Susan Harbage Page
212 Smith Building
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
Susan Harbage Page is a visual artist with a background in photography and site-specific installation. Her work explores immigration, race, gender, and nation. For almost ten years she has been making annual pilgrimages to the U.S.–Mexico Border to photograph the objects left behind by immigrants as they enter the United States. Her recent exhibition at La Stellina Arte Contemporanea Gallery in Rome, Italy “Objects from the Borderlands,” included a performance, “Sewing Politics.” She also maintains a studio practice in Umbria, Italy where she makes artwork exploring the gendered labor of textile production.
Harbage Page has exhibited nationally and internationally at major museums and public institutions in Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Israel, the United States, and China. Her work has been collected by major museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland and The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia. Amongst Page’s numerous awards are fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Camargo Foundation, and funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Fulbright Program. She was awarded second prize in the Bernice Abbott International Competition for Women in Documentary Photography.
She received the Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholar Award UNC (2014) and a fellowship from the Institute for Arts and Humanities UNC (2015).
Her teaching uses the lens of art and activism and the creative process to look at contemporary issues from a feminist and intersectional perspective. Her courses focus on three major themes: identity, art and social change, and gender in the contemporary art world. She uses art making and the creative process to give students experiential, student-centered, hands-on learning situations.
She received her B.M. and M.M. (saxophone performance) from Michigan State University and an M.F.A. (photography) from the San Francisco Art Institute as well as a Certificate of Knowledge of the Italian Language from the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy.
My Mother’s Teacups explores immigration via my own English ancestry. By photographing family heirlooms—teacups my mother brought from England to Ohio in 1969 and then to North Carolina when my family migrated South—along the banks of the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas, I addressed my own and other U.S. citizens’ history of immigration. The teacups inherently symbolize and embody issues of race, class, heritage, mobility, and nationality. They question the willingness of individuals to lay claim to U.S. citizenship and privilege, disregarding their family’s immigration from other countries such as Italy, Ireland, or Poland just two or three generations ago.
Borders and Belongings by Susan Harbage Page
|Borders and Belonging – College of Arts & Sciences
Susan Harbage Page has long held a fascination with borders and identity. For almost a decade, she walked the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley, photographing and collecting objects that border-crossers left behind. The objects told her powerful stories about hope and heartache, borders and belonging, and sometimes, a great deal of violence.