Laura Pharis

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Laura Pharis, a native of Roanoke, Virginia, is an artist, printmaker, sculptural doll maker, and musician.[1] For five years she was the director of the Richmond Printmaking Workshop.[2] She was a founder of One/Off Printmakers, a group of professional artists and printmakers exhibiting their original prints worldwide. She is an art professor and Chair of the Studio Art Department at Sweet Briar College.[1] She engaged in fund-raising and litigation to prevent Sweet Briar College from closing in 2015.[3]

Education

Laura Pharis earned her B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1970.[4] She taught in Richmond’s Montessori schools for five years, but she "couldn’t let go of creating art."[4] She earned an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1988[1] and an advanced degree from London's Central School of Art and Design. [no citations needed here]Her experience included teaching at Carolina College and serving as a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin. For five years she was the director of the Richmond Printmaking Workshop and engaged in the workshops of visiting artists.[5]

Exhibitions

Her art is represented in the permanent collection of Longwood College's Center for the Visual Arts.[6] In 2008, the exhibition Mixed Media by Laura Pharis was shown in Gallery One of Art6 in Broad Street, Richmond Virginia arts district.

A member of One/Off Printmakers, she participated in One/Off: 13 (+1) Richmond Printmakers at Chroma Projects Art Laboratory, on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her art was included in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts traveling One/Off Printmakers portfolio exhibited at Art6 in Richmond, and was shown in 2012 at a One/Off Printmakers group show at Studio Two Three on Main Street in Richmond.[7]

In 2014 her art was the focus of a one-person show, Anomalies, at Rivermont Studio, a gallery in Lynchburg, Virginia.[1]

Campus activism

In 2012 Sweet Briar students Sally Toms and Kaitlyn Holloway, with the support of their art Professors Brown and Pharis, were inspired to publish broadsides of work created by the Afghan Women’s Writers Project in honor of a visit to the Sweet Briar Campus by the 2009 founder of the program, journalist and author Masha Hamilton. The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities article about this project states, “Security remains a concern for many women in Afghanistan, especially those who are trying to work, or further their education, or who frankly tell their stories.”[8]

As part of Pharis's effort to stop the planned closure of Sweet Briar College,[4] she was one of the Sweet Briar professors who participated in a YouTube series "Why I Love Sweet Briar".[9] Pharis and others won their court case to keep Sweet Briar open, and they were supported in their effort by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who said he would release restrictions on $16 million from the college’s endowment, a sufficient amount to operate the college for the next academic year. Michael Shepherd, the attorney representing the Sweet Briar faculty, said that the settlement agreement for the suit includes "a provision to pay six months severance to all faculty and staff affected by the college’s crisis, including those who were not part of the suit." “It seemed like the odds were so long, but we prevailed,” said Pharis, as she prepared to play the fiddle with her old-time band Bramble & Rose. Pharis, after being on the faculty for 25 years, said that the court case was so stressful that she was "afraid to exhale until this happened.""[10]

Awards

In 2000 Laura Pharis was named Virginia Artist of the Year by the Richmond Women's Caucus for Art.[11] She produced the cover art and illustrations for Cave Wall, a literary journal of poetry.[12] She produced a series of prints for Language, a limited edition book of poetry by Elizabeth Seydel Morgan.[13] She created the cover artwork for the Mike Seeger album True Vine.[14] In 2017, she was the subject of a member spotlight interview with the Virginia Center for the Book.[15]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wells, Brent. "SBC professor Laura Pharis projects self-image with exhibit at Rivermont Studio" (in en). http://www.newsadvance.com/the_burg/features/focus_on/sbc-professor-laura-pharis-projects-self-image-with-exhibit-at/article_72843886-38ea-11e4-afa7-001a4bcf6878.html. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  2. Merritt, Robert. "Printmaking Workshop Turns New Leaf for Brighter Future". Newspapers.com. Richmond, Virginia: Richmond Times-Dispatch. p. J-4. 
  3. Kapsidelis, Karen. "Judge OKs deal to save Sweet Briar College" (in en). http://www.roanoke.com/news/education/higher_education/judge-oks-deal-to-save-sweet-briar-college/article_9950416b-f87b-5b4b-b6ce-dd429e626a34.html. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Spencer, Paul. "Sweet Memories". https://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/sweet-memories/Content?oid=2214239. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  5. "Art Faculty: Laura Pharis". Sweet Briar Friends of Art. Fall 2012. p. 9. http://oldweb.sbc.edu/sites/default/files/artgallery/FOA%20Visions%202010.pdf. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  6. "Center for Communications Studies & Theatre". 23 August 2014. http://lcva.longwood.edu/galleries/center-communications-studies-theatre. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  7. Necci, Marilyn Drew. "First Friday RVA, November 2012: FRANKENSTORM!". https://rvamag.com/art/first-friday-rva-november-2012-frankenstorm/. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  8. "When Words Cry - Virginia Humanities" (in en). http://virginiahumanities.org/2012/02/when-words-cry/. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  9. "Why Laura Pharis loves teaching at Sweet Briar". 26 January 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXnOYh53VeE. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  10. Kapsidelis, Karen. "Judge OKs deal to save Sweet Briar College" (in en). http://www.roanoke.com/news/education/higher_education/judge-oks-deal-to-save-sweet-briar-college/article_9950416b-f87b-5b4b-b6ce-dd429e626a34.html. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  11. Carey, Janika. "Sweet Briar's studio art faculty to exhibit paintings, photographs, ceramics". https://sbc.edu/news/sweet-briars-studio-art-faculty-to-exhibit-paintings-photographs-ceramics/. Retrieved 20 July 2019. 
  12. "Cave Wall, a literary journal of poetry and art". http://www.cavewallpress.com/issueten.html. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  13. "Elizabeth Seydel Morgan, Blackbird". http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v1n2/poetry/morgan_es/. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  14. "True Vine | Smithsonian Folkways". http://www.folkways.si.edu/mike-seeger/true-vine/old-time/music/album/smithsonian. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  15. "VABC member spotlight Laura Pharis". https://www.vabookcenter.org/2017/05/vabc-member-spotlight-laura-pharis/. Retrieved 20 July 2019. 

External links

  • Vamp and Tramp fine press books by Laura Pharis and other members of the Virginia Arts of the Book Center[1]

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