DR. RONAH HARRIS

Multidisciplinary artist

SPRING 2024

The Arts Council of Princeton welcomes Dr. Ronah Harris as our latest Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence.

During her residency, Harris will design and complete a quilt dedicated to the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood.  

In 2005, the Arts Council of Princeton unveiled the centerpiece of their Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood exhibition, a beautiful hand-crafted quilt made by local educator and quilter Gail Mitchell. The quilt used over 90 photographs to illustrate the neighborhood and displayed the signatures of many neighborhood residents on small squares around the quilt’s perimeter. Mitchell’s quilt was on public display through 2022, before being archived to prevent additional fading and wear and tear. Photo documentation of the quilt remains on view in the ACP’s Paul Robeson for the Arts. 

Photo: Andrew Wilkinson

In discussing the quilt, ACP Artistic Director Maria Evans and Harris discovered a shared interest in building upon the idea of the community quilt. Harris, along with working in other disciplines, is a textile artist who has created and exhibited her quilts and dolls at many venues around the area, including the Arts Council.  

Harris’ residency will consist of creating a new Witherspoon-Jackson quilt, focusing on the neighborhood’s geographical map to complement the original quilt that mostly featured portraits. In a nod to the process of creating the original quilt, Harris will include involvement from members of our community. WJ neighborhood residents are invited to donate fabric swatches to be dropped off at the ACP (pre-washed and one per household) between April 22 and May 3 to be included in the quilt.  

On Saturday, June 1, Harris will lead a community workshop, teaching participants to hand-sew the top layer of the quilt. Through July, Harris will be at work finishing the quilt and planning for a dedication in August at the annual Joint Effort Safe Streets event, where the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood is celebrated each year. Following the event, the quilt will be on display as part of the ACP’s Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood history exhibition.

This project would not be possible without the support of Timothy M. Andrews, longtime supporter of the Arts Council of Princeton, who has generously underwritten the Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence program. 

About Ronah Harris: 

Ronah Harris was born in 1977 in New York, NY. She studied art and technology at The New School, New York (BA, 1999), and Teachers College, Columbia University (Doctorate, 2017). She is the founder of Play Pattern LLC, a digital platform for curious children to learn arts and technology. She earned Two Daytime Emmys for her work in children’s television shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company. For many years, Ronah has been commissioned to create private works.  Ronah became an art and design teacher in 2018, before taking on a full-time studio practice. Working predominantly in fiber and ceramics, her work engages topics of play and identity, black portraiture, and the psychology of erasure from the American art canon. Ronah’s work has been exhibited recently at the exhibitions in Brooklyn, NY and Princeton, NJ. She currently lives and works in the Princeton area. 

About the Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence Program: 

The Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence Program, named after ACP Founding Director, was established by the Arts Council in 2009 to offer artists the opportunity to conceptualize and create work while providing the community with creative interaction with working artists in all disciplines. Recent projects include Marlon Davila’s Journey mural on the exterior wall of La Lupita Groceries, Ebony H. Flag’s The Future Me mural, created for ACP’s Communiversity Room, and photographer Robin Resch’s Taking Pause project installed in Dohm Alley.