Lisa E. Harris, a Houston-based independent and interdisciplinary artist, is the inaugural Houston Regional Affiliate Fellow for the American Academy in Rome.
Roman holiday, but make it art school.
Independent and interdisciplinary artist Lisa “Li” Harris will spend eight weeks in Rome, Italy next summer as the inaugural Houston Regional Affiliate Fellow. Through a partnership between the American Academy in Rome and the University of Houston Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts’ Center for Art and Social Engagement, Harris becomes the first to experience the residency between Jan. and July 2022.
CASE aims to connect artists, community, faculty, and professionals through research and creative practice to amplify non-arts outcomes.
The idea behind the launch of the fellowship program is to provide Houston-area emerging and early to mid-career visual artists access to AAR, America’s oldest overseas center for independent studies and advanced research in the arts and humanities. Since 1894, the Academy has served as a global, diverse base for artists and scholars to live and work abroad in Rome.
Harris was selected from a pool of 40 applicants by a panel of local artists, curators and art organizers. Judges including Abinadi Meza, associate professor at UH School of Art, Kelly Montana, assistant curator at Menil Drawing Institute, and Alison de Lima Greene, Isabel Brown Wilson Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston chose Harris for her representation of Houston’s diversity.
As the founder and creative director of Studio Enertia, an arts collective and production company, she recently produced “Cry of the Third Eye, A new opera film in Three Acts,” which archives the effects of gentrification on her Houston neighborhood. Harris is also the 2021 recipient of the Dorothea Tanning Award for Music/Sound, a 2021 Texas Vignette Artist Grant winner, and currently a Monroe Research Fellow at Tulane University’s Center for the Gulf South where she is developing an environmental justice research project.
BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL RETURNS: This year’s event will take place downtown along Allen Parkway and Sam Houston Park Oct. 9 – 10 for the first time since fall 2019.
The fellowship includes access to a studio and stipend to fund her work and residency. Harris — a filmmaker, soprano, performer, composer, improviser and writer — plans to spend her time abroad immersed in work and research against the idyllic backdrop of historic buildings and gardens on Rome’s Janiculum Hill.
“I am elated to return to Italy, albeit my first time to Rome, as the inaugural Houston Regional Affiliate Fellow,” said Harris via statement. “It brings me joy to put on for my city around the world. It’s a gift to be supported in doing so. Grazie Mille!”