Deep End: Harrison Atwater

Photo from Harrison Atwater

For third-year BFA drawing and painting student Harrison Atwater, the early days of his creative career happened at the craft table in the basement of his house. Citing his “rich inner world” when he was younger, he started writing music, short stories and poetry at the ages of eight and 10, respectively. 

“When people ask what kind of artist I am, I usually say that I’m a painter,” he said. “Painting is definitely the epicenter of my artistic process, but as time goes on, I become less and less attached to that identity.”

Lately, Atwater has been experimenting with sculpture, textile work and printmaking. He is always striving to work interdisciplinarily, and starts with thinking of a concept to help him decide what medium will best represent the idea. 

“I find inspiration everywhere — in moments where the sky is full of beautiful colors, when the light is just right and when my friends laugh or divulge upon their dreams,” he said. “All of the small moments of inspiration that I soak up throughout the days somehow are connected to my own experiences, feelings, beliefs, actions, memories, desires and dreams. Taking my experiences to a project is how I untangle and make sense of my own existence.”

Some themes that Atwater likes to focus on in his art include “sovereignty, trauma, control, domesticity, relation, power, lineage, vulnerability, divinity, spirituality, sexuality and gender.” He tries to work around the idea of identity and how he can both untangle and piece it together through his creations. 

Atwater’s current favorite piece of his is a sculpture he made out of Abaca paper, sticks and ceramic shards. He’s been trying to utilize printmaking and paper sculpturally, but stays consistent in painting through it all.

To see more of Atwater’s work, follow his Instagram, @okayharrison

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About Alli Dempsey 42 Articles
Allison (Alli) Dempsey (she/her) is a fourth-year journalism major and communications minor from Staten Island, NY. This is her fourth semester on the Oracle, and third as Arts Editor. She is also a member of the WFNP Radio E-board staff, president of the New Paltz Music Collective and manages her own music blog, Twilight Collective. You can reach her by emailing