Posted March 9, 2014 in Press Releases

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.

Working in Richmond, Virginia, Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer’s mixed-media pieces replicate organic forms found in nature.  By placing these forms in unnatural environments, she raises questions about the semantics of what is natural and what is manmade. Like a vine on a trellis, the delicate, glass root systems of Forced Roots push through Solo-cup bottoms that frame their irresistibly fine construction, demonstrating a vital resilience to their surrounding environment.

Kate de Para
Kate de Para is the owner and designer of Evens clothing and teaches Textile Science, Surface Design, and Textile Design at the Art Institute of Houston. She received an MFA in fibers from Savannah College of Art and Design (2012) and a BS in apparel, with a focus in textile science and business administration, from Baylor University (2007).

Sarah House
Practicing in New Orleans, ceramist Sarah House creates functional wares and sculptural installation work. House received an MFA in studio art from Tulane University (2012) and a BFA in ceramics from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art (2006). She has participated in several residency programs, including Baltimore Clayworks, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, the International Ceramics Studio, Tainan National University of the Arts, and the International Ceramics Research Center. She has received numerous awards, including the Windgate Fellowship, the Nyburg Fellowship, and the Baker Artist Award.

Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer
Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in craft and material studies (2007) and a BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (2003). From billboards to small glass objects, Mizer’s professional practice is eclectic and her work knows no bounds.  Recently, she had a solo exhibition, My Pleasure, at Greymatter Gallery (Milwaukee, WI) and participated in a group exhibition, entitled Ambiguity and Interface, at the Taubman Museum (Roanoke, VA). Living in Richmond, Virginia, Mizer is currently the Administrative Director of the Art Foundation program at VCUarts, and she also serves on the Board of Directors for 1708 Gallery. This summer, Mizer will be a resident artist at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

Topsoil was curated by Kathryn Hall, Curatorial Fellow at HCCC.

About Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is a nonprofit arts organization founded to advance education about the process, product and history of craft. HCCC serves as an important cultural and educational resource for Houston and the Southwest—one of the few venues in the country dedicated exclusively to craft at the highest level.  HCCC provides exhibition, retail and studio spaces to support the work of local and national artists.  In addition, HCCC is a wonderful resource for art educators and provides mission-related educational programs in schools and underserved communities. Visitors enjoy viewing innovative exhibitions, visiting the resident artist studios, creating their own crafts in monthly HANDS-ON HOUSTON events, and shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts and home décor in the Asher Gallery.

Located in the Museum District at 4848 Main Street, HCCC is open 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. Free parking is available directly behind the facility, off Rosedale and Travis Street.  HCCC is three blocks south of Wheeler Ave. MetroRail station on Main Street.

HCCC is funded in part by grants from The Brown Foundation; Houston Endowment, Inc.; the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance; Texas Commission on the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Kinder Foundation; the Morgan Foundation; Windgate Charitable Foundation; and the Wortham Foundation. For more information, call 713.529.4848 or visit www.crafthouston.org.  Follow HCCC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @CraftHouston.