under attack.

This most recent attack on the LGBT community has left me very shaken. Shaken to the core of my soul as a gay man. I’m not sure people understand what a place like PULSE in Orlando probably meant to its attendees.

It was safety.

My own experiences with TRACKS nightclub in DC are the reason I feel that way. When I was younger and not even ‘out’ yet (I know, I know…) my friend Adam P. and I decided to go to this ‘gay’ club called TRACKS. Me, I was so eager to be around other gay people even if I was not yet ready to come out. I thought TRACKS would be the safest place to do that. So, Adam and I got in the car and drove to the club.

I was terrified.

We approached the ticket window and then were faced with the need to pay the cover charge. We had no money. Like zero. I think it was $10 each. We had to turn around and leave, sad. I was so close.

As we walked away we heard someone calling after us. It was the manager and he must have seen himself in us when he was that age. He escorted us into the club.

Yeah, it was just like Dorothy opening the door to Oz. Suddenly our lives were technicolor and full of joy and fun.

I had my first real kiss there.

I met my first boyfriend there. We ‘broke-up’ a week later. It was ‘tragic’.

I met my ‘family’ there. Lynda, Jonathan, Tracey, Kevin, Skippy, JACQUIE, Helen, Missy, Kris S., Joe, Mark, DJ ADAM, ED Baily, Janus, Frankee, the list goes on and on. People that are still to this day some of the most important people to me that I can think of.

It breaks my heart to think that someone went into a place of safety – no different than a school full of kids – and began shooting for whatever reason. Hatred? Religion? Fear of being gay? It is said that the shooter was gay (which I had said to John was probably the case) and so I can’t help but also to feel bad for him too, to feel that he had to do this for whatever reason his brain compelled him. UGH.

Why do so many people have to die because of love? It seems so backwards to me.

There were many more victims in this massacre. Not just the 50 dead, 50+ injured physically, but the 1,000s of people that are changed in an instant because of this. Social media only adding to the constant reminders. A place of safety and refuge suddenly became a danger zone. How many young kids, like me, have been trying to work up the courage to go to a place to feel accepted? Now, that place doesn’t exist to them.

TRACKS became a place that everyone went to, each night different but everyone the same. Partying in a safe place where violence hardly occurred.

Until last weekend.

During Pride.

I hope that the 50, including Omar, woke up like Dorothy did in Oz. In a place, a heaven if they believe, where they can be free to be whomever they want without fear.


things happening…

The past few months have gone by in a blink. I am one week away from finishing my first semester at George Mason University in the Arts Management graduate program. The classes were really great – especially the Finance class which taught me many things that a CFO does and just generally increased my confidence in running the financial aspect of an organization. Next semester is Finance 2 and I think that gets more into budgeting an organization. I’ll be curious how that one goes.

I’m also currently in the Alchemical Vessel show again at the Joan Hisoaka Healing Arts Gallery. This year we were given a cigar box to use. Mine was created at the time of David Bowie’s death and is influenced creatively by his message. The show is up through May 6 at least. That is the night of the artist closing reception. It’s also my birthday and John is doing a reading at the Epicure Cafe in Fairfax, which we are of course attending. Then we will rush to DC for a concert.

I’ll also be in a show carated by Superwaxx, which will take place at the Fridge Gallery in June. (more info to come) I’ll be doing some other shows/curating in August, and then spend half of the month in Vermont at the Vermont Studio Center on residency. For these two weeks, i’ll be finishing work on my show which will open at the beginning of September at Jordan Faye Contemporary.



argh…site issues.

I am starting to hate WordPress…time for something new. They have overcharged me for ‘upgraded’ services, and now none of my content is visible on sub pages….

Guess I have to start my new site….less words more photos. If you need images of my work email me at jeff dot herrity at mac dot com.

so busy! great press!

So, things have been really busy lately. I started another grad program at George Mason for Arts Management and really love it so far. I’m looking forward to getting back to working with not-for-profit organizations that focus on the arts. That said, I’ve not been in the studio lately so that I can adjust to a new schedule and then work my studio practice back into my daily routine.

I am about to start and finish my alchemical vessel for the Alchemical Vessel show this year. It’s a small cigar style box, and I have some interesting ideas on what do to, I’m thinking of honoring David Bowie. I’ll post photos as I progress starting next week. (I promise) There will be lights involved in my piece.

I was also recently, yesterday, profiled on East City Art by Eric Hope. I had such a great time with Eric talking about my work, and to see the result of our conversation was really interesting to me as an artist reading about myself. I really think Eric understands what I am trying to do, and he even explained it better than I ever could. You can read the article here: Jeff Herrity at East City Art.

I was also featured in Northern Virginia Magazine last month, and had an equally fantastic time with Jenny Cutler Lopez who was introduced to me by Olly Olly founder Jessica Kallista. You can read that article here: Northern Virginia Magazine.

