Archive by Author: rhenry

Matt Manalo wants to turn Alief into an oasis for artists

Chron.comPosted February 22, 2023 in In The News

The Manila-born sculptor traces his roots in a new solo exhibit at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

By Robert Boyd

Photo by Michael Starghill, Jr.

What inspires a person to become an artist? Ask Matt Manalo, and he’ll talk about the mural painters he remembers from his childhood in Manila. “I have this very vivid image of folks climbing scaffolding made of bamboo,” says the Philippines-born, now Houston-based artist. “They would be painting these giant movie posters, mural-size. I remember sitting back in the car in traffic watching these guys painting these figures and the titles of the movies. They did it so fast and so beautifully.”

Nineteen years ago, Manalo immigrated from the Philippines to the United States—specifically to the Houston neighborhood of Alief. He was 19 years old. Now 38, he’s officially spent half his life in the Philippines and half in the United States. Manalo examines his voyage from there to here in his sculptural installation “38,” part of his new solo exhibit Philippine-Made, currently on view at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

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Houston’s Craftiest Partiers Take Martini Madness to a New Arty Level — A Contemporary Craft Production

Paper City Posted December 10, 2022 in In The News

Iconic Art Space Goes Costume Crazy With a WitchCraft Twist

By Catilin Hsu. Additional reporting Catherine D. Anspon.

Perry Price, Rosemary Price, and Mary Headrick at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Martini Madness (Photo by Katy Anderson)

This is the first story in a series detailing outrageous, inventive and important art parties. It’s time to anoint the most sizzling soirées of the season.

The Big Event: Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s Martini Madness! fundraiser

Mise en Scène: The Craft Center’s festive “Witches Den” (party tent) and “Garden of Fortunes” (HCCC’s Craft Garden) in the heart of the Houston Museum District.

In keeping with the evening’s WitchCraft theme, guests donned a variety of bewitching looks, many topped off with pointy hats. The winners of the costume contest were John Rufenacht, who sported an oversized witch’s hat adorned with garden materials; Karen Carr, for her outrageous zombie costume; and Hilary Williams, who went organic via a jaunty red mushroom costume topped by a handmade headpiece.

One of the highlights of the evening was the selection of handmade martini glasses created by guest artists. Crafted by 17 talents from Houston and around the United States, these vessels were primarily glass, plus a few ceramic iterations. Guests used these to sip the night’s cleverly themed drinks — “Crystal Ball” classic martinis, “Bee-Witched” (Bees Knees) cocktails courtesy Empress 1908 Gin and the “Warlock’s Hex” (Old Fashioned), concocted with Blade and Bow Bourbon.

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Posted November 17, 2022 in Press Releases

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present Tg: Transitions in Kiln-Glass, a biennial exhibition organized by Bullseye Projects that features the best of contemporary kiln-glass design, architecture, and art. The juried competition and resulting exhibition reflects the expansion and evolution of the kiln-glass medium and its community. While still encouraging emerging talent, the parameters for this year’s exhibition have been widened to include a broader range of artists and to acknowledge the expansion of kiln-glass into the architectural and design fields.

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Posted November 17, 2022 in Press Releases

This spring, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents Philippine-Made: The Work of Matt Manalo, an exhibition of self-reflective sculptures made from air-dry clay, bamboo, and plant materials with cultural ties to Matt Manalo’s home country of the Philippines. Born in Manila, Manalo has spent half his life in America, an experience that has served as a pivotal point of inflection for the artist. The exhibition encapsulates his time living in the United States after immigrating with his family to Houston.

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Art Beat – Hands on Houston

HCC Stafford TV StudioPosted November 11, 2022 in In The News

Parents everywhere know the value of crafts to keep children occupied, but can have difficulty coming up with new ideas. The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft has an ongoing monthly resource for that called Hands On Houston. Broadcast November 11th, 2022 on Stafford METV.


Posted October 31, 2022 in Press Releases

The Board of Directors of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) announced today that Executive Director Perry Price will leave his position at the end of the year to lead the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, as its next executive director.

