VISUAL ARTS + MUSEUMS
September 28-December 30, 2012
This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents CraftTexas 2012, the seventh in a series of biennial juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. Featuring works by 40 Texas artists, the exhibition includes everything from a large-scale installation of crocheted linen and latex paint to stoneware ceramic vessels and pate de verre glass sculptures mimicking iron cookware....
This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents CraftTexas 2012, the seventh in a series of biennial juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. Featuring works by 40 Texas artists, the exhibition includes everything from a large-scale installation of crocheted linen and latex paint to stoneware ceramic vessels and pate de verre glass sculptures mimicking iron cookware. Opening Reception: Friday, September 28, 5:30 – 8:00 PM. At 6:30 PM, three artists will be presented with the jurors’ Award of Merit prizes for CraftTexas 2012. The evening will also feature open studios by HCCC’s current resident artists from 6:00 – 7:00 PM. Exhibition on view through December 30.
The "CraftTexas" series, which is hugely popular with visitors, provides artists the unique opportunity to have their work seen by three established jurors and included in an exhibition that seeks to broaden the understanding of contemporary craft. The show features outstanding work in all craft media: clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media.
This year saw an unprecedented increase in artist applications, with over 500 works submitted. The jurors spent hours evaluating and scoring pieces to inevitably trim the show down to 49 works. HCCC Curator, Anna Walker, commented:
“Juried shows are particularly exciting because there is a certain amount of risk involved—you never know who will apply and exactly what stance the jurors will take on different pieces. I’m pleased to say that this year’s juried exhibition not only features a wide range of work but also includes what I would consider some of the best in contemporary craft across the state. As always, it’s rewarding to see new artists and work never before exhibited at HCCC, along with some familiar faces from previous years.”
While "CraftTexas 2012" features a varied selection of work, there are several minor trends running throughout this group show. For instance, there is a strong focus on contemporary furniture, ranging from a midcentury-influenced chair by Danny Kamerath to George Sacaris’ stunning, polished-aluminum stools. Kamerath has been making functional furniture full time since 2005, after a career switch from advertising design. His design background is evident in the clean and elegant form of his hickory chair, "Jill," composed of simple lines and circles reminiscent of Charles and Ray Eames’ Dot Pattern. Like many furniture makers before him, Kamerath chooses his type of wood specifically for each piece.
George Sacaris developed the idea for his "Faux Bois Stumps" after seeing a fake wood bench made from concrete at a farm in south Texas. ("Faux bois" is French for the artistic imitation of wood in other media.) These hand-formed aluminum objects, which are both sculptural and functional—as clever stools or end tables—come in a variety of colors, from polished mirror to brown. Sacaris completes these modern forms with the nodules of imaginary severed tree limbs.
Many of the artists explore the use of nontraditional materials in their craft practices, as clearly shown in the contemporary sculpture and jewelry of Edward Lane McCartney and Michael O’Neill. Inspired by the recent exhibition, "Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time," at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, McCartney transforms paper-back books and vibrantly colored paper in his piece, "Folio Chromatique, #7, The Velocity of Color." The sculpture, which resembles strings of oversized, accordion-like paper beads, is strung in linear patterns and suspended from the wall. Michael O’Neill’s bracelet, "Flood," is assembled with silver, found driftwood and Pyrex. Fragments of this unlikely combination of materials swirl around the circular structure of a bracelet akin to tossed debris found on a construction site.
Some of the artists continue the use of traditional craft materials and processes but do so in new and exciting ways. David Bogus’ bold installation, "The Optimist Luggage," consists of 11 pieces of brightly patterned, lifesized ceramic luggage that mimic various objects of luxury and consumer culture. His slip-casting process creates a trompe l’oeil effect, appearing super realistic until the clay shells of the original luggage reveal themselves at close range. Paula Gron also rethinks traditional processes, as she creates a fantastic explosion of fibers in her surreal sculpture, "My Toothbrush." Using wood and traditional basketry techniques to create a tightly knit basket form for the base of the brush, she then adds pink stick-like fibers to create wild bristles that have a life of their own.
"CraftTexas 2012" was juried by Jean W. McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville, NC; Rachelle Thiewes, internationally acclaimed metal and jewelry artist from El Paso, TX, and HCCC’s 2009 Texas Master; and Jade Walker, Director of the Visual Arts Center and the Creative Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
CraftTexas 2012 Artists:
Ed and Cornelia Gates
Paula Gron Terry Hagiwara
Laura Nicole Kante
Kristopher Leinen Edward Lane McCartney
Omar Angel Perez
Catherine Winkler Rayroud
Pictured Above: Griselda Pena, “Cut.” Oak and encaustic. 4”x 5.5” x 2.25”. 2010. Photo by TJH Photographics.
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