Press Releases

CERAMIC ARTIST EXPLORES EMOTIONAL VALUE OF EVERYDAY OBJECTS

Posted November 12, 2014 in Press Releases

one day, late in the afternoon. . .
February 6 – May 10, 2015
Front Gallery at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002

Opening Reception -
Friday, February 6, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
The opening will also feature Dining and Discourse: A Discussion in Three Courses in the Main Gallery and open studios by the current resident artists 

Hours & Admission
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM. Admission is free.

(HOUSTON, TX) November 12, 2014 – Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to host one day, late in the afternoon…, an installation by contemporary ceramic artist, Kelly O’Briant. Reminiscent of the traditional still life from art history, the installation captures a moment of intimacy between utilitarian objects and their users. Things, such as a favorite mug, heirloom silverware, or a holiday tablecloth, are as integral to people’s lives as the conversations that take place around them. O’Briant recreates these everyday objects in order to elevate them to a position of aesthetic and emotional value.

Using a minimal color palette to emphasize physical form, the artist also manipulates atmosphere, emotion and memory through her use of light and shadow. Her process of coiling and pinching the clay lends humanity to the surfaces of the objects, which, in ordinary life, would remain inert.

O’Briant arranges her porcelain objects in groupings that are intentionally ambiguous in their relationships to each other and their surroundings. For instance, in one grouping, she arranges a bucket of eggshells, a spigot, and a garden hose on a wooden deck-like surface. In another, she fills kitchen-like cabinets with various objects resembling bric-a-brac accumulated over time. These objects are meant to stand in for the

intangible relationships that transpire around things and the information transfer that occurs when people gather around the kitchen table for a cup of coffee or wash dishes at the sink after a communal dinner. O’Briant captures these shared moments through the creation of a still life composed of outwardly recognizable objects. However, upon closer inspection, one can see that the artist has altered the objects by removing some elements of the familiar—leaving the viewer feeling somewhat perplexed and disconnected.

HCCC Curator, Elizabeth Kozlowski, comments, “This exhibition asks open-ended questions about what we share when we come together at the most intimate of meeting places. There is a combination of both positive and negative feelings that occurs when the viewer places herself in one of these scenarios, which are familiar and yet not at all what they seem. O’Briant brilliantly creates this ambivalent mood to reflect the ups and downs we experience throughout our lives.”

one day, late in the afternoon was originally exhibited in the spring of 2014 at Harry Wood Gallery, Arizona State University, for Kelly O’Briant’s Masters of Fine Arts thesis.

About the Artist

Kelly O’Briant’s work in ceramics has made an expansive journey of form and material alongside her own travels through North Carolina and abroad. A native of Julian, North Carolina, O’Briant earned a BFA (2000) in design, with a second major in cultural anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, O’Briant studied at the University of Oulu, Finland, where she participated in archaeological field work. In 2001, O’Briant was awarded a two-year Core Student Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts. While at Penland, she concentrated on clay and metals, also taking courses in books, wood and fibers. She gained expertise in a variety of ceramic techniques, including high-temperature wood, salt and soda firings, porcelain, stoneware, low-fire methods, earthenware, majolica and china painting.

O’Briant returned to the Piedmont of North Carolina in June, 2005, to set up her own ceramics studio, which she ran until 2010. Her focus was in high-fired functional porcelain work, which she appreciated for its clean lines and artistic accessibility. During that time, she regularly participated in retail shows, including the

American Craft Council’s show, and sold her work from galleries across the country. Her work has been featured in a number of exhibitions, including Refraction and Flux: 8 Rising Young Potters at JC Self Research Institute, Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, SC; A Process of Becoming at GPSA Gallery, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; and Art of the Cup at Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Center for Craft and Design, New Orleans. In 2014, O’Briant graduated with an MFA from Arizona State University.  She currently resides with her partner, Matthew Thomason, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, as the artist-in-residence at the University of North Dakota.

