by BA Harrington and Chele Isaac
Chele Isaac and BA Harrington's collaborative, multimedia installation work explores themes of dislocation, migration, and the way nostalgia distorts and narrows the idea of "American-ness." Their projects often begin with travel that embraces the quintessentially American gesture of “the roadtrip.” These fact finding missions follow historic paths of migration but then meander widely as chance conversations direct them to historic markers, small history museums, alternative communities, truck stops. The work represents an attempt to make manifest the encounter with landscapes traveled, people befriended and stories unspooled.
Their installation at the PCA draws upon the fact that Isaac was born in New Castle and spent her childhood in the hills of Western Pennsylvania where Harrington, a transplant of Dutch origin from Holland, MI, is now making her home.
Harrington, a traditionally trained furniture-maker, earned an MFA in wood and an MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is currently Assistant Professor of Woodworking and Co-director of The Wood Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Isaac, a video and installation artist, also earned her MFA from UW-Madison and teaches adjunctly for the UW Art Department. Their collaborative work has shown regionally and nationally since 2008.