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

Untangling Webs: A Journey In Abstract Textiles, organized by Alexander Hernandez // NIAD Online Exhibition // July 2023

Small Wonders, organized by kg // NIAD Online Exhibition // July 2023

Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD // Oakland Museum of California // May 2023

Larger Than Life: S/Heroes, GOATs, and Other Legends organized by Zoya Kocur // NIAD Online Exhibition // February 2023

Art of the African Diaspora 2023 by Richmond Art center// January – March 2023

I Dreamt the Sun Was in My Bed Organized By SF State University’s Fall 2022 Exhibition Design Class // NIAD Online Exhibition // December 2022

NIAD is for music lovers organized by Xiomara Rosales // NIAD Online Exhibition // December 2022

NIAD Ink: 35 Years of Prints organized by Andrés Cisneros-Galindo // NIAD Online Exhibition // December 2022

Making in Color organized by Edwige Charlot // NIAD Online Exhibition // November 2022

Crossover: Cedars of Marin + NIAD // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // November 2022

Los Angeles Review of Books: “Soft Material” // September 2022

Face In the Crowd, organized by René Smith // NIAD Online Exhibition // August 2022

Told Through A Line, organized by Risa Lenore // NIAD Online Exhibition // September 2022

Projects from ‘Soft Material, organized by Nan Collymore and Celia Lesh // Berkeley Art Center // August 2022

And Then Some… // NIAD Annex Exhibition // May 2022

Quiet, organized by Matthew Pawlowski // NIAD Online Exhibition // April 2022

DESIRE DESIRE, organized by Diego Leclery // NIAD Online Exhibition // April 2022

Luxe, Calme et Volupté, organized by Lou Mo // NIAD Online Exhibition // March 2022

Dreamforms, curated by Lauren Ari and Julio Del Rio // NIAD Online Exhibition // March 2022

Art of the African Diaspora // Richmond Art Center // January – March 2022

Innersense, ushered by Germán Herrera // NIAD Online Exhibition // January 2022

Holiday Gift Guide #5, organized by Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh // NIAD Online Exhibition // December 2021

Faces in the Crowd, selected by Elizabeth Lalley // NIAD Online Exhibition // December 2020

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,  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, 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