In Residence: Work by 2013 Resident Artists
September 12, 2014 — December 19, 2014
In the Artist Hall
Friday, September 12, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents In Residence: Work by 2013 Resident Artists, an exhibition of work created by the eight artists who began their residencies at HCCC in 2013: Christina Carfora, Paris Jomadiao, Lauren Salazar, Caitie Sellers, Delaney Smith, Kamila Szczesna, Demitra Thomloudis, and Grace Zuniga. The show features imaginative objects and jewelry pieces created from clay, fiber, paper, metal and found objects.
As an annual exhibition, the In Residence series celebrates the high level of craftsmanship and creativity reflected within the work produced by artists during their tenure in HCCC’s Artist Residency Program. The program provides a unique and enriching experience for its resident artists, whose open studios encourage the visiting public to engage directly with the artists as they work. With an open environment and enrichment activities, the residency program encourages collaboration and experimentation and provides a place for artists to consult and exchange ideas with peers. (To learn more about the Artist Residency Program, visit https://www.crafthouston.org/artists/residents/.)
Originally from Wisconsin, ceramist Christina Carfora channels her travel experiences into her narrative drawings and sculptures. Having visited 23 countries and counting, Carfora contemplates the interplay between change and preservation, as new technologies infiltrate the far corners of the earth into cultures once untouched by modernization. Assuming the position of naïve backpacker, she mimics natural history drawings, connecting her anthropological experiences with those of past explorers. In doing so, she illuminates the positive and negative effects of change in otherwise remote regions.
With a background in photography and digital media, Houston-based artist, Paris Jomadiao, brings her cut-paper illustrations to life through stop-motion animations and short experimental films. Existing in both physical and digital form, Jomadiao’s collages combine found images alongside her own cut-paper illustrations as a method of investigating individual perspective. By pairing different materials and imagery together, she provokes the viewer to draw from his/her own knowledge base to make an interpretation.
Lauren Salazar’s work straddles the line between craft and the formal constructs of painting. The North Carolina native utilizes traditional weaving practices to challenge common notions of craft, tradition, and domestic objects by bringing her weavings into direct conversation with geometric abstraction. Like a canvas melting off of its frame, Salazar’s weavings transcend the wall frames that anchor her pieces, moving onto the floor and reaching up towards the ceiling.
In her jewelry, wall pieces and drawings, metalsmith Caitie Sellers aptly captures Houston’s urban landscape through its highways and power lines. Sellers has always identified with a sense of place through her connection with her surroundings and her observations of architecture, infrastructure, and other human influences on the landscape. She begins her work by sketching, on site, at locations that inspire her. She then transforms the sketches into three-dimensional renderings that will become jewelry and wall pieces. As a result, Sellers takes ownership of each place in a way that is simultaneously personal, through her object’s connection with the wearer, and objective, in its documentation of a particular moment in time.
Working in fiber, papermaking, and the book arts, Delaney Smith reveals the power and capacity of human interaction and interpretation through her interactive book and object-based installations. Smith’s work challenges familiar notions of book handling as she focuses on process rather than printed content. By asking the viewer to mark on, staple, cut, sew, and tear her handmade books, she allows her audience to create the content of her books. Valuing the potential for new narratives, Smith’s work is evolutionary, giving the viewer an outlet to connect with her handmade materials on a tangible and personal level.
Kamila Szczesna’s ceramic sculptures reveal the mystery and poetry that surround a scientific approach to learning. The artist is attracted to science because it promises a level of comfort that goes hand in hand with knowledge gained through scientific process. She is most interested in the human drive to learn, coupled with a desire to identify what is unknown. Her work calls attention to the contradictions and paradoxes found in scientific data and the beauty found within the uncertainty that arises from those paradoxes. Szczesna is a native of Poland who lives and works in Galveston, Texas.
Inspired by surrounding architecture and building sites, Demitra Thomloudis experiments with industrial materials—cement, sheet metal, and wood—in a way that allows each material to dictate its composition in her jewelry. Her newest body of work, Houston Yellow Tape Project, examines Houston’s current real estate climate and reflects the city’s furious state of tearing down and rebuilding. By transforming found fragments from her neighborhood’s demolition sites into wearable artifacts, Thomloudis recognizes a pastiche of old and new architectonic language, while creating a non-polemical space for these opposing styles to coexist. Her project is as much a material investigation as it is archival, marking a pivotal moment in Houston’s development.
In her experimentation with materials and process, Grace Zuniga brings the true essence of material to the forefront through her examination of texture and tactility. Working in handmade charcoal, handmade paper, textiles, and various metals, Zuniga draws from the traditional folk arts and crafts of Texas, as she utilizes labor-intensive processes that reflect a longstanding history and understanding of those materials. Resembling drawings, her linen pieces on paper use a pull-thread technique, called deshilado, to create minimalistic compositions highlighting the interplay between positive and negative space.
In Residence: Work by 2013 Resident Artists was curated by HCCC Curatorial Fellow, Kathryn Hall.
Above: (1) Christina Carfora, “Invasion of a New Environment,” 2014. Stain, underglaze and glaze on ceramic. Photo by Christina Carfora. (2) Christina Carfora, “Invasion of a New Environment,” 2014. Colored pencil on paper. Photo by Christina Carfora. (3) Paris Jomadiao, “Last First Flight,” 2011. Mixed media stop-motion animation film still. Photo by the artist.* (4) Paris Jomadiao, “Sincerely,” 2012. Mixed media stop-motion animation film still. Photo by the artist. (5) Lauren Salazar, “Grid Overflow,” 2014. Handwoven cottlin, maple frame, oil paint. Photo by Rick Wells. (6) Caitie Sellers, “Highway Earrings,” 2014. Argentium silver, steel, and handmade paper by Grace Zuniga. Photo by the artist.* (7) Caitie Sellers, “Highway Drawing,” 2014. Digital Drawing.* (8) Delaney Smith, “Mark the Loss,” 2013. Set of three interactive books. Photo by Matt Golden.* (9) Delaney Smith, “Mark the Loss, Detail 1,” 2013. Set of three interactive books. Photo by Lauren Well.* (10) Kamila Szczesna, “Drive No. 3,” 2014. Porcelain, gold leaf. Photo by the artist. (11) Kamila Szczesna, “Drive No. 4,” 2014. Porcelain, gold leaf. Photo by the artist. (12) Demi Thomloudis, “Houston Yellow Tape Project,” 2014. Mixed media. Photo by the artist. (13) Demi Thomloudis, “Houston Yellow Tape Project,” 2014. Mixed media. Photo by the artist. (14) Demi Thomloudis, “Houston Yellow Tape Project,” 2014. Mixed media. Photo by the artist. (15) Grace Zuniga, “Dual,” 2014. Linen. Photo by the artist.* (16) Grace Zuniga, “Tug of War,” 2014. Linen. Photo by the artist.*
(*) Note: These images are not in the exhibition, they are representative images of the artists’ work.