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'CraftTexas 2014' Shows Off Best in Texas-Made Contemporary Craft, 9/26

'CraftTexas 2014' Shows Off Best in Texas-Made Contemporary Craft, 9/26

Houston, Texas

This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents "CraftTexas 2014," the eighth in a series of biennial juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. Featuring 49 works by 44 Texas artists, the exhibition includes everything from sculpture, jewelry, textiles, installations, and furniture to concepts that include vernacular architecture, formal elements of design, and man's relationship to nature. The show is on view September 26 - December 24, 2014.

The "CraftTexas" series, which is hugely popular with visitors, provides artists the unique opportunity to have their work seen by three established jurors and included in an exhibition that seeks to broaden the understanding of contemporary craft. The show features exceptional work in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media. HCCC Curator, Elizabeth Kozlowski, says that the show serves as an excellent introduction to the impressive array of media, techniques, and skill inherent in the Texas contemporary craft community: "All of these artistic practices come together to create an outstanding showing of what Texas has to offer."

Kozlowski finds that three pieces in the show stand out for her. In "Binary," artist Nancy Slagle adopts a cross-disciplinary approach to her jewelry making. She incorporates rubber materials and laser technologies to replicate binary code that is transcribed into a historical form of adornment, the radial collar. Slagle employs objects as metaphor through formal elements of repetition and color. Thick translucent glazes and Nerikomi patterns envelop Katherine Taylor's colorful ceramic piece, "Packed Under the Sky." Her forms illustrate Texas architecture and landscapes, while documenting the experience of a place. Many of her sculptures are literal in translation, and others are altered by the artist's memory and perceptions. In "Seasons in the Rice Field," Ryu-Hee Kim constructs topographical layers from copper and wood, in order to emulate the time span of human history. The artist is inspired by her culture's mythology and memories of life and death, past, present, and future. The highly polished surfaces of her work evoke the physical act of Korean ceremonial rituals and embody a reverence for her ancestors.

"CraftTexas 2014" was juried by Carol Sauvion, the visionary behind the PBS TV series, "Craft in America," and HCCC Texas Masters, Piero Fenci, Ceramics Department Head, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Clint Willour, Curator of the Galveston Arts Center. The jurors were tasked with selecting the finest works from a pool of 176 applicants and 477 pieces.

Sauvion noticed some similarities among the artists' works, most notably, "a sense of responsibility to the thoughtful use of materials and to the environment, dedication to skilled work, content that includes social conscientiousness, and the pure joy of the creative process." Fenci said the show demonstrates, "the current blurring of borders among the traditional art disciplines and confirms that craft can no longer remain relegated to a preordained rigid definition of art practice." Willour summed up the jury process: "It is always interesting to see how selection by committee worksparticularly when the committee has no communication with each other while jurying. I think the high caliber of craftsmanship and the originality of ideas and concepts wins out every time."


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