2016-2017 Multi-subject California Teaching Credential, Cal State Fresno
1997-1999 MFA-IA Program Work, Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont
1993 B.A. Florida State University (Anthropology Major, Humanities Minor)
2014 Featured Artist - Silver Otter Gallery, Bend, Oregon
1998 Pontifex Marshmallow Bunny, Performance and Installation, MFA exhibition, Haybarn Theatre, Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont
2017-2019 Diamond Valley Elementary School, Markleeville, California, Middle School Multi-subject, Social Studies and Art Teacher for Grades 6 through 8; I developed a new visual art curriculum while in this position.
2016-2017 Sierra House Elementary School, South Lake Tahoe, California; I designed and taught elementary school art lessons as part of my student teaching in multi-subject classrooms.
2013-Present Designer for Arcticmoda accessories label and eponymous home decor label
2003-2004 Graphic Design and Web Design, Taylor Made Marketing, Asheville, North Carolina
2001-2004 Graphic Design and Web Design, Golden Animal Multimedia, Mars Hill, North Carolina
1999-2000 Creative Installations and Marketing Projects for WVNY-TV ABC22, Burlington, Vermont
About Cortney Harrington
During my youth, I had ample opportunities to experience art and to improve my creative skills. My mother enrolled me in small group art lessons with a neighborhood artist while I was in first or second grade. I fondly remember drawing equestrian sunset scenes for a rodeo art competition in the Houston suburbs. As a fourth grader, I attended a drawing camp at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida where I learned how to draw with professional materials with instruction from university art students. During my high school years, I spent countless hours perusing the galleries of the Ringling Museum of Art. Notably, my AP Art History class had the opportunity to attend a William Wegman retrospective at the museum and participate in a question and answer session with him. What was really impactful upon me from that show was how he made so many kinds of art -- not only the photos of dogs, but also videos and abstract paintings. I was also strongly influenced by the lessons of our school’s art teacher, Ms. Gaskins, which were, in retrospect, based on some of the Bauhaus lessons of Paul Klee.
I painted throughout college, though I was not formally part of any art classes (besides those in art history). I was also developing a music and performance-based practice at that time. I hoped to combine these interests in my work in the MFA-IA program at Goddard College. My most successful project there, Pontifex Marshmallow Bunny, was a performance and installation based on an invented, rabbit-based religion. My art practice ultimately needed more time to evolve before I could present it in a conclusive thesis portfolio to finish my degree. Since leaving that program, I became aware of how visually-oriented I am. Gradually, the sound and music aspects of my work ceased to be my primary focus. My previous interests were overtaken by my participation in snowboarding, running, and swimming (among other pursuits). I also taught myself graphic and web design during the years immediately following my graduate school experience. This led to many opportunities to develop my creative skills as a commercial artist and designer.
My deep interest and active participation in snowboarding strongly influenced my life and art during much of the past fifteen years. More than just a sport, snowboarding allows one to engage in creative expression through every movement, every choice, every line down the mountain, and every subtle element of stylistic flair. I made a direct decision to try to capture these experiences in my actual brushstrokes in works from my snowscapes/snowparks series. These paintings describe not only places to move and ski through, but also ways to move and explore. I had strong ambitions to capture my actual snowboarding and the sensory landscapes of snow-covered mountains in videos. Pattern Change is one of many, sketch-like videos I made during the years when I was snowboarding almost daily. I somewhat successfully captured my freestyle snowboarding in a later video called White Ocean. And really, this type of art practice (especially when you are older, female, and don’t have many people to film with) leads to many transitory moments of creative inspiration and self-realization that will never be chronicled. I was creating every day, but the results were like a sand painting in a slushy miasma, all too easily erased by weather, fading memories, and the elapsing of time as each storm, season, and year passed on its way.
I have become more engaged with and excited about painting during the latter part of this decade. My recent work includes a series of dog and animal portraits that combine painterly realism with abstraction and a series of abstract landscape paintings of invented California places. I am strongly influenced by the colors, forms, and textures of contemporary fashion. I enjoy the engineering process of working with textiles, have become comfortable making my own patterns, and can see myself experimenting with actual garment design in the future. In the meantime, I continue to design functional and decorative objects, including small accessories for my Arcticmoda label and, newest and most notably, decorative items for the home through my eponymous label. Through my current creative work, I try to express my values which are grounded in living a good life, appreciating beautiful things, and having a strong relationship with nature and all living creatures. I also occasionally explore themes of luxury, class, and privilege in my art.