Bill Harris

Bill Harris - Brief Biography, Collections, and Artist's Statement


    Bill Harris, a native Washingtonian, is a graduate of Howard University with an undergraduate degree (BFA) in Design and masters degree (MFA) in Printmaking and Drawing.  In a career that has spanned 42 years, as public school instructor in the D.C. Public School system, he has taught on every grade level from pre-k to senior high.  Mr. Harris is a founding faculty member and former chair, of the art department, at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in the District of Columbia.  He has served as an adjunct/associate professor at Howard University, College Of Fine Arts, from 1985 - 1988 and served as a (crafts) panelist for the D.C. Commission On The Arts And Humanities (1980) as well as a (fine arts) panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council (1983).  He was an artist/member of the Washington Printmakers Gallery from 1991 through 2006.  Mr. Harris served as a member of the Board of Directors of Pyramid Atlantic.  He, currently, serves on the board of Arts On The Block of Maryland.  His work has been exhibited throughout the Washington/Metropolitan area as well as New York, Philadelphia, Colorado, New Orleans, and Cali, Columbia.
Mayor's Art Award For Teaching, Washington, D.C. (2010) 
Highly Effective Educator Award, D.C. Public Schools, (2010)
Certificate Of Appreciation, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, 1997
Certificate of Merit - Presidential Scholars Program - White House Commission on Presidential Scholars (1989)
Visual Arts Award - 39th National Convention -  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Black Arts Renaissance) 1988
Spring Solo Exhibition (Arlington Arts Center) sponsored by the National Endowment For The Arts (1992)
Capitol One Corporate Collection - McLean, VA.
John A. Wilson Building - City Hall Art Collection - D.C. Commission On The Arts And Humanities - Washington, D.C.
Sallie Mae - Washington, D.C.
McNeese State University Collection - Lake Charles, Louisiana
Duke Ellington School of the Arts - Washington, D.C.
Artist's Statement:
     I began my professional artistic career as an instructor of art in the D.C. Public School School System.  I, soon, embarked on a journey to become a craftsman by having a mentor teach me the art of woodturning.  During the time I spent completing my mentorship, I learned additional woodworking skills.  I, soon, returned to graduate school after seven years of teaching and received my (MFA) degree in printmaking and drawing from Howard University.  For fifteen years, as a member of the Washington Printmakers Gallery, I was known as a printmaker.  As I evolved, as an artist, I began to merge my printmaking skills with woodworking.  The two separate processes allowed me the opportunity to combine colors printed on canvas surfaces with wooden constructions.  Starting from mere doodles in my sketchbook, I have begun to merge the two skills into imaginative and creative forms as never before.  In giving birth to each new work, the journey has allowed me to make visual, social, and culturally infused comments about the people, ideas, and events that I have recognized as,important, in my lifetime.
Bill Harris