Ann Morton: Community and Process

Posted June 25, 2015 in Blog

When visitors experience the What Happened Today? exhibition that will be on view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft starting September 18th of this year, they will encounter a physical object – a deeply textural  and, I daresay, unusual textile. Made up of the daily writings of a wide cross-section of Houstonians, and also the hooked-rug-handiwork of a diverse collection of groups city-wide, this sculptural expression will be a rich, and interesting object to experience!


Artist Ann Morton, and HCCC Exhibitions Intern, Madeleine Sanchez. Photo by Kim Coffman.

This final display is really just the evidence of a much richer and artful project experience. Imagine the conversations and community that have been, and will be generated by hundreds of people as they gather to sit and make the newspaper rug modules – young and old, from every kind of neighborhood and interest group. Also, imagine the countless moments that will have been recorded through the writings on the 3” x 3” notes. It is through these acts and connections that the true art of this project emerges.

Just to remind us of where the art has really transpired in this project, we’d like to share a few images from the process of the making of some of the components included in the upcoming What Happened Today? exhibition.

When the final textile is complete and on view, the daily events and hours of hand work with thousands of newspaper strips will be on display to appreciate. But perhaps as one stands to contemplate the textile before them, they will be able to imagine the voices, the laughter, the gossip, the concerns and the profound and simple moments of life that will have been embedded in this exhibition.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the opening reception of What Happened Today? on September 18, 2015, and running through January 3, 2016. There is still plenty of time to get involved! Watch the Houston Chronicle for an ad that includes a 3” x 3” note that you can fill out and send in, or click here to download a note to print at home. There are a number of other ways Houstonians can get involved in the exhibition. Click here to learn more.

 – Ann Morton / @AnnMortonAZ / #WH2Day


Initial workshop held in February 2015 at HCCC for all the community group leaders. They learned how to make the rug modules, then returned to their respective groups to teach their members. Over 12 groups, totaling approximately 200 volunteer rug-makers from all over Houston have been involved.


Women of the Clay Group from the Glassell School – This group committed to meeting monthly for the duration of this project to make rug modules.


Houston Neighborhood Centers, Inc. Photo by Madeleine Sanchez.


HCCC Exhibitions Intern, Blaize Middleton, with group from Mamie George Community Center.


The Gateway Academy. Photo by Madeleine Sanchez.