PRESS RELEASE–ONE DAY-LATE IN THE AFTERNOON–AT HCCC-photos Continue Reading »

SPRING EXHIBITION EXPLORES RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRAFT & DINING

Posted November 12, 2014 in Press Releases

Dining and Discourse: A Discussion in Three Courses
February 6 – May 10, 2015
Main Gallery
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002

Opening Reception
Friday, February 6, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
The evening will also feature the opening of one day, late in the afternoon. . . in the Front Gallery and open studios by HCCC’s current resident artists.

Hours & Admission
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM. Admission is free.

(HOUSTON, TX) November 12, 2014 — With the demand for locally sourced goods and handmade products on the rise, terms like handcrafted, craftsmanship, and artisanal are household words in the food industry and marketplace. Art-and-food-fusion events are increasingly prevalent, while craft, in this arena, denotes customized products and services. In response to these trends and recent scholarship, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents Dining and Discourse: A Discussion in Three Courses, an exhibition that looks critically at the intrinsic relationship between craft and dining. The exhibition features 26 emerging and mid-career artists working in wood, glass, ceramics, fiber, metal, and mixed media. Curated by HCCC Curatorial Fellow, Kathryn Hall, the show challenges contemporary notions of functionality, status, and aesthetics by moving beyond the presentation of the beautifully set dinner table to spark discussion about the past, present and future of craft. Organized into three dining-room vignettes—Role Play, Hunter-Gatherer, and Opulence and ExcessDining and Discourse reveals new flavors within the age-old partnership of craft and food, as contemporary makers find inspiration in the dining experience.

Role Play addresses the formal concerns of dining-room furniture, utensils, and wares through material, line, color, and form. The artists in this vignette bring a new sense of purpose and identity to the dinner table, calling attention to the social and practical aspects of

sharing a meal. Inspired by Le Corbusier’s modern design principles, Studio WAC’s Obus Lofts’ Dining Table presents a creative solution to hosting a small dinner party. Designed for five people, the layout of the table breaks up formal seating arrangements to promote conversation and social interaction. With two corners of the top bending towards the floor, the piece’s asymmetrical design confronts the functional boundaries of dining-room furniture.

Hunter-Gatherer recognizes the growing presence in popular culture of the self-sufficient, resourceful, and environmentally conscious mindset—a modern adaptation of the survivalist. Through the lens of contemporary craft media, this vignette considers the topic of sustainability in craft and food, as well as the traditional display of man’s dominion over nature. For instance, with a handle made from pig bone and copper, Seth Gould’s Non Si Butta Via Niente meat cleaver is a stunning embodiment of the environmental mantra, “Do not throw anything away.”

In contrast to the first two vignettes, Opulence and Excess exhibits a playful explosion of color, ornamentation, and material exploration. Historically, commissioned wares and dining-room furniture asserted the power, status, and personal beliefs of their patrons through the use of precious materials, embellishment, and technical execution. However, as tastes have evolved, old aristocratic styles that were once revered—like the Baroque—have become kitsch in mainstream culture. Borrowing from the history of decorative arts patronage, the artists in this vignette have restored value to period styles by adapting them to a contemporary context. For instance, Nanda Soderberg showcases his highbrow-meets-lowbrow style with handmade glassware. The artist transforms recycled beer bottles into Venetian-style goblets and tumblers, adorned with a touch of gold leaf.

Above all, Dining and Discourse aims to generate discussion about the historical and contemporary relationships between craft and dining. Visitors are welcome to participate in the discussion through related programming and by visiting the exhibition’s Tumblr site. (Full details will be available in February, 2015, on the exhibition web page, www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/dining-and-discourse/.)

Dining and Discourse Featured Artists

Role Play
Corey Ackelmire
Nicholas Bivins
Samuel Chung
Susan Dwyer
Haand
Danny Kamerath
Studio WAC
Grace Zuniga

Hunter-Gatherer
Jessica Broad
Chris Campbell
Margaret Dorfman
Seth Gould
Clark Kellogg
Robbie Lobell
Adrien Segal
Smith Shop
Michael Radyk

Opulence and Excess
Margaret Bohls
Blair Clemo
Shari Mendelson
Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer
Jaydan Moore
Susan O’Brien
Lisa Orr
Ellie Richards
Tom Shields
Nanda Soderberg

