Armadillo | Carl Clark and Mike Harris Jr.

Armadillo | Carl Clark and Mike Harris Jr.

Interact Gallery presents Armadillo, featuring work by Carl Clark and Mike Harris Jr.

Carl Clark and Mike Harris, Jr. share an interest in rolling hills, expansive skies, and vigorous swaths of color. Both use painting to commune with the environment. They treat their subjects gently: bees rest in psychedelic swirls of pink, orange, and yellow; little palm trees line the edges of dark and peaceful lagoons. One imagines wandering these places, cloaked in tangerine and cerulean hues, seeing things as the artists do. 

Clark’s beautifully stark landscapes are known for boundless, wide-open skies. He applies pigment in columns and rows, creating flat patchworks of color. Both wistful and matter of fact, the paintings whisk us away to shorelines, mountains, pastures, seas. “I like the scenery,” he says. Working with his advocate, Joli Grostephan, Clark sources reference images from calendars and the internet, infusing his subjects with mystery and charm. 

Harris’s work is deeply concerned with pollinators. In his acrylic and watercolor paintings, pinks, oranges and greens compose vibrating skies; worker bees pollinate in effervescent swirls of color; and rolling hills are laced with luminous rows of corn. He hopes that his paintings encourage viewers to contemplate the interconnectedness of bees and humans, as well as rural and urban environments. “We have to work together to get what we need,” he says. 

Both artists have been devoted to their current subjects for years (Clark 8, Harris 16) and have singular archives to prove it. Their steadfast routines and prolific bodies of work signal a commitment to something greater that may be, like the show’s title, ineffable. Armadillo puts words to the sublime. When asked why he’s an artist, Harris says, “Maybe because I fit into the artist community.” Clark says, “It’s somethin’ to do.” 

Opening Reception | Saturday, May 11, 4 - 6 p.m. Free and open to the public (no appointment necessary).

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