Elizabeth Kozlowski on “CraftTexas 2014”

Posted October 14, 2014 in Blog

We recently asked HCCC Curator, Elizabeth Kozlowski, to give us her thoughts on the current exhibition, CraftTexas 2014, on view now through December 24, 2014.


Award of Merit Winner: Olivia Neal, “Tropophobia”, 2012. Handwoven Jaquard cloth, artificial sinew, lanyard, re-recorded cassette tape with Shangrilas’ “Walking in the Sand.” 8 feet, 6 inches x 3 feet. Photo by Olivia Neal.

Many find the CraftTexas exhibitions to be among HCCC’s most popular and universally praised. With this being the eighth year for the biennial series, what do you believe makes this exhibition appealing to so many visitors?

This exhibition is significant to our viewership and the institution because it showcases the talent that exists within the state of Texas. It also provides the opportunity for our membership and the greater Texas community to have their wok reviewed not only by their peers but also by a national juror. This year, it is Carol Sauvion, Executive Director of Craft in America, who is highly regarded in the field of contemporary craft. It is exciting to experience CraftTexas and witness the creativity and technical mastery that so many artists in our statewide community possess.


Caitie Sellers, “Houston Necklace”, 2014. Sterling silver, steel. 18 inches x 2.5 inches x .5 inches. Photo by Caitie Sellers. This piece received Honorable Mention.

What do you find are the most challenging things to accomplish when preparing for a show?

There is a substantial amount of effort that goes into organizing an exhibition, and the responsibility is shared by the entire staff at HCCC. From the selection of the work to the preparation before the actual installation, time management and communication are key elements of a successful exhibition.


Award of Merit Winner: Jim Keller with his piece, “Bastrop 2011”, 2013. Scorched pine. 32 inches x 32 inches x 98 inches. Photo by Roswitha Vogler.

What are some of the differences between the work that goes into a show like CraftTexas 2014 and a show like La Frontera?

La Frontera was a travelling exhibition, and the organization of the work was completed by an outside institution. This greatly reduced the actual work required to put together a show. CraftTexas requires a jury committee to be chosen by HCCC, management and organization of the submissions, and the time required to actually jury the show. This all has to happen before the exhibition is even installed in the galleries. In-house produced exhibitions have a much greater impact on the institution and staff than travelling shows do.

Lopez-Attic-Turbine-Vent (Shoulder-Brooch)

Award of Merit Winner: Ana M. Lopez, “Attic Turbine Vent (Shoulder Brooch)”, 2012. Sterling silver. 3 inches x 3 inches x 2.75 inches. Photo by Ana M. Lopez.

Is there are any significance to how the works are grouped or arranged in this exhibit?

Absolutely, it is my responsibility as the curator to carefully consider each piece in the show, in order to create a visually engaging installation. Works can be organized by formal elements, such as color, line and repetition. They can also be grouped by conceptual considerations, including narration and cultural influences. I find immense pleasure in the visual conversation that is often discovered by placing two seemingly unrelated objects next to each other in an exhibition.


CraftTexas 2014 gallery view. Photo by Roswitha Vogler.

Can you tell us something about CraftTexas 2014 that visitors might be surprised to know?

Approximately 200 works were submitted for review this year, and the jurors had to narrow their selections down to the works on display in CraftTexas 2014. There are 42 artists and 46 artworks in this year’s exhibition. I imagine there were some tough choicese made during the jury process.


Roy Hanscom, “5 Layer Lidded Form”, 2013. Stoneware. 31 inches x 24 inches x 14 inches. Photo by Roy Hanscom. This piece received Honorable Mention.

If people could take away one message or piece of information after viewing CraftTexas 2014, what would you want that to be?

That great artists can be found in any city and in any corner of the world. Texas is no exception. Our community is filled with thoughtful and creative individuals who contribute to the dialogue of contemporary craft through their work.


From left to right: Caitie Sellers (Honorable Mention), Elizabeth Kozlowski (HCCC Curator), Carol Sauvion (Juror), Julie Farr (HCCC Executive Director), Piero Fenci (Juror), Jim Keller (Award of Merit Winner) and Roy Hanscom (Honorable Mention) gather for a photo during the awards ceremony at the opening reception for CraftTexas 2014. Photo by Roswitha Vogler.