PRESS RELEASE–DINING & DISCOURSE AT HCCC-photos Continue Reading »

ASHER GALLERY HOLIDAY SOIREE & TRUNK SHOW FEATURING TANA ACTON &
KATE DE PARA — NOVEMBER 20 & 22, 2014

Posted October 30, 2014 in Press Releases

WHAT:
Asher Gallery at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) will celebrate the holidays with its annual Asher Gallery Holiday Soiree & Trunk Show Preview on Thursday, November 20th, 5:30 – 8:00 PM. Shoppers will enjoy refreshments, nibbles and some seriously fabulous shopping as the gallery kicks off the annual Museum District Members’ Sale, November 20 – 23 (members of HCCC or any museum in the Houston Museum District receive a 20% discount on their purchase). The trunk show, designed to celebrate the art of fine fashion, will feature jeweler Tana Acton and textile artist Kate de Para, who are known for their clean lines and varied textures. The show continues Saturday, November 22nd, from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The artists will be present to mingle with shoppers during both events.

About the Artists
Santa Fe, New Mexico, artist, Tana Acton, is Asher Gallery’s most popular and well known jeweler. Through her unique perspective as both a dancer and choreographer, Acton combines air, movement and light to create pieces that are at once delicate and solid. Each piece of fine art jewelry is created from a single “thread” of precious metal–either sterling silver, 12k gold-filled, or copper.  The “fabric” she creates takes on a faceted effect from the light, leaving space and air to breathe through each piece.

Native Houstonian and Martha Stewart “American Made 2014 Style Finalist,” Kate de Para, presents her wearable line, Evens, a selection of comfortable, structured garments and clever accessories.  De Para says Evens was born out of a desire to connect with people in a more functional, accessible way and to make something they can use every day that makes them feel good.  “Our goal is to construct thoughtful, quality garments that transcend seasons.”

WHEN:
Asher Gallery Holiday Soiree & Trunk Show Preview with Tana Acton & Kate de Para
Thursday, November 20, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
Asher Gallery Trunk Show with Tana Acton & Kate de Para
Saturday, Nov. 22, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

WHERE:
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002
713.529.4848; www.crafthouston.org

EVENT WEB PAGE:
http://www.crafthouston.org/events/asher-holiday-soiree-trunk-show-preview-featuring-tana-acton-kate-de-para/

Asher Gallery’s web page:
http://www.crafthouston.org/shop/asher-gallery/

ADMISSION: FREE Continue Reading »

MARTINI MADNESS! BOSSA NOVA BASH
AT HCCC THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015

Posted October 24, 2014 in Press Releases

WHAT:
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) hosts Martini Madness! Bossa Nova Bash, a chic cocktail fundraiser featuring artisan glasses, bottomless martinis, sizzling snacks, and a big-board auction. This year, the seventh annual mid-century-themed party goes Brazilian with live bossa nova and samba by Trio Forte. At the beginning of the evening, guests choose from an incredible array of glasses—all of which are handmade by local and national craft artists—to use and take home. Mid-century cocktail attire (“Mad Men”-style fashions inspired by the ‘50s and ‘60s) is suggested for this fun, swanky soiree.  All proceeds benefit HCCC.

WHEN:
Thursday, January 22, 2015, 7:00 – 10:00 PM

WHERE:
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002
713.529.4848; www.crafthouston.org

CHAIRS:
Paula Arnold & Ted Pinson

HONORARY CHAIRS:
Betsy & Chuck Powell

EVENT WEB PAGE:
http://www.crafthouston.org/events/martini-madness-2015/

TICKETS:
Tickets go on sale December 5, 2014. Single Ticket: $150. HCCC Member: $125. (Each ticket includes an artisan martini glass.)
To purchase, visit www.crafthouston.org or call 713-529-4848 x. 201.
To become a sponsor or purchase a VIP Package, contact Julie Farr at jfarr@crafthouston.org or 713-529-4848 x. 103.

