Not infrequently, while on the phone or in a meeting in my office at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the conversation will be distracted, if not outright interrupted, by the sounds of making coming from the studios of our resident artists. It never bothers me when this happens–which is good, as it happens every day–because it gives me an opportunity to brag about this incomparable program and the fascinating artists it brings to HCCC. Since joining the Center, the excitement and energy that the resident artists bring to my work daily has become among the most enjoyable aspects of my job.
I learn something new with my every interaction with these talented individuals, as the sounds and rhythms of the studios change with each new piece and with each new group of artists. Last week, I was distracted by a low rumbling from the studio of one of our newest residents, the metalsmith Rebecca Lynn Hewitt, whom I learned was tumbling pieces of earrings made in silver to impart a matte finish. It was a joy to learn about a process new to me, even after so many years dedicated to the field of contemporary craft, and a reminder that it is the individual artists who renew techniques and materials, both new and known, in their work every day. Part of the residency experience here is to facilitate similar moments of learning and wonder for all visitors to HCCC.
Our support of working artists in contemporary craft is a great source of pride and satisfaction. No matter how long an artist’s residency lasts, whenever it comes to a close, it feels too soon. But each new group of residents offers another opportunity to learn and connect, making every visit to the Center unique. Next time you visit the artist studios, make sure to see In Residence, featuring works by 11 recent resident artists, to inform and inspire you all over again.
–Perry A. Price, Executive Director