About the exhibition

Christi Harris, associate professor in the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at Christopher Newport University, will present her poignant installation, Lachrymose, in the Torggler’s Microgallery. This work explores the intersection of grieving and “emotional labor” made tangible in embroidered phrases from condolence letters from a late 19th-century Virginia family. Harris discovered the letters at a flea market, and during the pandemic she spent time painstakingly embroidering words or phrases from the letters onto handkerchiefs in the style of the writer’s handwriting. Dozens of these embroidered receptacles for grief and tears will be suspended around the viewer in the Microgallery, becoming a tangible manifestation of the universal human experience of grieving.

Christi Harris holds an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a BFA in painting and printmaking from Southwest Missouri State University. She teaches foundation and advanced studio courses in drawing and painting at Christopher Newport. Harris has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, most recently in a solo exhibition at High Point University in North Carolina. Her current work explores memory and the role of women within the prescribed structures of culture and family.