In The News

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 »

Art Aglow: Light Charmer Electrifies Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Arts + Culture TexasPosted January 17, 2018 in In The News

A shop owner flips a switch, sending a few thousand volts through glass tubes bent into the shape of the letters O-P-E-N.   As an inert gas within the glass is electrified, the letters begin to glow an orange-red, signaling to potential customers that the shop is officially open for business.

Many store owners, restaurateurs, sign-makers, and other businesses switched from neon to fluorescent or LED signs long ago, but the aesthetic continues to enchant people. The lighted signs have a particular appeal that many people associate with a range of experiences, from small town bars to Route 66 to big cities like Tokyo or New York, bustling with different kinds of activities and aglow with advertisements. Just picture a sign blinking as a noir detective drops his cigarette in front of a shady business. Continue Reading »

Is the Future of Signs Behind Us?

HoustoniaPosted October 4, 2017 in In The News

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft presents an evolving look at a reemerging art form.

At the Houston Center for Contempoary Craft, a new exhibit opens with a rather bold declaration: “Long before the internet, Google, GPS, and more there was hand painted signs defining, describing, directing our culture. The original text message.” This is written in fine print—almost unnoticeable—on the title wall of For Hire: Contemporary Sign Painting in America painted by fourth generation Houston sign painter Israel McCloud. Continue Reading »

Martini Madness Grips Houston with a Costume Fever

Paper CityPosted September 22, 2017 in In The News

By Shelby Hodge

I‘ll take Manhattan but make mine a martini.” That could have been the mantra for the collection of zanily-attired guests who enlivened the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft during the revival of its popular Martini Madness fundraiser. With a Big Apple theme, the crowd channeled everyone from Andy Warhol to Liza Minnelli and everything from Lady Liberty to Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup can.

And, of course, the drink of the night was the vodka (make that Deep Eddy) martini. Cosmos were also on the bar menu and in a nod to the theme — Manhattans courtesy of Texas Giant Bourbon Whiskey.

This perennial crowd-pleaser begins with entry through a phalanx of artisan-crafted martini glasses, each waiting to be selected by arriving guests to hold their libations for the night and to be taken home. It’s a playful start to the evening that meanders through the center’s galleries. A video collage of all things Manhattan, compiled by Raincoat Creative, played out as more than 100 guests grazed through the New York-inspired Italian offerings courtesy of Greenhouse Catering.

As sponsor of the costume contest, Anne Kinder got to select her faves in the main competition — Nancy Riviere and Ken Rue, outfitted as Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol, respectively; Heather den Uijl, who painted her own dress to look like one of Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans;” and Helen Lueders, who costumed as “The Big Apple.”

Nyala Wright Nolen and Anthony Sonnenberg judged the late-night costume contest, anointing Sarah Ansell and Alex Mata as winners for their take on the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster from the Ghostbusters film.

DJ Flash Gordon Parks entertained with tunes that escalated the mood as the night progressed. And who didn’t have fun dressing up for the Photobomb photo booth?

The Sound of Things: Alyce Santoro and Bohyun Yoon at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Arts and Culture TexasPosted August 18, 2017 in In The News

The world around us produces sound endlessly, incessantly. We tend not to consider it until it’s something out of the ordinary or a bit disruptive. A floor creaks as you step on a weak board; something thuds as you drop it on the table. We unwittingly use objects to produce sound, are in the presence of sound. We craft instruments to produce specific sounds, of course, but a hollow crate can be an instrument if you hit it with good rhythm. What happens, though, when artists incorporate sound into their craft?

The Sound of Things, curated by Sarah Darro and on view at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft through Oct. 28, showcases two artists who operate at the intersection of craft and music. In this exhibition, Darro presents works by Bohyun Yoon and Alyce Santoro. The two artists exhibit stark differences in their approaches to sound and craft alike, but they share an interest in exploring how the two play off one another. Visually, the styles are distinct.

Placed in HCCC’s Artist Hall, the exhibition is separated into two distinct spaces, each attributed to one of the artists.

Yoon is a glassblower who creates videos of performances remixed to hit the ear like electronica. In the works on view, Yoon has crafted glass objects that produce and react to sound.

Glass Helmet takes the idea of singing glasses—akin to someone playing wine glasses—and develops into a performance about communication. In the accompanying video, Yoon and a partner are adorned with water-filled helmets. HCCC’s Artist Hall doesn’t permit space for 360-degree viewing, which makes this particular display a bit awkward and the projection a bit hard to see. From the proper angle, though, you see the pair play their own helmet and sometimes each others, splashing the water, rubbing the glass, or even pouring water from one helmet to the other. The performance becomes a conversation as the two people express themselves or combine their efforts. In its presentation, the podium is divided in half by a pane of glass where the video is projected. On each side sits one of the helmets.

