A selection of the artist's work in multiple genres. Courtesy photo
A selection of the artist’s work in multiple genres. Courtesy photo


It wasn’t until he retired from Indiana University that Jerome Harste began creating art for public consumption. The author of scholarly and children’s books and a distinguished professor of literacy, culture, and language, Harste, 77, was IU’s first Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Chair of Teacher Education. But when he retired in 2006, the teacher became the student. That’s when he began studying with renowned artists in several states. “I’ve never stopped,” he says.

Now, Harste has lost count of his completed pieces, but the number is “high enough that you should be able to find one you like,” he says. At his Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center exhibition in May 2018, he showed more than 75 watercolor and acrylic-collage paintings and sold 21. 

Harste is a multi-genre artist who also throws pottery, draws in pen and ink, and builds sand sculptures. His collective work features many subjects and styles and seems to have been created by a dozen artists. 

“New media and styles give me new strategies for expressing something about literacy in visual form or offering new perspectives on the everyday,” Harste says. “The motto I live by is ‘ruin one piece of paper a day.’ It’s only by staying actively engaged and taking risks that one grows. I strongly believe in Jasper Johns’ notion: ‘Do something, do something to that, then do something to that,’ and soon you will have something.”

For more, visit jeromeharste.com.