HCCC Celebrates 10 Years of Artist Residency Program

Posted May 11, 2011 in Press Releases

This summer, as part of its tenth anniversary, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents the first alumni exhibition of its Artist Residency Program: Crafting Live(s): 10 Years of Artists-in-Residence, on view in the large gallery at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, June 11 – September 3, 2011. This show celebrates the relatively short, yet rich, history of the Artist Residency Program, which was the motivating force behind the institution’s founding in 2001. Since then, more than 70 artists have graced the halls and studios of the facilities, bringing a dynamic energy to the field of craft and the art of making in Houston.As part of HCCC’s mission, the Artist Residency Program has provided a creative outlet for emerging, mid-career, and professional artists working in a variety of traditional craft media, such as clay, metal, fiber, glass, and wood. While some artists adhere to the strict traditions of their chosen medium, many have built upon those traditions, expanding upon materials, techniques, and concepts and offering enlightening insights to the creative process. The five in-house studios have awarded three-, six-, and twelve-month residencies for the making and demonstrating of craft to the public, providing a lively working, learning, and teaching environment, as well as a laboratory for the exchange of ideas.

Approximately 35 former artists-in-residence chose to participate in the exhibition, working with guest curator, Keelin Burrows, Windgate Charitable Foundation Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. For the show, the former residents were encouraged to create new work reflecting their current creative practices and body of work. Some artists created pieces that reflect upon their experiences as residents at HCCC. Others present objects made in the past two years that are representative of their current method of making. Ongoing dialogues and studio visits made this project a collaborative effort among the alumni and Burrows, who selected over 45 works for the exhibition. Burrows states, “Ultimately, I want this show to showcase the broad range of talents and various strengths of the alumni, while highlighting the history of this program and its relevancy to the larger Houston community.”

Crafting Live(s) features a wide variety of forms, including installation, sculpture, video, functional and nonfunctional objects. All of the craft media, including clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media, are represented. Some of the themes that emerge in the show are cross-cultural exchange, gender and the body, nature and the built environment, and historical and cultural traditions revived. Works of particular note are
Forked Tongue, an “in-the-round” installation of mixed media on paper by Anila Quayyum Agha; Abandoned, a site-specific installation by ceramic artist Jeff Forster; Runners-Up Presidential Plate Series by Darryl Lauster; new works in leather by jewelry artist Masumi Kataoka; and an installation by Tara Conley, which is a preview of a larger project to be featured at DiverseWorks Art Space this fall. Some of the other standouts in the show include pieces by Melissa Borrell, Elaine Bradford, Gabriel Craig, Michael Crowder, Sharbani Das Gupta, Edward Lane McCartney, Thomas Perry, Pamela Sager, and Amy Weiks.

Over the past 10 years, HCCC has been a place for learning, sharing, and building relationships—not only with the broader Houston community—but also among the artists. While the early years of the Residency Program attracted mostly local artists, in recent years, artists from all over the country have been drawn to HCCC. The mix of local and national artists seems to facilitate the exchange of different ideas and a familiarity with the Houston arts scene for those from out of town. Some residents have utilized the program as a period of creative exploration following their undergraduate training and, later, taken their experiences in Texas to other parts of the country. Others have stayed in Houston to create new projects, collaborate with local artists and pursue teaching positions or other related careers.

Exhibition Dates
June 11 – September 3, 2011
Opening Reception
Friday, June 10, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
In conjunction with the opening of Arline Fisch: Creatures from the Deep. Featuring open studios by the current artists-in-residence.

Behind the Scenes Tour
Saturday, June 11, 11:00 AM
With Guest Curator, Keelin Burrows, and selected artists.

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