Ok…that should get us all current for now. Back to studying for Finance and Budgeting quiz later today.

until next time….


some color!
some color!

It has been such a wild six months. I have barely been able to process everything I have seen and done, but I am, and will write some posts about my time in Mexico. I came home and immediately continued work on my solo show which opens in a few days at The Fridge Gallery in Barracks Row.

This show includes a bunch of NEW work in which I have been exploring the use of color and highlighting the ‘parts’ of the molds being used. And there are bunnies.

There is a bit of a vague narrative running through the show that I think I am still trying to figure out – and will be able to once the show is laid out how I want.

Mostly this show is about how we want so badly to be individuals yet only through the acceptance of that by our friends and by crowdsourcing on Facebook and Instagram. We are able to quickly and repeatedly recreate ourselves and ‘try-on’ our identities based on moods of any particular day – yet not realize the repercussions of these changes.

But in the end, what happens when nobody ‘likes’ an image or is there to respond to your lunch choice?

My show Transmogrifications opens this Saturday – September 12, 2015 from sometime after 6pm until around 11.

opening Sept 12 7 – 11pm

alchemical vessels – a healing arts project and benefit.

The blank canvas.
The blank canvas.

Each year a fantastic organization/gallery Joan Hisoaka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing + the Arts has a benefit to raise money and awareness of their efforts. Over 100 artists are invited to participate. I know that many artists do not agree with donating time and artwork to causes and I’m not sure why.  To me it is a vital part of my art making as well as a way to integrate my past life as a fundraiser with this new direction I am on.

Each artist is provided a bowl. A vessel. Our mission is to convert the bowl or use the bowl to show our interpretation of alchemy or healing.  I was very excited to be invited this year to create a vessel.

For a while it sat on the dining room table, various objects filling it at times. Here it transformed itself into a spare-change dish, a key-holder, random things that had no home. I then moved the bowl to my studio where it served the same purpose, sponges filled it, debris, again things that needed a space temporarily. At this point it became a reminder to me about so many things I needed to change and resolve in my own life. A reminder that healing was about to occur. A reminder that healing needed to occur. A reminder that creation was waiting for me.

So many ideas of what to do with this bowl. But around the same time I started to revisit my therapist to deal with some lingering issues of my own that I’ve been avoiding and carrying around like this blank bowl.

Finally, it came to me. Ceramics came to me. I knew WHY I make the work that I make – rooted in the same slip-casting work that my mother made when I was smaller. I realize now that my mother who made sure that when I was growing up I had everything that I wanted, gave me the biggest gift of all: understanding of why I make the work that I make.

Below is my bowl and my artist statement about it:

Where to the memories go?

To me, healing begins from within and often only after looking deeply at yourself and your willingness to heal. As I have been processing the many challenges in my life as a result of growing up in a house of abuse, my mother has been losing the battle against Alzheimers; I find refuge that in her last days she will not have any of the memories that I have been trying to forget. I long to find a vessel, like this bowl, that will contain her memories that are rapidly fading to nothing. I would protect them and remember for her.

I am confident that out of all the pain and sadness my family has faced, and continues to face today, that there can be beauty in the healing process. This bowl begun a healing process for me and the result is that I’ve realized that I am a vessel my mother created to carry her forever. My mother is my porcelain, and I’m with her every day as I create.

collaborating with other artists – an update.

Jeff Herrity by E Brady Robinson
photo by E. Brady Robinson

I’ve had a little bit of downtime since my show ended back in November. I still have work other places and will have a post about the amazing Snap!Space gallery in Orlando. I’ve been in the early stages of a commission which will include a very cool installation working with a designer in Winter Park, Florida. There’s also Lost River Trading Post – Grasshopper Gallery, in West Virginia, and Crossroads Art Center in Richmond, Virginia.

I also had a really fun photoshoot with E Brady Robinson (visit her site: http://www.ebradyrobinson.com/) she’ll be in Miami at the Sagamore Hotel on February 15, 2015 signing her fantastic book Art Desks. (buy it here: http://www.art-desks.com/) The shoot in my studio was for a calendar supporting my new studio Red Dirt – another post on that!

It was a great day to have my portrait taken – if you need a great shot contact her via the links above.

I’m also excited about my next solo show which will be at the Fridge Gallery in Barracks Row/Easter Market opening on September 12, 2015! More on that coming. (I’m trying to work out an email communication calendar)

I sincerely will make an effort to keep my blog updated at least weekly with this new show. And also I have a residency in Puebla Mexico starting on May 25, 2015 for six weeks! (LOTS of posts on that.)

More soon.  As in probably this weekend!  You can also follow me on Instagram: @jherrity