2015 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Alysia Nicole Harris

Photo by Marilyn Murray

Photo by Marilyn Murray

The Duncanson Society of the Taft Museum of Art has selected poet Alysia Nicole Harris as the 2015 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence.

Harris’s poetry has been published in Indiana Review, Catch & Release (Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art), Solstice, Vinyl Magazine, and many other literary journals. She has toured nationally starring on HBO’s Brave New Voices, and has performed at the United Nations, as well as in Canada, South Africa, Germany, Slovakia, and the UK.

Harris performs her poems with an eye toward healing and sees her work as promoting transparency, a guilt-free spirituality, racial reckoning and reconciliation.

“I’m very excited that Alysia Nicole Harris has been chosen as this year’s Duncanson Artist-in-Residence,” said Taft Director of Education Timothy Brown. “Her burgeoning career transcends traditional boundaries, encompassing academia, the literary world, and the spoken word community. Consistent with our educational goals, Alysia will be instrumental in helping us to reach the broadest possible audience, while exposing our community to the power of the literary arts.”

“We are delighted that Alysia has been named the 2015 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence,” said Taft Director/CEO Deborah Emont Scott. “Her residency coincides perfectly with our special exhibition Heroism in Paint: A Master Series by Jacob Lawrence.”

Harris is a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize in 2014 and 2015. She was a finalist for the 2014 Edwin Markham and Joy Harjo prizes and for the 2013 Indiana Review Prize.

According to Harris, “The Duncanson Artist in Residency recognizes that interface with the community is not only important and informative, but necessary to an artist’s process. As a Black poet, working with an institution like the Taft Museum is an honor because it values African American artists for their past contributions and for the future they represent for communities across America.”

“Ohio National is proud to support the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence since 1997,” said Anthony Esposito, Senior VP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Ohio National. “We have supported the history of Robert S. Duncanson, the first African American artist to earn international acclaim, since we helped to restore his murals in 1990-1992. The Duncanson program continues to provide Greater Cincinnati with strong African American artists, thus embracing the diversity of our community.”

Harris received her MFA in poetry from NYU and is currently a PhD candidate in linguistics at Yale University.

The Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program was established in 1986 to honor the achievements of contemporary African American artists working in a variety of disciplines. The program honors the relationship between African American painter Robert S. Duncanson and his patron, Nicholas Longworth, who commissioned Duncanson to paint landscape murals in the foyer of his home, now the Taft Museum of Art.


Artist-in-Residence Events: 
Events are free but reservations are required unless otherwise indicated:
(513) 684-4528 or click on the links below. Names of registrants will be on a check-in list at the door. No tickets will be issued.

Poetry Readings
Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 6–7 p.m.
Featuring Alysia Nicole Harris and Annie Ruth

Alysia Nicole Harris and Annie Ruth, 2003 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence and poet, will read poems and answer questions about craft, influences, and artistic sensibilities. Appropriate for teens and adults. No reservations required. Popular Library Lounge, The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, 800 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45202

Songs and Wonders
Monday, November 2, 6–7:15 p.m. Register here.

This special evening of poetry and music features Alysia Nicole Harris; the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra Nouveau Chamber Players, a high school classical ensemble; and Erwin Stuckey, performance artist and jazz educator, as they weave the lyric through diverse soundscapes. Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church, 7080 Reading Road, Cincinnati OH 45237

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About Duncanson Artist-in-Residence
To honor the relationship that was established between African-American painter Robert S. Duncanson (1821-1872), who painted the murals in the Museum’s foyer, and Cincinnati art patron Nicholas Longworth (1782-1863) the Robert S. Duncanson Society of the Taft Museum of Art annually recognizes the achievements of contemporary African American artists through the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program. For two weeks the artist is active in the community through public performances, workshops, and outreach to area schools, working with students in the classroom to broaden their horizons in the area of fine arts.