Texas-based Santoro has found multiple connections between her visual art and sound art through weaving, which bears a similarity to organizing sheet music and its own sort of rhythm. It’s here that the artist dug deep and found a means of amplifying these connections. In her series titled Sonic Fabric, Santoro approaches the aural aspects of her work by collecting sounds, recording them onto cassette tape, and weaving that tape with fabric. Apart from being a durable material and adding a noticeable glimmer to the works, the tape maintains its magnetism, allowing viewers to run a modified cassette player (or tape head) over the works to listen to the fabric. A sample fabric lies at the end of the hallway, available for some experimentation.

Santoro does her own recording and fieldwork, individualizing the conceptual nature of each work while maintaining a common style throughout the series. This, too, is a point of difference between the artists. Santoro records and then manifests objects while Yoon crafts objects and then performs them. It’s a bit odd to look at these objects, so vastly different in their own presence and just similar enough to grouped together without question.

Weaving and glassblowing have long, storied histories in the craft world. Driven by different motivations, distinct in their executions, the two collections on view in The Sound of Things expand our view of aural applications. We rethink the way we interact with objects. We wonder at what a suit could sound like.

—MICHAEL MCFADDEN

HCC Stafford TV Studio interview with Sarah Darro

HCC Stafford TV StudioPosted August 4, 2017 in In The News

 

HCC Stafford TV Studio interviewed HCCC Curatorial Fellow, Sarah Darro, and HCC Curator, Kathryn Hall, about Small Expressions 2017 and Edward Eberle Retrospective:

HIDDEN CREATURES: SHIYUAN XU EXPLORES THE SHAPE OF THINGS

Local MagazinePosted July 31, 2017 in In The News

The Chinese-born artist, who’s been in the United States for four years (she came for an MFA program in ceramics at Arizona State), specializes in intricate, delicate, hand-assembled porcelain sculptures that capture the forms of often-hidden natural objects, particularly microorganisms.

Continue Reading »

Annie Evelyn’s ‘Multiple Impressions’ at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

BLOUIN ARTINFOPosted July 5, 2017 in In The News

“Multiple Impressions” by furniture maker Annie Evelyn will run through September 2, 2017, at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

The display features furniture that Evelyn has created or in the process of creating. Her installations let the visitors experience her craftsmanship firsthand by taking a seat. Using alternative materials to upholster her chairs, she manipulates tessellations of cement and aluminum to create comfortable, squishy seat cushions. These works seem hard but are relaxing to sit on and changes the perception of the user. Evelyn continues to explore new ideas through her experimental methods. She tips traditional furniture making on its head.

Annie Evelyn received her BFA (1999) and MFA (2007) in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. Evelyn has taught at Penland School of Crafts, RISD, Anderson Ranch, Parsons-The New School, and other institutions. She is the 2016 recipient of The John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship, and, in 2011, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Turning and Furniture Design awarded her a Windgate Furniture Residency. Annie Evelyn currently lives in Penland, North Carolina, where she is an artist-in-residence at the Penland School of Crafts.

Edward Eberle Retrospective at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

BLOUIN ARTINFOPosted July 5, 2017 in In The News

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is hosting an exhibition of works by Pittsburgh-based ceramic artist, Edward Eberle. The exhibition will run through September 2, 2017.

This is the first career retrospective of Eberle’s work. The show brings together over 40 of the artist’s creations and highlights the evolution of Eberle’s forms and fragmented dreamlike imagery by featuring both his trademark porcelain work, as well as a series of works on paper. The retrospective brings works from the mid-1980s to the present forming a dialogue that explores the artist’s oeuvre. It culminates with examples of the artist’s most recent mixed-media sculptures, and large paper cylinders. Eberle’s ceramics are influenced by the Oribe and Kutani periods in Japan while his paintings and sculptures draw from Picasso, Miro, Duchamp, Klee, and de Kooning, among others.

Edward Eberle (b. 1944, Tarentum, PA) received his B.S. in 1967 from Edinboro State College (Edinboro, PA) and completed his M.F.A. at New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University (Alfred, NY) in 1972. Eberle joined the faculty at Philadelphia College of Art (Philadelphia, PA). He was later hired as an associate professor in ceramics and drawing (1975-1985) at Carnegie Mellon. In addition to being represented in a number of museum collections, his work has been featured in numerous solo shows in New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, including two exhibitions at the Carnegie Museum of Art (1980 and 1991) and one at the Columbus Museum of Art (1999).