SPONSORS (as of 10/24/14):
Deep Eddy Vodka, PaperCity Magazine (exclusive print media sponsor) Continue Reading »

HOUSTON CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CRAFT CLOSED
FOR BUILDING REPAIRS DEC. 25, 2014 – JAN. 23, 2015

Posted October 24, 2014 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) October 23, 2014 —Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) announces a building closure from December 25, 2014 through January 23, 2015. During this time period, the building will undergo several major repairs, including the re-setting of doors and walls, new polished concrete floors, new paint and repairs to the exterior. HCCC will open to the public for its seventh annual Martini Madness! cocktail fundraiser on the evening of January 22, 2015. The building will be closed on Friday, January 23, and resume normal business hours on Saturday, January 24. (HANDS-ON HOUSTON will not take place on January 3 but will resume its first-Saturday-of-the-month schedule on February 7.) Continue Reading »

In Residence:
Work by 2013 Resident Artists

Posted July 22, 2014 in Press Releases

In Residence: Work by 2013 Resident Artists
September 12 – December 19, 2014
Artist Hall at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002

Opening Reception
Friday, September 12, 5:30 – 7:00 PM

Hours & Admission
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM.
Summer Hours: Closed Sundays, July 6 – Labor Day.
Fall/Winter Holidays: Closed November 27, December 25 – 26,
December 31 and January 1.
Admission is free.

(HOUSTON, TX) July 22, 2014 – This fall,Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents In Residence: Work by 2013 Resident Artists, an exhibition of work created by the eight artists who began their residencies at HCCC in 2013: Christina Carfora, Paris Jomadiao, Lauren Salazar, Caitie Sellers, Delaney Smith, Kamila Szczesna, Demitra Thomloudis, and Grace Zuniga. The show features imaginative objects and jewelry pieces created from clay, fiber, paper, metal and found objects.

As an annual exhibition, the In Residence series celebrates the high level of craftsmanship and creativity reflected within the work produced by artists during their tenure in HCCC’s Artist Residency Program. The program provides a unique and enriching experience for its resident artists, whose open studios encourage the visiting public to engage directly with the artists as they work. With an open environment and enrichment activities, the residency program encourages collaboration and experimentation and provides a place for artists to consult and exchange ideas with peers. (To learn more about the Artist Residency Program, visit http://www.crafthouston.org/artists/residents/.) Continue Reading »

CRAFTTEXAS 2014 AT HCCC THIS FALL

Posted July 10, 2014 in Press Releases

CraftTexas 2014
September 26 – December 24, 2014
Front and Main Galleries at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002

Opening Reception 
Friday, September 26, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
At 6:30 PM, three artists will be presented
with the jurors’ Award of Merit prizes.
The evening will also feature open studios by
HCCC’s current resident artists.

Beer sponsored by Karbach Brewing Co.

Hours & Admission
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM.
Summer Hours: Closed July 4 and Sundays, July 6th – Labor Day.
Admission is free.

This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft presents CraftTexas 2014, the eighth in a series of biennial juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. Featuring 49 works by 44 Texas artists, the exhibition includes everything from sculpture, jewelry, textiles, installations, and furniture to concepts that include vernacular architecture, formal elements of design, and man’s relationship to nature.

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 exceptional work in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media. HCCC Curator, Elizabeth Kozlowski, says that the show serves as an excellent introduction to the impressive array of media, techniques, and skill inherent in the Texas contemporary craft community: “All of these artistic practices come together to create an outstanding showing of what Texas has to offer.” Continue Reading »

“TAKING SHAPE” CELEBRATES EMERGING
TALENT OF WINDGATE FELLOWSHIP

Posted March 24, 2014 in Press Releases

Taking Shape: Celebrating the Windgate Fellowship
May 30 – August 30, 2014
Artist Hall & Lobby at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002

Opening Reception
Friday, May 30, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
The opening will also feature La Frontera in the Main Gallery and Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker in the Front Gallery.  Open studios by current resident artists to follow talks. 

Hours & Admission
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM.
Summer Hours:Closed July 4th and Sundays, July 6th – Labor Day.
Admission is free.

