Silva Gallery of Art

Lost and Found: Paintings and Pottery in Mixed Media
Chris Harford

October 31–December 9, 2016

Artist’s Reception and Performance: Friday, November 11, 6:30–8:30 p.m.  


Harford is a self-taught painter whose style has been characterized as outsider art, abstract expressionist, and naïve art. He believes that many functional objects that have lost their original purpose can be transformed rather than tossed, and he paints on everything from discarded household items found on roadsides and sidewalks to wood from fallen trees. Working primarily with acrylics and oil, he uses collage to integrate cultural references into his pieces. Some pieces are responses to world events, while others are meditations on solitude, music, and families. The pottery pieces are a collaboration with ceramic artist Debbie Reichard, who provides artistic direction and administrative support to the Wilson College Ceramic Studio at Princeton University.

For this show, he worked almost entirely with repurposed materials, including large 5x6 foot canvases that were thrown out by a local university. Many of the materials had already been painted on, but Harford incorporated that work into his own. He also painted tabletops and wooden boxes found in the trash, and on wood salvaged from an old barn. For the past 30 years, Harford has incorporated postage stamps into his paintings from a collection amassed throughout his childhood. Some of the stamps date as far back as 1700 and are from countries that no longer exist. His work commemorates these images and icons from art, history, religion, and commerce, transforming them into the feathers of a bird, the bricks in a building, or the leaves in a tree.

The reception will include a reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and a performance by his band, Rogue Oliphant, which includes Chris Harford and Ray Kubian, as well as special guest musicians from The Pennington School’s Batteries Not Included. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome.



Gallery Hours

Public hours to view the current exhibition are Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 0 p.m., and by appointment. (By appointment only during the week of November 21–25.) To make an appointment, please contact Dolores Eaton at 609–737–4133 or by emailing


October 31–December 9, 2016
Lost and Found: Paintings and Pottery in Mixed Media
Chris Harford
Artist's Reception and Performance: Friday, November 11, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Previous Exhibitions

September 16–October 15, 2016
Pennington Student Exhibition
Read more 

May 7–June 17, 2016
Trenton Makes: Thomas A. Malloy—Remembered and Celebrated
Read more  

April 5–28, 2016
Works in Progress
Zander Asplundh-Smith ’10
Read more 

February 17–March 9, 2016
Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America
Matika Wilbur
Read more

February 1–12, 2016
Senior Show 2016
Read more  

December 2, 2015–January 15, 2016
Images in Water and Light:
Linda Bradshaw
Read more  

October 17–November 20, 2015
From Waterloo to New Jersey: The Bicentennial of King Joseph Bonaparte's Escape to America
Read more

September 9–October 9, 2015
Mercer County Photography 2015