YOUNG NAVAJO WEAVER IMBUES WORK WITH DAZZLING GRAPHICS AND PERSONAL EXPRESSION

Posted October 28, 2016 in Press Releases

Future Tradition:  Melissa Cody
February 3 – May 28, 2017
Front Gallery
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002

Opening Reception
Friday, February 3, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
The evening will also feature open studios by HCCC’s current resident artists.

Hours & Admission
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM. Summer Hours: Closed Sundays, July 4th – Labor Day. Holidays: Closed Easter, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is free.

Links

(HOUSTON, TX) October 28, 2016 – Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present Future Tradition: Melissa Cody, a solo exhibition of recent work by the Navajo artist. Cody is a fourth-generation weaver from a family known for excellence in the traditional Navajo art. Like her contemporaries and weavers before her, Cody designs her pieces on a stand-up loom as she weaves, incorporating precise geometric forms and recognizable graphic elements, such as the yeii or Rainbow Person, who symbolizes protection, or a cross to represent Spider Woman, the giver and teacher of weaving to the Navajo. Unlike any other, however, Cody imbues her pieces with a stirring graphic vitality and personal voice, emerging as perhaps the most exciting young textile artist of today.

Instead of working in the muted natural tones of vegetable-dyed wool, Cody works primarily in the vibrant and saturated colors of commercially dyed wool yarns, a palette that connects her work to the Germantown Revival. This movement stemmed from a flowering of artistic growth in Navajo weaving during a period of extreme duress—the forced migration and internment of Navajo at Bosque Redondo in the 1860s. Interned weavers repurposed the brightly dyed wool that was commercially produced in Germantown, Pennsylvania, from the blankets provided to them in Bosque Redondo. Composing intricate patterns in bright colors, they nicknamed these textiles eye dazzlers.  Cody has taken this style a step further, weaving with tight precision, and combining colors of intense saturation and contrast into strong graphic compositions that can be compared with mid-century Op Art or, more apropos of Cody’s own age and experience, with the heavy digital pixilation of 1980s video games.

Cody’s work is at once deeply personal and an expression of her cultural context. Her personal joys and sorrows are reflected in works that communicate her emotional processes, from the complex compositions of pattern and iconography to the more recent inclusion of song lyrics.

Future Tradition: Melissa Cody was curated by HCCC Executive Director, Perry A. Price.

About Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is a nonprofit visual arts center dedicated to advancing education about the process, product and history of craft.  HCCC provides exhibition, retail and studio spaces to support the work of local and national artists and serves as a resource for artists, educators and the community at large.

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 Sundays, July 4th – Labor Day. Holidays: Closed Easter, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s 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. HCCC is a member of the Houston Museum District and the Midtown Arts District.

For more information, call 713-529-4848 or visit www.crafthouston.org. Find HCCC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @CraftHouston.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jenny Lynn Weitz (jweitz@crafthouston.org)
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
713.529.4848 x.308

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