New and Ongoing Projects


Thursday, February 21, 6pm. Artist talk with Susan Harbage Page, Borderlands – Evidence from the Rio Grande

includes photographs Harbage Page took at the U.S./Mexico border along with found objects (shoes, wallets, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, toys) dropped by immigrants in their haste to get across or escape the border patrol. Professor Harbage Page is an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, and teaches courses in art and social change, borders, feminist thought, photography, and identity and gender in contemporary art.

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Across County Lines: Contemporary Photography from the Piedmont

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

October 04, 2018 – February 10, 2019

Photography is arguably the region’s most widely practiced artistic medium. From analogue to digital to experimental, the range of photographic techniques practiced throughout North Carolina is both broad and deep. Across County Lines: Contemporary Photography from the Piedmont presents 39 artists in a group exhibition exploring the striking cross-currents of photographic work happening in the Piedmont region of this state. The exhibition blends the photography of both emerging and established photographers, with images dating from the 1970s to the present day. Subject matter ranges from portraiture and landscape to the conceptual, abstract, and experimental.

The artists, all of whom have close connections to the region, include Ben Alper, D.L. Anderson, Bill Bamberger, Endia Beal, Titus Brooks Heagins, Diego Camposeco, Aaron Canipe, Kennedi Carter, Faith Couch, Phyllis Dooney, Tim Duffy, Heather Evans Smith, William Ferris, Maya Freelon, Tamika Galanis, Michael Galinksy, Susan Harbage Page, Alex Harris, Harrison Haynes, Caroline Hickman Vaughan, Colby Katz, Anna Kipervaser and On Look Films, Jeremy Lange, Bryce Lankard, Jim Lee, Elizabeth Matheson, Lisa McCarty, Lindsay Metivier, Tom Rankin, John Rosenthal, Margaret Sartor, MJ Sharp, Christopher Sims, Leah Sobsey and Tim Telkamp, Hồng-Ân Trương and Hương Ngô, Burk Uzzle and Gesche Würfel.

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Creating Community: We are all here

Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham North Carolina

June 16-August 19

Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University

The place where an artist is based can significantly impact their work. Similarly, artists influence their communities in profound ways. With a focus on artists from North Carolina, Creating Community: We Are All Here explores the relationships between artist and place.
This installation considers the work of artists who immigrated to North Carolina, as well as those originally from the state, and the many ways that community may be represented through photography, sculpture and textiles.
Hubert Walters (maker of boats and birds), photograph above, Susan Harbage Page 1995.  The exhibition  includes work by Michael Jenkins, Susan Harbage Page, Silvia Heyden, Hubert Walters, Jerstin Crosby and Bill Thelen, and Burk Uzzel.

Embroidery as Contemporary Art – Roundtable Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice, May 18, 6pm


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Looking forward to participating in this roundtable of creatives from various fields. Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice. In collaboration with MicroClima. 18 May, 6 pm. Organized by curator Cornelia Lauf.

Photo above courtesy of Cornelia Lauf, May 18, Venice



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Merletti No. 14


Created by Light, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, North Carolina. The show will ran September 16, 2017–February 11, 2018

Exploring the photography collections of nine North Carolina art museums, the exhibition Created by Light showcased over 100 photographs highlighting both the pioneers of the medium and contemporary artists working in the field today. The exhibition opens to the public at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington on September 16, 2017.

CAM invited eight North Carolina art museums to participate in this collaborative exhibition, asking each to curate which photographs to feature from their permanent collections. One museum focused on Bauhaus works created between the world wars, another curated a body of work by North Carolina photographers, while others chose work by such well-known artists as Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, Susan Harbage Page, Mickalene Thomas, Burk Uzzle, Edward Weston, Aaron Siskind, Francesca Woodman and Ansel Adams.



Pathways into the Borderlands

Five Points: A Journal of Art and Literature Vol. 18, No. 2

Portfolio of Photographs by Susan Harbage Page, Essay by Audrey Goodman


Passport (2018)



First artwork of the new year..  A work I’ve been considering since Trump announced his travel ban. My old passport gold-leafed—thinking about what it means to have access. Why goods, culture, technology can all cross borders seamlessly and bodies cannot. What does it mean to have a passport? Who gets to decide if you have one?  What privilege it brings me? What it means to hide behind wealth? How does this privilege both obscure and reveal who I am.

