an important foundation for my art practice. I am currently working on my first rug with Maria Guzman Capron in NIAD’s fiber department. I like how NIAD encourages developing new skills and how I can work on long term projects. 

The NIAD studio facilitators are an integral part of my practice. Bill Zindel in the printmaking department has helped me develop my printmaking works and expand into making t-shirts and bags. I like to use different techniques with printmaking, like linocut. It’s cool to make something unique instead of repeating yourself over and over again. At NIAD I can learn something new every day.

Working in ceramics I like to put things together. I like to build in ceramics. When I look at the clay it’s like a picture is already on there. I just like to carve into it what I want it to be. In my art I like to explore and have fun. The making process has to be fun for me.

I love to do African inspired art and sculpture. I like the fashion from Africa and the graphic designs. I want to make quilts inspired by African cultures. I think it’s good to make stuff from the old days. Because people don’t make those things anymore. I think it’s good to bring back old styles of art and craft. 

Art is about remembering for me. It comes to my mind that we should remember our ancestors. It’s about the things you have that you can be thankful for. I remember Dr King and Rosa Parks and the old ways and the way they showed us. 

There is power in learning history. Celebrating Black hair is important to me and exploring it in my clay sculptures of Black people. Black cultural icons are important to my practice also, especially Aretha Franklin. Aretha inspired a lot of people and showed herself in a good way.

I think I am a beautiful artist. I would like to end my statement by thanking all of my facilitators at NIAD for supporting me.

// Raven’s available work //

recent exhibition history

The Art Of Resilience: Black Artists Surviving And Thriving In The Bay Area// ACCI Gallery Berkeley 2020

Another Fine Mess Age: Anthony Grant X NIAD // NIAD Windows 2020

Art of the African Diaspora // Richmond Art Center Richmond California 2020

Turn To Stone // organized by Em Kettner NIAD Art Center 2019

Hailing From Parts Unknown // organized By Curtis Turner May 2019 

Disability Changemakers // (traveling exhibition) San Mateo, San Francisco and San Jose County public libraries beginning March 2019

Talking Heads: Figuration From Northern California Ceramicists // Curated organized by Susan Alexander and NIAD Art Center Museum of Northern California Art (monca) Chico 2018

Guerneville // organized by Gerasimos Floratos and Ross Simonini NIAD Art Center October 2018

Talking Heads // organized by Susan Alexander NIAD Art Center 2018

The Handmade // Rock Paper Scissors Collective Oakland 2018

Woven, Mixed, Tied, and Attached: Fiber As Message // organized By Ramekon O’Arwisters NIAD Art Center 2018

The Witnesses // organized by Cliff Hengst and Scott Hewicker NIAD Art Center 2017

Affinity // organized by Tim Buckwalter Museum of Northern California Art Chico 2017

The Table Show // NIAD Art Center 2016

Curious Weave // organized by Ramekon O’Arwisters NIAD Art Center 2016

Raven Harper // NIAD Art Center 2016

Joyful Tidings Of The Golden Future Time, organized by Jon Shibata // Yali’s Café Oxford Street Berkeley 2016

DIS/PLAY // SOMArts Gallery San Francisco 2015

The Wild Bunch // NIAD Art Center 2014

Yes To The Dress Pop-Up Shop // organized by Peter Gravener NIAD Art Center 2013

Mud, Honey // NIAD Art Center 2013

A Light That Never Goes Out: Continuing Traditions In Abstraction // NIAD Art Center 2013