Fall Exhibits Highlight Exceptional Jewelry and Fiber Art by Texas Artists at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Posted July 10, 2009 in Press Releases

This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents two new exhibitions: Texas Masters Series: Rachelle Thiewes and Celebrating Our Creative Spirit: Texas Federation of Fiber Artists, on view October 3 – December 24, 2009.HCCC Executive Director, Julie Farr, stated, “We are so pleased to feature works by these high-caliber Texas artists. El Paso metal artist, Rachelle Thiewes, is truly deserving of the solo exhibit she’s earned as our 2009 Texas Master—her work has impacted the field of art jewelry in a completely fresh way. We are also happy to showcase a wide variety of fiber works in Celebrating Our Creative Spirit—the show will give our visitors a taste of the excellent contemporary fiber art being made throughout Texas. ”

Texas Masters Series: Rachelle Thiewes (in the Small Gallery)

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is proud to present a solo exhibition of work by Rachelle Thiewes, a jeweler, metal artist and professor of metal arts at the University of Texas at El Paso. Recently named HCCC’s 2009 Texas Master, Thiewes has created several bodies of work that have made an instrumental difference to the field of art jewelry. Like no other artist working today, Thiewes takes into account the movement of the body and how a piece of jewelry might impact, or be impacted, by movement. Visitors will be wowed by the array of metal jewelry that ranges from stunning, kinetic earrings to multi-functional brooches and bold bracelets made from steel and color-shifting auto paint.

About the Texas Masters Series
HCCC initiated its Texas Masters Series in 2005 to honor and recognize established career artists from Texas who have made a significant impact in the craft field. This year, HCCC solicited peer nominations of Texas craft artists working primarily in wood, fiber, glass, clay, metal or repurposed materials, and its exhibitions committee selected the finalist through a review process. In previous years, the awardees were selected directly by the exhibitions committee.

In order to be nominated for the Texas Master award, artists must live and work in Texas (or spend a significant time practicing in Texas), work in a craft medium, and must have received recognition for high levels of excellence and success in their discipline and/or made a significant impact in the craft community through their work, guidance, and contributions to the field.

Rachelle Thiewes is the third artist to be named a Texas Master by HCCC. (Previous awardees were Harlan Butt, a nationally known enamellist, and Cindy Hickok, a fiber artist with international reach.) As a result of the award, Thiewes received the opportunity to have this solo exhibition of her work at HCCC. The works in the exhibition, as well as the artist’s process and techniques, will be documented in DVD format, for sale this fall. Thiewes was also named one of three jurors for CraftTexas 2012, HCCC’s biennial juried exhibition highlighting the best in Texas contemporary craft.

About Rachelle Thiewes
Rachelle Thiewes is a jeweler, metal artist and professor of metal arts at the University of Texas at El Paso. An outstanding artist, educator and supporter of the field of progressive art jewelry, Thiewes launched and sustained her international career from El Paso, Texas, a community in which she has lived and greatly contributed to for more than 30 years. She received a BA in Art/Metals from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and her MFA in Art/Metals from Kent State University. She is a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Ms. Thiewes began her teaching career at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1976. Since that time, she has nurtured many prominent jewelry artists at the very beginning of their careers and helped them to become the important artists that they are today: Beverly Penn, Eliana Arenas, Helen Dorion, and Maru Almeida are among them. She has earned almost every award that the University of Texas has to offer for excellence in teaching and has been lauded by her fellow faculty for her commitment to transferring her passion for jewelry and metalsmithing to the young talent in her classroom.

While Ms. Thiewes spends a significant amount of time teaching, she also works diligently at her craft. Her work is displayed in many collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts & Design, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fuller Craft Museum, the Smithsonian American Museum, and the National Museums of Scotland.

Celebrating Our Creative Spirit: Texas Federation of Fiber Artists (in the Large Gallery)

The Texas Federation of Fiber Artists invited all fiber and textile artists living in the state of Texas to apply to this exhibition, which was juried by celebrated textile artist Tim Harding. Visitors can expect to see a wide range of exceptional fiber art—including quilts, embroidery, collage, tapestry, sculpture and much more. Over 90 pieces were selected from 225 submissions. The art works were judged on criteria such as craftsmanship; compelling visual quality; and unity of overall form among the different components, such as material, technique, scale, imagery, color, texture, and composition.

Mr. Harding commented, “The submitted works included a wide range of materials, fiber techniques, and forms—both functional and otherwise—from abstract to representational, and included many with personal narratives or social commentary. The overall quality was quite high, making for a difficult selection process.
I am confident it will be a very good show, illustrating the breadth of high-level fiber work currently being done in Texas.”

About Juror Tim Harding
Textile artist Tim Harding has been working in fiber arts for over 25 years and is known nationally for his creations featuring layered fabrics. Harding’s works are in the collections of the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, and American Craft Museums, to name a few. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and has a kimono featured in the Craft in America: Expanding Traditions exhibition, which was on view at HCCC in the spring of 2008, and is currently touring around the country.

Opening Weekend Events (Free and Open to the Public) Opening Reception: Friday, October 2, 5:30 – 8:00 PM Gallery Talk by Rachelle Thiewes: Saturday, October 3, 2:00 PM

Related Events
Texas Federation of Fiber Artists Conference 2009
October 2 – 4, 2009
Hilton Houston Plaza
To register, visit https://www.fiberhouston.org/ffa.htm for a registration form, or contact Anastasia Voight:
anastasia3rd@aol.com or 281-257-4796.

Mary Headrick (mheadrick@crafthouston.org)
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
713.529.4848 x 107