It’s apparent when visiting Marissa Harris’s apartment that her art comes home with her.
Handmade ornaments surround the Creative Clay artist, as well as cat sculptures modeled after her own pair of felines and a crumpled but delicate poem, written by Harris and St. Petersburg Poet Laureate Helen Pruitt Wallace.
Harris worked with Wallace through the Creative Clay Art Link program this past November to create a poem that reflects on family and Harris’s Cherokee heritage, titled “The Dream Catcher.”
The 25-year-old Creative Clay student does not have absolute control over the articulation of her words or her hand movements, but her writing is clear.
‘who I am is more than what you see,” she writes in “The Dream Catcher.”
The poem that she and Wallace worked together on was in reference to a painting modeled after an actual dream catcher Harris once owned. The dreamcatcher is long gone, maybe lost in Harris’s move from Oregon to St. Petersburg, but it lives on in painted form and written word.
To Harris, each of the dreamcatcher’s colors represent a different memory associated with a family member, including “Aunt Judy,” who first inspired Harris to create art.
“The laureate told me to dive deeper into the art that I already created, so hopefully I will continue with that,” Harris said. “I want to make an art show with every piece having a poem to it.”
Harris needed inspiration, as she’s in the last leg of writing her murder mystery novel, “Trail of Tears.” The book’s been in limbo for the last seven years, but with a final push, Harris’s manuscript will soon make its debut.
View – and purchase – Harris’s art (and that of other Creative Clay artists) at the Creative Clay Friday Art Maret on Jan. 7. See creativeclay.org for details.