Ally Hunter-Harris is a fine artist living and working in Baltimore, MD. She has been making art since she had the gross motor skills to hold a crayon as a child and has loved it ever since. Ally uses different media to coax her thoughts and obsessions out of her head in order to share them with the world. She received her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2009.
Bio & Statement From Thesis Show 2009:
Space, Color & Time.
Born in Wilmington, DE in 1987, I was the only righty and the fake-youngest of three kids. I say “fake-youngest” because I have a twin brother who is seventeen minutes older than me. We were all involved in the arts from the time we were young—visual, vocal, instrumental, drama, and writing—collectively, we did it all. My parents fostered this growth whole-heartedly and always supported us in what we wanted to do and so as not to stray too far from the supportive environment and the only home I knew, I decided to stay relatively close when the time came for me to go off to college.
I get attached. Very Easily. I get attached to people, pets, places, spaces, locations, and moments in time. It’s always been that way. Being from Delaware I found myself in a constant state of defense of my home state. When I came to Maryland for school, however, I realized that I wasn’t that attached to my home but to all of the other places I have been. These places have been the main influence of my artwork—from New Jersey to Mexico.
I began to explore Maryland and, on a late night adventure with my boyfriend, found myself standing in front of the buildings that make up the Henryton State Hospital Center’s old campus at two o’clock in the morning. These buildings, abandoned since 1985, had been intriguing to me since he had told me about them and I began absorbing as much information about them before I even visited them. When I finally got there, I was awe-struck. I had already seen hundreds of pictures of the site but it was just something about standing before them in real space and time that bowled me over. The pure adrenaline rush of trespassing mixed with the eerie glow of the moon that night made the exploration truly exciting and I returned about a month later during the day to take some photographs.
With each visit I made, I found myself more and more excited by the space and the buildings. I started having wild daydreams of what I would do with the site if I somehow hit the jackpot and was able to buy the land from the state of Maryland. While casually chatting with a friend about these plans about five months later, she told me of a similar situation for one of her acquaintances and encouraged me to investigate my options if I was serious about it. Thus began the project the save Henryton.
I have always had trouble ‘getting started’ on a new project as far as art production goes. I tend to start off in one spot, settle there for quite a while and then sporadically realize that I need to be doing something completely different. This project has been no different but after crits, conversations, frustrations, failures and a little self-exploration, I fell into the right place. I have decided to tackle this visual problem with several media depending on the conceived aesthetic beforehand. And I have injected my paintings with the heightened chroma (or, “the whack-job of Technicolor when you least expect it” that a friend once called it) that I have grown to love since my last trip to Mexico—all of my ‘attachments’ always find a way to sneak into the others.
To quote the Baltimore Sun, Time has Marred Henryton and I seek to reverse that damage. I’m at the base of a long, uphill battle in honor of Henryton and in the name of Art…and time is not quite on my side.