I don’t know about you, but this fall, I am particularly grateful to be part of the greater arts community of Houston. The cumulative effect of the recent disasters and tragedies has been traumatic, upending the lives of friends, families, and colleagues across the region, the country, and abroad. I have taken solace, however, from the experience here in Houston of a community that comes together in support of one another. Your support of Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is no different. Continue Reading »
Dear Friends of Houston Center for Contemporary Craft,
We are grateful for the many calls and messages asking after our safety and security following the unprecedented flooding in Houston – we are proud to be part of such a compassionate and steadfast field of colleagues, artists, and supporters. Thank you all. Continue Reading »
The following interview is the second in a summer series of Q&A sessions with current resident artists. HCCC Intern Claire Alderson recently spoke with Rebecca Hewitt, a metalsmith interested in environmental issues and community engagement.
Claire Alderson: When did you get into making jewelry, and how has being environmentally conscious affected your process?
Rebecca Hewitt: I started making jewelry about five years ago, during my second semester of college. I took an intro course and fell in love with metalsmithing, although not immediately (the jeweler’s saw was a difficult tool for me to learn, and I went through piles of saw blades). Metalsmithing is captivating in many ways—there’s tradition, problem solving, and a beautiful community.
I try to be mindful of the processes and materials that I’m using in my practice. When approaching different processes, I consider the impact they might have and, if needed, employ potential alternatives. When approaching different materials, I try to source responsibly and locally whenever I can. Creating a totally ethical practice is impossible, but it’s my responsibility as a maker to continue to evolve my practice in an ethical manner.
Annie Evelyn, “Oshibana,” 2017. Handmade paper flowers, silk flowers, foam, wood. Photos by Scott Cartwright.
One of the pleasures of the field of contemporary craft is the tactile experience of materials used by craftspeople in the creation of a unique work of art. Unfortunately, once the work is on exhibition in our galleries, as with any museum, it is “hands off” for visitors. This summer, the normal guidelines that constrain your perception of a work of art have been lifted, as we invite you to experience the installation of new work by furniture maker Annie Evelyn with your eyes as well as your, well, derriere. Continue Reading »
Shiyuan Xu, “Through the Lens #4,” 2016. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hardaway.
The following interview is the first in a summer series of Q&A sessions with current resident artists. HCCC Intern Claire Alderson recently spoke with Shiyuan Xu, a ceramicist inspired by a microscopic view of our world. Continue Reading »
Honeybees are here! Photo by Perry A. Price.
This spring, HCCC added around 10,000 new staff, give or take a hundred, but you will probably never notice them. They are working in our Craft Garden and likely will put in a few extra hours across the Museum District. They are honeybees, whose hive was recently installed on the roof of the Center. Continue Reading »
Peter Callas assisting Peter Voulkos in Belvidere, NJ, 1998. Peter Callas built the first anagama kiln in the United States, and Voulkos fired many of his pieces in it later in his career. Photo by TolneGGG (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), via Wikimedia Commons.
The following text accompanied the work, Untitled Plate (1989), by Peter Voulkos, on view April 18 – May 21, 2017, at HCCC as part of the Case Study exhibition series. Rotating periodically throughout the year, this series presents an in-depth look at craft-based objects as they relate to current events and/or spotlights a moment in craft history.
HCCC would like to thank the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for making this work available for exhibition. Please make sure to visit In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950 – 1970, on view at the MFAH through October 8, 2017, to learn more about the development of Studio Craft in the United States.
Peter Voulkos (American, 1924-2002) was a pioneer of Studio Craft, a post-World War II movement in the United States that experimented with new techniques in the traditional materials of metal, clay, glass, wood, and fiber, as well as non-traditional materials. He shaped the ceramic avant-garde during the mid-20th Century and broadened the scope of contemporary ceramics through his experimentation with surface and form.
Madison Creech, “#TBT Smiley,” from the series, “Always Low Brow Always,” 2016. Hand embroidery on plastic Wal-Mart bag. Photo courtesy of Madison Creech.
HCCC Curatorial Fellow Sarah Darro recently asked Madison Creech a few questions about the processes and inspiration behind her work. Madison is featured in In Residence, which is on view in HCCC’s Artist Hall through May 20, 2017.
Sarah Darro: Your series of sculptural quilts, LOL-a-Bye Felicia, incorporates digital fabrication techniques and humorous references to music and pop culture. How do you see this work in conversation with a contemporary culture of sampling in the music industry and on the Internet?
Madison Creech: Within contemporary culture, we consume information and images without hierarchy. In one scroll through Facebook, you will find a tongue-in-check meme, then a newsworthy injustice, then a series of baby photos, etc. Each update occupies the same amount of space as the next. Our mind is subconsciously making connections and comparisons between the memes, the news, and our personal lives. I feel like a lot of my collaborative work with Matthew [Madison’s husband and artistic partner] consists of iterations of these connections and comparisons. Continue Reading »
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. Continue Reading »