Young Black Girls
Alyne Harris (1942- ) was born in Gainesville, fL, where she still lives. When she was a child, she and her sisters played in a cemetery, imagining themselves surrounded by spirits. In a photograph taken during her childhood, Harris is shown painting angels in the mud. Her uncle called her "that girl with high 'magination." She recalls spending much of her time as a child at her Aunt Corine's house where she enjoyed nature. After her mother died, Harris was encouraged to learn a trade at the community college. While taking an art class, Harris was discovered by a former Santa Fe Community College art instructor, Lennie Kesl. Harris is a self-taught artist who often paints at night, after she finishes working her day job. She primarily works in oil on masonite, cardboard or canvas; she uses her fingers, kitchen utensils, and sticks in addition to brushes. Harris' subject matter is drawn from her experiences as a black woman in the South. Themes of religion, history, and day-to-day life can be found in her work. With a strong Christian background, Harris feels that the world is merely an imperfect copy of a higher one. Her work has been exhibited in Florida, North Carolina, Atlanta, Tennessee, Los Angeles and New Orleans.