In The News

5 Things You Must Do This Weekend, June 1–3

Houstonia MagazinePosted May 31, 2018 in In The News

Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America

June 2–Sept. 2 | Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Long after “underwater basket weaving” became the go-to stand-in for a frivolous or indulgent activity, the National Basketry Organization (a real thing!) teams up with the University of Missouri to reclaim the basket narrative at HCCC. The five-part exhibition examines the timeless medium that elegantly straddles the divide between function and form. Free. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848. More info at crafthouston.org.

Arts InSight: “Light Charmer”

Houston Public MediaPosted May 4, 2018 in In The News, Videos

At the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Arts InSight host Ernie Manouse talks with curator Kathryn Hall about the exhibition “Light Charmer,” which features works in neon and plasma. Original air date: May 4, 2018.

Glasstire Top Five: March 1, 2018 with Kaneem Smith

GlasstirePosted March 3, 2018 in In The News, Videos

Brandon Zech and guest host Kaneem Smith on a clever “relocation” of the Menil Collection, a stack of black cats, and the inarguable pleasure of neon.

Houston museum takes a craft perspective on Surrealism, focuses on work by Michael Crowder

Glass QuarterlyPosted March 1, 2018 in In The News

The above image is not a pipe. It is a representation of a pipe created from cigarette ashes and resin by artist Michael Crowder, inspired by René Magritte’s iconic painting The Treachery of Images (1928-1929)This pipe is one of several of Crowder’s works currently on display in the exhibition Treachery of Material: The Surrealist Impulse in Craft at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). The exhibition presents a series of “puzzling and beautiful” objects made by Houston-based Michael Crowder and Estonia-based artist Julia Maria Künnap.

On the surface, Crowder and Künnap’s works are composed of seemingly opposed materials: Crowder employs delicate glass and decomposable materials like ash and soap, while Künnap uses apparently more stable and solid gemstones and metals. The combination is intended to evoke reflection on the endurance of surrealist visual strategies among contemporary artists. As curator Sarah Darro explained, “I am not seeking to label the artists or the works in this show ‘Surrealist,’ but I am using Surrealism as a lens with which to understand the visual strategies and processes of these contemporary artists.” Through this lens, we readily see that both artists reference famous surrealist figures or motifs in their work. However, this lens also focuses on the continuing use of materials and techniques in unexpected and thought-provoking ways, a thread that connects contemporary artists like Crowder and Künnap with surrealist artists from the 1920s-1960s. Continue Reading »

Art Daybook: ‘Magic Garden’ by Mundy Hepburn

Houston ChroniclePosted February 28, 2018 in In The News

The piece: “Magic Garden”

The artist: Mundy Hepburn

Where: In the show “Light Charmer: Neon and Plasma in Action,” through May 13 at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Why:The artworks of this exhibition all entice viewers with a colorful glow and some kind of kinetic charge. A few gain their sense of movement from sections of neon lights that blink on and off. One combines light, sound, electricity and toys. Another is designed to be pulled like a toy dog on a leash. And there’s a set of true “light sabers” that were brandished by their creators for an opening-night performance. Continue Reading »

Houston museum takes a craft perspective on Surrealism, focuses on work by Michael Crowder

Glass QuarterlyPosted February 28, 2018 in In The News

The above image is not a pipe. It is a representation of a pipe created from cigarette ashes and resin by artist Michael Crowder, inspired by René Magritte’s iconic painting The Treachery of Images (1928-1929)This pipe is one of several of Crowder’s works currently on display in the exhibition Treachery of Material: The Surrealist Impulse in Craft at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). The exhibition presents a series of “puzzling and beautiful” objects made by Houston-based Michael Crowder and Estonia-based artist Julia Maria Künnap.

On the surface, Crowder and Künnap’s works are composed of seemingly opposed materials: Crowder employs delicate glass and decomposable materials like ash and soap, while Künnap uses apparently more stable and solid gemstones and metals. The combination is intended to evoke reflection on the endurance of surrealist visual strategies among contemporary artists. As curator Sarah Darro explained, “I am not seeking to label the artists or the works in this show ‘Surrealist,’ but I am using Surrealism as a lens with which to understand the visual strategies and processes of these contemporary artists.” Through this lens, we readily see that both artists reference famous surrealist figures or motifs in their work. However, this lens also focuses on the continuing use of materials and techniques in unexpected and thought-provoking ways, a thread that connects contemporary artists like Crowder and Künnap with surrealist artists from the 1920s-1960s.  Continue Reading »

Art Beat – CraftHouston Spring 2018

HCC Stafford TVPosted February 26, 2018 in In The News, Videos

New Neon Exhibition Challenges the Boundaries of a Storied Medium

Free Press HoustonPosted February 9, 2018 in In The News

Light is no stranger to the art world. From old masters like Johannes Vermeer, who captured the purest moments of sunlight on his subjects, to contemporary artists such as James Terrell, who is adept at creating tranquil moments between light and solid form, light has always been a prime focus of art. However, although many artists have captured and interpreted this element through their respective mediums, it wasn’t until the late 1800’s that light was truly captured by Thomas Edison. Since then, working with the wonders of science, creatives and inventors alike have challenged their boundaries to travel beyond industry and science and into their own imaginations. As with any craft and its intended purpose, artists twist and mold light to form new craft and new forms in which to express. Continue Reading »

Light It Up: 5 Things You Must Do This Weekend, Feb. 9–11

Houstonia MagazinePosted February 8, 2018 in In The News, Videos

Light Charmer: Neon and Plasma in Action

Feb. 9–May 18 | Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Always here to show Houston the beauty in the banal, HCCC debuts its exploration of the neon aesthetic that goes far beyond the flashing gas station “OPEN” signs we know and love. This group show explores the science behind neon—things like chemistry and electricity—as well as the craft of glass blowing that yields intricate, artisanal designs.

Free. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848. More info at crafthouston.org.

Must List: Enlightened art, robots in love and Pedro the Lion

Houston ChroniclePosted February 7, 2018 in In The News

Guiding Lights

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft goes for the glow with the new group show in its main gallery, “Light Charmer: Neon and Plasma in Action,” which features works by nine artists from across the U.S. who create spectacles of light, color and movement. We’re not just talking sculpture: James Akers and Lily Reeves perform with their high-voltage pieces at 5:30 and 7 p.m. during Friday’s opening.

Continue Reading »