Harrell Fletcher

New Langton Arts / Jack Hanley Gallery

Harrell Fletcher’s appealing brand of community-based art may rely on the people, but the tone is more block party than party line; material and message seem to be ungrudgingly provided by the wide range of “ordinary” publics—schoolchildren, church choirs, convenience-store clerks—he engages. Two concurrent exhibitions in the city where he began his career revealed how this artist, now based in Portland, Oregon, takes his flexible conceptual framework on the road, adapting it to places from Houston to Malmö, Sweden, in each case making himself temporarily part of the neighborhood.

“Happiness Follows Us Like a Shadow,” the exhibition at New Langton Arts, documented fourteen of Fletcher’s public-art and alternative-space projects such as “Now It’s a Party” at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut, “The Sound We Make Together” at DiverseWorks in Houston, and “Everyday Sunshine” at the Portland

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