Artist celebrates family, heritage with gallery exhibit

The work of Coastal Bend College alumnus Larry Lee Harrison II is on exhibit at the Simon Michael Art Gallery in the Frank Jostes Visual Arts Building. The gallery opening is on March 23 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

“I am an artist at heart,” Harrison said. The gallery show features glass, wood and metal sculptures and oil paintings.

Harrison, a native of Schertz, attributes a large part of the development of his passion to his growth as an art student. He

Larry Harrison

Larry Harrison, as a student at Coastal Bend College, excelled at glass blowing and painting. His work is on exhibit at the Simon Michael Art Gallery in Beeville.

graduated from CBC in 2007 and transferred to Texas State University in San Marcos where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a Specialization in Painting in 2009. Harrison interned at a glass company and a metal sculpting company, both in Wimberley, Texas. He is currently working on becoming a state trooper.

“He was an excellent student here, recalled Jayne Duryea, CBC Fine Arts and Kinesiology Division Chair and art instructor. “He excelled at painting and glass blowing.”

Harrison earned the Carol Shell Shaw Art Scholarship while at CBC and sold several of his glass pieces at student gallery shows. As a student artist, he demonstrated glass blowing techniques for other students and visitors and assisted Duryea during workshops and tours.  

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to show this fantastic work,” Duryea said. “This is a critical glimpse into the future for our current students who envision art careers for themselves.”

Oil on canvas subjects include Martin Luther King Jr., President Barrack Obama and Jackie Robinson. “This study is a means of pursuing ideas that reflect issues of history, race and society,” he said. The series “Obscured African American Women” includes portraits of Madam C.J. Walker, Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzgerald. Harrison said his grandmother inspired him to create this series by reminding him of the contributions of these historical figures who are at risk of being lost to time.  

“Photo realism is an important influence in my paintings,” Harrison explained. “I work to bring out the nuances and unique characteristics of my subjects as well as honor their lives.”

A third series on exhibit, “A Father’s Pride and Joy,” features Harrison’s son as the principal subject. The closely cropped paintings capture his son’s earliest moments.

Harrison’s exhibit closes on April 21. For more information, contact Jayne Duryea, at (361) 354-2322 or


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