Unbeknownst to Jim Crane, or at least according to his wife Franci Crane, the owner of the Houston Astros has been supporting the Houston Center for Contemprorary Craft for years — thanks to her frequenting the Asher Gallery where all manner of enticing craft items are sold. Such was the verbal fun at the center’s annual luncheon held at River Oaks Country Club where the Cranes were honored for their widespread civic contributions. Continue Reading »
In The News
Fans of one-of-a-kind artisan crafts would have been in collecting heaven at the “Crafting A Legacy” spring luncheon. Donae Chramosta (aka The Vintage Contessa) was a no-brainer pick as the silent auction chair since she lives and breathes collectible bags and baubles. Auction items created by local artist included pieces made from recycled Louis Vuitton Speedys and luggage. While Heidi Gerstacker molded LV fabric into leaf shaped brooches, Janice Jakielski repurposed the French luxe textile into an Amelia Earhart like flight cap. Continue Reading »
For a short time, Houston will have the opportunity to view dozens of exhibits by national and international artists in venues from major museums to vacant lots. Surprisingly, these works can be purchased relatively inexpensively.
Why do you have this unprecedented opportunity? Because, Houston’s George R. Brown Center is the location for the annual conference of the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA, pronounced N-ceca). There will be 5,000 “clay people” in the bars and restaurants downtown (especially the bars, clay people like their beer; believe me, I’ve attended many of these conferences).
And why will these works be “relatively inexpensive”? Because for better or worse there is a terrible schism in the art world that, ignoring millennia of objects created by cultures around the world, regards the ceramic medium as “craft” and somehow less important than “ART.” Continue Reading »
Janice Jakielski’s work somehow manages to feel futuristic and Victorian all at the same time. Her colorful headdresses on display at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft are quite photogenic, embroidered prettily with birds and adorned with paper flowers. They also feature some curious fashion choices: coffee mug halves that surround the eyes, wide ribbons that obscure the ears and even a bonnet made for two, each separate headdress connected by a striped portal in such a way that forces each wearer’s back to the other. Continue Reading »
Sometimes a hat defines you as an extrovert. At the very least, it reflects your personality in a not-so-subtle way.
But what if a hat was something you could disappear into?
That’s part of the fun of Janice Jakielski’s new “Constructing Solitude” exhibit in the small gallery at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Inspired by Amish bonnets and her grandmother’s hats from the 1930s, Jakielski has created a collection of headdresses that would allow their wearers to retreat behind goggle-like eye covers and ear-flaps, effectively shutting out sights and sounds. Continue Reading »
This week’s theme was: overwhelming. Many of the artworks and exhibitions I saw were so ambitious and large-scale that I felt consumed by the artist’s vision. In others, it was the artist themselves who let themselves be overwhelmed by the accumulation of their projects or the position they seem to have put themselves in. The effect in both cases was one of a tempered sublime, or perhaps a damaged romanticism. These exhibitions will be up for at least a month, so I hope you get a chance to see these incredible works. Continue Reading »
Whether shaken or stirred, the fifth annual Martini Madness crowd customized their bottomless beverages – from classics to cosmos to lemon drops – as they strolled through the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
They noshed on finger food from Sorrel Urban Bistro, listened to the Jeremy Dorsey Trio and took turns in the retro photo booth by Evan Mallett. Continue Reading »
Don Draper and Betty Francis would have appreciated the Mad Men vibe that pulsated through the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft as the fifth annual “Martini Madness” fundraiser celebrated a mid-century esthetic.
No, smoking wasn’t allowed but the martinis were bottomless and the 250 guests favored skinny ties, full skirts and pillbox hats.
Marie Louise and David Kinder chaired the artful romp that found guests selecting their favorite martini glass from a slew of artist-created options, feasting on taste treats from Sorrel Urban Bistro and sipping to their heart’s content on libations courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka. Traditional martinis were served along with lemon drops, cosmopolitans and winter wonderlands (white chocolate/peppermint), a nod to the wintry decorative theme. Continue Reading »
If it feels like end-of-the-year festivities are as far back in that past as, well, last year, then you are feeling the crunch of January taking off like a wild, lustful bull amid a field grazed by virgin cows.
Be sure to take care of yourself and balance work, life and play activities with this week’s suggestions.
To make planning easier click on the links below each event to access a page where you’ll find helpful functions, like the ability to download intel to your electronic calendar and learn about where to find food, beverages, shopping and a place to crash for the night nearby your final destination.
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s Fifth Annual “Martini Madness!”
Perched on my desk is a whimsical, handcrafted martini glass resembling the roots of a tree that looks like it belongs on the set of Lord of the Rings. Many strong beverages were imbibed out of that vessel on one fun evening at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft a few years ago. Continue Reading »
So you survived the apocalypse, the holidays, and even New Year’s. What now? Civilization as we know it is still here, which means you can still enjoy the time-honored tradition of enjoying a few drinks while staring at some nice art and then trying to sound intelligent while you try to explain that you like it because it’s blue. And what better way to ring in the new Mayan calendar than an exhibition of ceramics and bonnets at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft? Okay there’s not really much of a connection there, but I hear the beer will be sponsored by local brewery, Karbach. So if you enjoy finely crafted beer as much as, well, fine crafts then you won’t want to miss this. Continue Reading »