(HOUSTON, TX) March 24, 2014 –This summer, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to host Taking Shape: Celebrating the Windgate Fellowship, an exhibition that recognizes the considerable emerging talent in the field of craft. Organized by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) in Asheville, North Carolina, Taking Shape is the first group display of Windgate Fellows’ work, spanning a range of approaches, media, and processes. The exhibitionfeatures a selection of recent objects, completed by 2006 – 2010 CCCD Fellows, revealing a cross section of up-and-coming perspectives on craft.

CCCD asked Cindi Strauss, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to jury the exhibition.Strauss notes, “Craft continues to shift and respond to cultural and economic changes in the world, with younger artists often taking the lead in forging new paths to address these fundamental differences. Taken as a whole, the work in the exhibition clearly embodies the maxims used to describe craft in recent years.” Continue Reading »

“TOPSOIL” FINDS FERTILE GROUND BETWEEN CRAFT AND NATURE

Posted March 9, 2014 in Press Releases

Topsoil
April 4 – May 25, 2014
Artist Hall at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002

Opening Reception – Friday, April 4, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
5:45 – Artist Talk

Hours & Admission
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM.
Summer Hours: Closed July 4th and Sundays, July 6th – Labor Day.
Admission is free.

(HOUSTON, TX) March 7, 2014 – Houston Center for Contemporary (HCCC) presents Topsoil, an exhibition of work by three artists who harvest their creative sustenance from the mathematics, science, and aesthetics of the planet’s waters and terrains. As the most vibrant and rich portion of the Earth’s soil, topsoil yields the highest concentration of organic matter. This fertile ground fosters the growth and production of the living organisms that thrive on its nutrients just as it nourishes the imagination of these artists.

Houston artist and designer, Kate de Para’s trompe l’oeil fiber-based Rock Collection delightfully fools the eye. A camouflage of surface texture and form add mass to the collection, concealing the fragility of the lightweight Abaca fiber. Grains of salt mimic the gritty quality of a hard exterior, while complementing the beauty found within the layers of texture, pattern, and color of natural rock formations.

Drawing ties between earthly macrocosms and microcosms, New Orleans ceramist Sarah House interprets fractal geometry in nature to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the natural environment. This type of geometry identifies patterns found under the lens of a microscope, as well as those charted topographically. In the Ad Infinitum series, her sculptures represent waves of water that line the wall like a mountain range. In her composition of these water studies, House calls attention to the connection between fractal patterns in the minute ripples of the water’s surface, as well as the depths of the mountains. Continue Reading »

“LA FRONTERA” EXPLORES US-MEXICO BORDER
THROUGH JEWELRY

Posted March 5, 2014 in Press Releases

La Frontera
May 30 – September 7, 2014
Main Gallery at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002

Opening Reception – Friday, May 30, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
5:45 – Artist Talk by Sandie Zilker (Texas Masters Series)
6:00 – Curator’s Talk by Mike Holmes (La Frontera)
The opening will also feature Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker in the Front Gallery.
Open studios by current resident artists to follow talks. 

Hours & Admission
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM.
Summer Hours: Closed July 4th and Sundays, July 6th – Labor Day.
Admission is free.

(HOUSTON, TX) March 5, 2014 – Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is proud to present La Frontera (The Borderlands), an international exhibition of contemporary jewelry that explores the physical space where the complex relationship between Mexico and the United States is most evident. With startling results, 90 artists from the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Australia, and Latin America explore the underlying currents of the border environment within geographic, political, social, cultural, and ideological contexts.

At 1,969 miles long, the U.S.-Mexico border has the largest number of legal and illegal crossings in the world. An estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants currently live in the United States, according to studies by the Pew Hispanic Research Center. Concerns about illegal immigration, combined with the increase in drug trafficking and violence, instigated the controversial construction of the border fence, which is now 700 miles long and counting. This timely exhibition occurs as the U.S. Congress is considering an immigration reform bill that would extend the Border Wall an additional 700 miles and add another 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents. Still, the border is a vibrant and vital corridor, and its extremely porous nature allows not only the passage of illegal arms and drugs but also valuable ideas and projects, families and culture. Continue Reading »