Featured Artist: Allison Harrell at the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

May 1, 2018 2:39PM

Wesley Moon (of Wesley Moon, Inc.) first saw the artwork by Allison Harrell, an AD ART SHOW 2018 artist, on the MvVO ART Artsy gallery page, where his art advisor noticed her outstanding talent. Allison’s work is now featured in the annual Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House. This prestigious fundraising event is known in the décor world for igniting new design trends and raising money for a good cause.

Allison Harrell and her piece, which is featured in a kitchen designed by Wesley Moon of Wesley Moon, Inc. Photo credit: André Mistier

What was your response to being discovered in the MvVO ART Artsy gallery and being featured in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House?

I feel honored and committed to put energy in such a positive direction. I have always admired the work of The Boys and Girls Club improving the chances and futures of countless participants, so being approached with MVVO on Artsy by Wesley Moon Inc. was a perfect call to action as well as a delight. Thoughtful design can truly shape atmosphere and inspire, and the efforts of designers like Moon and programs Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club can really bring the seed of this growth to life.  

How do you feel about the importance of ART being in homes?

Art should absolutely live in everyday life, in shape and form and color it reflects a connection to our minds, our hearts, perhaps and so importantly to each other. What better place to focus meaningful messages and beautiful inspirations, whatever that means to a person, than the place where each day starts and finishes? It’s imperative, like taking care to clean up or brush one's teeth; it sustains a type of invisible health.

What hangs on YOUR wall?

I very proudly hang oil paintings by an artist who started in my neighborhood doing street and sidewalk pieces names Paul Richard; very beloved Ralph Steadman original illustrations of The Hunting of the Snark plates; old fencing motion studies in pencil, a collection of decorative knives, an edition serigraph of Lion Stroll by Theodore Geisel (Dr Seuss); feather headdresses made by Pataxó Hãhãhãe from Brazil; an original production animation cell by Walt Disney Studios of Robin Hood and Maid Marion and lastly a couple of my own recent pieces which I like to engage and reflect during each phase of the messages I’m working on.  Right now they are Composition For Colors which is mixed media sculpture and video art and Wilma’s Room 2 with physics optical and sculpture around a light box.  There are always nameless sketches in marker all over my windows and doors.

Allison Harrell's custom work for the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, May 2018. Photo credit: Allison Harrell

What’s new in your studio?

Trying to visually, metaphorically illustrate the baseline connection and potential for empowerment messaging that is similar in the world’s top 5 most popular religions.  I think the world could use some celebration of the positive messages that have come from faiths and reminders that we are all together and searching for the similar underlying things.  I’m exploring colored lenses of glass that might overlap and activate a light sequence when articulated.  We’ll see!  Video sequences with meditative color space are also a big theme around here.

Do you have any thoughts to share about the meeting point between design/decor and art?

People as creatures have many way to use their energies and capabilities but almost all adorn, decorate, tell stories, organize with meaning… With great respect for the specific canonized arts of centuries past as well as the unique facets of design development and decor, I think they are all celebrating a common, underlying expression when they are authentically synthesized.  For me, I can no longer separate art from everyday living because each tiny nature of textures and shapes, line, rhythm, etc. have a job to do and can be a symphony of artistic transcending when done well.

Maria van Vlodrop, founder of MvVO ART, is happy to have played “matchmaker” for Allison and this influential designer, as the mission of MvVO ART is to create opportunities for artists. Lauren Durling, MvVO ART Artsy egalley Director, is excited about attending the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse opening night.

Explore more of Allison's art on Instagram and at her website.

Follow MvVO ART on Artsy, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to learn more about upcoming MvVO ART events and open calls for artists’ submissions.