Quotables from Fireside Chat with Alfred Harris

Serenade for a Candy Thief by Alfred Harris

Last night in the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel, a large group of Seattle art world notables (among them were Bill and Ruth True, Liz Brown, and Jenny and Chris Roberts) gathered to celebrate the work of abstract painter Alfred Harris, whose pieces are now on display at the hotel in a show entitled Plots and Plans.  

Guests sipped on complimentary wine as Roy McMakin hosted a discussion with Ken Kelly, Joe Park, Jeff Mitchell, and of course Harris himself. The men sat in a semi-circle of chairs on one side of the room, and during introductions McMakin looked down the line and laughingly referred to the group as “the Real Housewives of Capitol Hill”. Park joked that he was only invited as the “token heterosexual”.

All laughs aside, the evening was an intimate gathering of friends, and the room was full of discussion, emotion (there were several moments when Harris appeared a bit misty-eyed as McMakin et al. sang his praises), and more than one enlightening observation:


“I adore Alfred—he’s got an amazing heart, wit, and a sophisticated vision. He’s also a very loyal friend.” Jeff Mitchell

“I don’t want people to interpret them in any certain or specific way. I invite people to view and interpret them in any way they want.” Alfred Harris, on his own work.

“When I am put on the spot to describe my own work, I really don’t know what to say….I say my work is worth $19.25 per square inch.” A.H.

“Reading is my supreme hobby…hence my wit!” A.H.

“I think I had a brief flirtation with the idea of being a fireman when I was two-years-old.” A.H.

“When I look at these pieces in the room I see this sense of humor. It’s not just an exercise in shape or composition. These forms don’t just sit there. They laugh and giggle and communicate to the viewer.” Ken Kelly on Harris’ work.

Plots and Plans will be at The Sorrento Hotel through June 2011.