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Exhibit Showcases the Art of Imperfection

January 20, 2017


Marshall K. Harris finds beauty in the imperfections of everyday objects. His current exhibit at Texas Lutheran University’s Kraushaar Gallery is inspired by his love of history, texture, and what he calls an obsession with detail. Just like his drawings, Harris has his own interesting story to tell. At 6’8”, the former NFL player turned born again bohemian ended his career as a professional athlete in the 1980s to focus on creative prospects.

The pieces on display at TLU feature hyper-realistic prints that look more like photos than drawings. Harris wants anyone viewing his art to see how items, like a saddle or a skull, gain character with use.

Artist Marshall Harris discusses his drawing "Duet #2 Part 1" with students. Photo by Stern Hatcher.

“I’m very much inspired by what the Japanese call wabi-sabi,” Harris said. “This is a view that sees the art of imperfection and the beauty in items that might seem broken or unimportant to what mainstream calls beautiful. Those imperfections tell a story whether it’s a chipped tea cup or a person and I want people to realize these seemingly ordinary objects are actually quite complex.”

Visual Arts Professor Kyle Olson, director of the Kraushaar Gallery, said this show addresses almost every aspect of the mission of the gallery, the Visual Arts Department and the university.

Students observing Harris' archival print "The Hand That Feeds." Photo by Stern Hatcher.

“I would say broadly that the relationship this show has to the current course offerings in the department provides not only a positive reflection of the subjects, for instance advanced drawing, but the inspirational quality of the actual subjects of the work is unique,” Olson said.

Beyond the classroom, Olson said this exhibit provides the students and community with an opportunity to see a professional artist. 

“The professionalism that Marshall brings with his work is very important to have in conjunction to the quality of the work,” Olson said. “He’s just a really good person; open minded, thoughtful, and personable. All of this makes this exhibit one of, if not the, favorite I’ve been involved in so far and provides a template for the gallery in the future.”

Student Madison Dant inspects the detail of Harris' piece "Fancy Frills Psychedelic." Photo by Stern Hatcher.

More about Marshall K. Harris

A Texas native, Harris received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from BFA Texas Christian University in 1979 and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture in 2010 from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Following his career in the NFL (1980-86), Harris turned his attention toward creative vocations including museum curator, graphic designer and exhibit designer, and fine artist. Some of his design work includes exhibits for zoos and aquaria in Antwerp and Taiwan, as well as for US Aquaria and Science Museums. Harris exhibits his fine art nationally and his work is held in corporate and private collections. He was also the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Hunting Art Prize.