Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Presents the Best in Texas-Made Craft

Posted June 25, 2010 in Press Releases

This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents CraftTexas 2010, the sixth in a series of juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. The exhibition features works by 51 Texas artists who work in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and in found/recycled materials.The CraftTexas exhibition series, which is hugely popular with HCCC members and visitors, provides Texas craft artists the unique opportunity to be considered for inclusion in major national museum and private collections. The series also gives the general public a starting place to appreciate the breadth of fine craft being made in local communities across the state of Texas.

This year, 73 works, ranging in style from traditional to cutting-edge contemporary, were selected from a pool of over 460 submissions. A few of the themes running throughout the exhibition are material re-use and nature, as well as social and political issues. HCCC’s Curator of Fine Craft, Gwynne Rukenbrod, commented, “HCCC is excited to present our sixth juried show of Texas contemporary craft. With CraftTexas 2010, we proudly support the work of exceptional Texas craftspeople by showcasing their work at a national level. “

While CraftTexas 2010 features outstanding works in all of the craft media, the exhibition is particularly strong in conceptual jewelry created from innovative and alternative materials. Gabriel Craig’s and Amy Weiks’ brooches are made from 100% recycled/reused metals and raise questions of commodity, economy and consumerism. Rebekah Frank’s body adornments appear to be painful or awkward to wear, yet bring to mind ideas of beauty, equality, power and struggle. Robly Glover’s clever neck pieces, made from found objects like compasses and fishing bobbers, demonstrate how everyday objects can transcend their pedestrian functions through visual repetition. Gary Schott’s playful sculptural pieces require the viewer’s interaction to be fully realized.

CraftTexas 2010 was juried by Gail M. Brown, independent curator of contemporary craft from Philadelphia, PA; Cindy Hickok, internationally acclaimed fiber artist from Houston, TX; and Paula Owen, president of the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts in San Antonio, TX, and a practicing artist. Objects were judged on criteria such as technical proficiency or craftsmanship, creative and inventive use of medium, and innovation in style or concept.

About the Jurors
Gail M. Brown is an independent curator of contemporary craft whose focus is to enhance visibility and education about contemporary craft in the larger visual arts community. She trained as a print maker at the Philadelphia College of Art, and she has been watching the contemporary crafts movement since the early 1970s. She also lectures and writes on craft and professional practices for emerging artists. When judging the entries for CraftTexas 2010, Brown said she “looked for and found innovation, passionate exploration and fine craftsmanship. And the ‘something unexpected,’ which makes the seeking all the more gratifying.”

Cindy Hickok is an internationally acclaimed fiber artist who ingeniously borrows from the “Old Masters” of art history for her clever, embroidered works. Using a freehand sewing machine and cotton thread as her paintbrush and paint, Hickok renders incredibly precise images on fabric. Her work has been exhibited in museums throughout Europe, Asia and North America, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 2007, Hickok was named a Texas Master by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

Paula Owen, the president of the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts in San Antonio and a practicing artist, has served as a judge and juror for numerous organizations and events, including the Bush Foundation in Minneapolis, the Philadelphia Craft Show in Pennsylvania and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C. Owen has chaired the Cultural Alliance of San Antonio, and served as project director for the Women and the Craft Arts National Conference at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. She has also curated and developed catalogs for several exhibitions. Owen said, “As most of the work submitted for Craft Texas 2010 was both beautiful and provocative, I expect an extraordinary exhibition—one that engages the mind and the senses to the fullest!”

Opening Reception
Friday, September 24, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
At 6:30, three artists will be presented with the jurors’ Award of Merit prizes.

Mary Headrick (mheadrick@crafthouston.org)
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
713.529.4848 x 107