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Harriet Cortez
generations of gentility (1).jfif

Artist Statement


  Though always intent on creating sculpture that is accessible on many levels and open to the validity of subjective interpretation, I seek to create a dialogue of issues, express opinions and interpret feelings. Like so much conceptual sculpture, my goal is to inspire a story, which also allows for the flexibility of differing individual explanations. Inspiration comes from found objects and traditional and non-traditional art materials, using them as a reference to or denial of their historic uses. In my work I strive to comment
on the human condition, through humor, satire, whimsy, anger or pathos.
   I have studied art since childhood, but in mid-life went back to school to get an MFA from University of New Orleans. My work has been exhibited in juried shows all over the country, winning awards in Massachusetts, Texas, Mississippi, California and Louisiana. Along with artmaking, I have supported myself as a newspaper reporter and columnist, jazz concert organizer, freelance fashion photographer and professional non-profit fundraiser. I am currently a full-time sculptor and designer.  


Harriett Davis Cortez has had a varied career communicating ideas and images as photo editor for the US Information Agency in Washington, D.C., Times-Picayune columnist and feature writer, local jazz concert organizer and freelance photographer. A life-long artist, in 1994 she received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from University of New Orleans. Her sculpture has been included in national juried shows including the Alexandria (La) Museum of Art, Beacon Gallery (Boston), Viridian (NYC), and A.C.T.S. (Me) galleries, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gallery Mesa Arts Center (Az.), and South Bend Museum of Art, (Ind.). New Orleans juried shows include the Contemporary Arts Center, LeMeiux, Jonathan Ferrara and Marguerite Oestricher galleries. She participated in an Invitational New Orleans Arts Council Artist in Residency Program and Festival of Fins, a city-wide public art show. Her honors include top winner of 2020 five-state Art Flow International (Baton Rouge), San Marco Arts Center, (TX) Juror Award, Boston Beacon Gallery Sculpture Award, Regional Alpha Awards and New Orleans Press Club awards. Her art career was put on hold in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina which destroyed her home, studio, equipment, most of her artwork and all her art slides. In 2018 she was able return to full time art-making.

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