The floral project will debut on Feb. 9 with an opening reception and artist talk

By Gabriela Laracca

On Feb. 9, the Marlin and Regina Miller Art Gallery will host Artist in Residence, Dana Harper, and her exhibit, “Bloom Bloom.” The opening reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. in the Sharadin Art Building: Room 120, with an artist talk at 6:30 p.m. Student artists and Harper began installation on Jan. 24.

bloom-bloom-2Her three week residency will result in an exhibit that incorporates captivating textures, intense colors and an overall multi-sensory experience that portals viewers to warm feelings of childhood fantasy, according to the gallery’s site.

Harper began this project while working toward her Master of Fine Arts at Pennsylvania State University. “I saw flagging tape being tied to twine to create these marked off, construction areas on campus and thought that it was such a beautiful material,” said Harper.

Aside from the beauty of the material used, the artist was also inspired by other factors for this project, mainly, “the feelings nature gives you,” said Harper. “I want to encapsulate the viewer. I hope to bring them into another world or universe [to] release their anxieties or pain.”

The natural, blooming appearance of the exhibit could help students who are struggling to cope with this cold season. The project’s environmental, floral focus can make observers and art-lovers alike feel as if they are in the midst of warmer weather with blossoming life.

bloom-bloom-1Harper also hopes her exhibit can radiate feelings of unity and human connection. “Right now, in this social climate, it is easy to feel hopeless, fearful and tired. I think ‘Bloom Bloom’ offers a safe space to feel relief from an unfair scary world,” she said. “I hope that it creates a place where people can recharge and heal.”

The exhibit has already unified individuals by connecting Harper and student artists to create this masterpiece.

“There is visual proof of the power of community,” she said. “Students come and leave their mark on the project as a community. We are creating a space that serves it.”

To learn more about Harper’s background, awards, residencies and art work, visit her website at


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