What it means to walk on the U.S.-Mexico border using my U.S.–Passport to stay in the same place that others are throwing out their passports and identity cards to remain in. How many times I placed these pieces of paper, this tiny book with stamps, securely in my pocket or backpack, counting on them to keep me safe. What it means to belong?

Precarities (2014-2016)

I find the figurines forlornly sitting on the shelves of local thrift stores and antique malls. Many of them reference English society of the 1800s, but imprints and markings declare “Made in China” or “Made in Korea.” They evoke the dolls my grandmother made me as a child, with cloth bodies and ceramic heads, hands, and feet, or the Topsy-Turvy dolls with a white woman on one side and a black woman on the other, separated by a skirt, and the shelves of my childhood bedroom filled with collections of ceramic horses, bunnies, and kittens produced to be “looked at.” They also call to mind the downstairs closets of my childhood, which held the bulky two-part plaster molds that my mother and grandmother used to make porcelain figurines, reproducing identical female forms, each one poured, dried, and fired in a small kiln, and then meticulously hand painted with dresses in pastel blues, pinks, and greens.

I break, glue, and recombine the found ceramics figurines to conceptualize new meanings for them. The title for this series comes from Judith Butler’s theory of “precarity,” which posits that even as all bodies are vulnerable to suffering or injury, some bodies are more protected politically and socially. This series examines the modes in which culture reproduces itself to support patriarchal power systems, imagined histories, and strict gender binaries. When broken and rearranged, these images of the privileged classes reproduced for cultural consumption lose their cultural power and position and, in their own precarity, illuminate the challenges of equity, parity, and vulnerability. Series of fifteen ceramic sculptures. Pieces range from 4” by 5” to 18’ by 18”


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Migrant’s Lament: Sewing Politics into Geography (2016)

Migrant’s Lament: Sewing Politics into Geography, a site-specific installation and performance (30’ by 24’) in the Ex Casserma Monte Rita (military barracks) for the international Biennale Arte Dolomite, is a meditation on the increasing number of border walls throughout the world. Over forty border walls have been constructed in the wake of 9/11 and the Arab Spring. Record numbers of (im)migrants are in movement in the U.S., the E.U., the Middle East, and North Africa, challenging the limits of our global world’s hospitality and compassion. Millions of immigrants are vulnerable, sleeping outside in tents and blankets, experiencing and suffering the lived reality and trauma of decisions made by far-away leaders, thinking about resources and protecting what they already have—instead of people.

In the installation Migrant’s Lament, I literally sew politics into humanity. I sit in the middle of the room on a pink chair and sew a dotted red line into a blue blanket. The action/performance references the millions of individuals that are affected by the construction of nation-state borders. In the installation, topographical maps hang from a red chalk line around the room. The red line, a representation of life, unites all of the maps. The maps depict a region that was once a part of Mexico but now belongs to the U.S. as a result of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Signed in 1848, the treaty established the Rio Grande as the boundary for Texas, giving the U.S. ownership of California, half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexicans in those areas had the choice to relocate within Mexico or stay within those boundaries and receive American citizenship.

In addition, I added various markings and text on the wall with chalk including words like “appartenere/belonging,” “here,” “there,” and symbols including arrows and a white box, referencing privilege. The entire room is marked with a waist-high red line as a boundary or border marker. I wrote the names of countries who have constructed walls to keep people out above the line, and the country on the other side of the wall below the line, for example: Israel/Palestine and India/Bangladesh. I left chalk on the ground floor of the installation and audience members added to the text and wall markings throughout the exhibition.

In the corner of the room, the viewer finds a carefully folded pile of wool blankets representing our global world and the compassion and care we need to summon in support of individuals at this pivotal moment.

The installation questions borders and their creation with an unfinished rock wall built on a red chalk line drawn on the ground. The viewer remains unclear about this wall. Is it being constructed or deconstructed? It asks the viewer to think deeply about what is happening in our world today.


Wandering (2016)

Over 90 paintings and drawings which explore 14th -16th century indigo Blue Umbrian weavings These Indigo blue and white Italian textiles were initially highly valued and sometimes used as altar clothing. Over time, they became everyday working linens including tablecloths, dishtowels, and rags. This series also explores handmade crocheted and lace collars as well as meditation involved in the making/production process.


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