Chicago Artist Andrea Harris Opens 'Women of Courage' Art Exhibit With Gallery Talk and Invites Nominations For Her Next Portrait Series

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As a result of her portraits of female forces of nature, Andrea Harris's acclaimed art exhibit "Women of Courage: Beyond Boundaries" has evolved into a monumental and ongoing project. The influential Chicago artist now invites the public to nominate women from all walks of life for inclusion in her next portraits series.

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Through her acclaimed portrait series, "Women of Courage: Beyond Boundaries," fine artist Andrea Harris opens windows to a world where the meekest seeming among us transcend those assumptions. Harris captures fearlessness in women: cancer patients turned cancer survivors, downtrodden souls winning at drug recovery, Bangladeshi sex trade victims determined to rise against the odds.

Harris's largely unknown subjects tap the same power that's led iconic women such as Rosa Parks to take a stand against racial discrimination and environmental journalist Stephanie Danielle Roth to save the homes of thousands of Romanian families. The portrait artist has captured on canvas these and other heroines; each beautifully painted 24" x 24" likeness instills in viewers a greater sense of self.

Harris's solo exhibition of "Women of Courage: Beyond Boundaries" will open at the Visual Arts Complex Gallery at Temple College in Temple, Texas. The 21-piece art show begins on September 27 with a 7 p.m. Gallery Talk event, and continues through November 8, 2007. Additional information about the Temple College art exhibit is available online at

Thousands of art lovers have viewed and embraced the Chicago-based Harris's artistic celebration of women. She hopes they, in turn, have been inspired by her portraits to pursue their own dreams. "Faces intrigue me," says Harris, a feminist and environmental activist known for melding both themes in her artwork. "If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then what is the face? Perhaps faces are the windows to the world, a connection to humanity."

An expressionist artist educated at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Andrea Harris's collections have exhibited in several public venues, museums and galleries. Considered influential in humanitarian and environmental arenas, she works in a variety of media including oil, acrylic, ink wash, mixed media and collage.

Harris also is gearing up Phase Two of her growing traveling exhibit of women's portraits. People from every nation and all walks of life are invited to submit recommendations, bringing to the artist's attention an "unsung hero" whose personal, professional or humanitarian accomplishments deserve recognition.

In 2008, the Women of Courage series will be installed as a giant mosaic exhibiting in multiple U.S. cities. The deadline to nominate exemplary women for portrait inclusion is December 30, 2007. To submit an online nomination form, visit

About the Artist
Andrea Harris's passion for painting the figure was her initial step toward integrating the connection between humanity and nature, often exploring the subtle relationship of the human form. "It's a perception that each of us is unique in the universe," the artist believes. "Shape, form and color remind us that we, too, are elements in nature. It's this natural beauty, the work of art that we are, that I hope to capture."

Harris's artwork is centered on observations of nature and humanity. Because people are elements of society, the work also examines cultural roles, particularly pertaining to current events. She has approached this theme often. It is evidenced not only in "Women of Courage," but also in her "Veil Series" and "Liberty Series," all of which have evolved into traveling exhibitions.

Environmental Activism Through Art
Andrea Harris is a founding board of directors member for the Global Alliance of Artists, a non-profit organization that harnesses creativity to impact positive social and environmental change. This leadership role, along with her humanitarian-focused statements, recently resulted in a special honor: She is among the artists selected to contribute public art for "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas For a Cooler Planet."

A high profile, 123-works art initiative in Chicago, Cool Globes involves the public in helping stem the effects of climate change. Titled "Facing the Earth," the globe designed by Harris pays homage to environmental heroes and forests around the world. Her five-foot, fiberglass orb is among those installed at the entrance to the Field Museum, a major sponsor of the Cool Globes public art exhibit.

"We're pleased that Andrea's globe, 'Facing the Earth,' greets our visitors," says Laurel Ross, Urban Conservation Director for Environmental & Conservation Programs, Field Museum. "Her Cool Globe complements the Museum's own conservation work and research. Not only in the Chicago area, but in South America and beyond."

Created to raise awareness for innovative Earth-protecting efforts, the Cool Globe by Andrea Harris highlights environmental activists through a series of 30 photo narratives. The eco-heroes featured on "Facing the Earth" include Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., founder of the Waterkeeper Alliance; 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, whose Green Belt Movement succeeded in the planting of 20 million trees in Africa; and Sister Dorothy Stang of Brazil, an American missionary who died while trying to protect the Amazon rain forest from Brazilian ranchers and loggers.

Artists from around the world including Jim Dine, Yair Engel, and Tom Van Sant created climate change-themed globes for the exhibit. Displayed outdoors along Chicago's scenic lake front, the "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas For a Cooler Planet" public art exhibit continues through September 30, 2007. For more information, visit:

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Viqi French
Pet Leopard Communications
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