“Perry’s nearly seven-year tenure at the Center has been a time of exceptional growth,” says HCCC Board President Judy Nyquist. “His leadership has brought new initiatives, given a platform to diverse voices, and has elevated the dialogue locally, regionally, and nationally about the significance of contemporary craft. He has given his staff the authority to test out new ideas and has led the institution with grace through the most challenging two-and-a-half years in the Center’s history. Our reputation as a thought leader in the field has grown exponentially, and our artist residency program is considered one of the most prestigious in the country, encouraging and enabling both emerging and established makers to experiment and go on to robust careers. While it is very difficult to say goodbye, the HCCC Board of Directors wish Perry and his family the very best at Haystack and look forward to many future collaborations.”

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Posted September 23, 2022 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) September 23, 2022 — Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to announce that, following a national search, it has named Sarah Darro as its new curator and exhibitions director.

“HCCC is excited to welcome Sarah Darro back to Houston,” said HCCC Executive Director Perry Price. “After three years producing innovative and exciting exhibitions at the Center as our curatorial fellow, Sarah has continued to develop and deepen her curatorial voice in craft at peer institutions across the country and earn impressive accolades for her work. Her accomplishments, her relationships with artists and communities, and her novel approach to exhibition development and design will find a receptive home at HCCC and within the cultural community of Houston.”

Over the past decade, as a curator, writer, and visual anthropologist working at the nexus of contemporary art, craft, and design, Darro has established an intersectional curatorial vision that is invested in reinvigorating museum spaces as forums for discourse, innovation, action, and engagement through experience. Her research interests include artist communities and collectives, relational aesthetics, movement and performance practice in craft, architecturally influenced design, radical accessibility, systems esthetics, and the life histories and agency of objects.

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My Top 5: Artist Matt Manalo

365 Things to Do in Houston Posted September 12, 2022 in In The News

Our thanks to Matt Manalo for including Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in his 365 Things to Do in Houston “My Top 5” feature! We are very excited for Matt’s solo exhibition here at HCCC in early 2023.

In our My Top 5 series, we turn to the Houstonians who create and shape Houston’s character and ask them to share their own favorite things that make H-Town home. This week, we’re delighted to feature artist Matt Manalo, who also founded alternative art space, Alief Art House.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

By Justin Jerkins

Photo: Michael Starghill Photography; courtesy of the artist.

“I’ve lived here for 19 years; my family and I moved here [from Manila, Philippines],” says artist Matt Manalo, founder of Alief Art House and Filipinx Artists of Houston. “I was already in college when I left, pursuing computer engineering and then when I came here, I felt like it wasn’t a thing I wanted to pursue anymore. At that time, people were really hiring nurses at a fast rate and so I thought that was something I would be doing for the rest of my life, and it turned out it wasn’t [laughs]. I quickly realized that I can’t really imagine spending the rest of my life working at a hospital and that’s when I did some self-searching…I’ve always been interested in art growing up and that’s when I realized that art is something I wanted to do full-time for the rest of my life.”

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Identities, Narratives, and Histories: CraftTexas 2022 at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Arts and Culture TexasPosted July 23, 2022 in In The News

How does craft tell stories differently than other visual arts media? I posed this question to Texas-raised, Los Angeles-based artist and curator Andres Payan Estrada, juror for CraftTexas 2022, the biennial juried exhibition presented by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC), now in its 11th edition. “We always highlight the material, how it’s made, and the labor behind it,” says Estrada, “but most importantly we aim to highlight the individual who is making it.”

By Sherry Cheng

Individual narratives and histories are embedded through and through in this conceptually expansive yet thematically cohesive exhibition, on view Oct. 1, 2022 through Jan. 28, 2023 at HCCC. 40 pieces by 27 artists, selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants, enter into nuanced conversations with each other and with the viewer, connecting through explorations of identity, social history, and communal experiences, while pushing the boundaries of contemporary craft. “Artists are dismantling the perception of what a craft object is,” observes Estrada. “It’s often thought of as either solely living in the domestic or something being painstakingly created by hand. A lot of these artists are taking these preconceptions and blowing them up.”

Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya, “OSU MEJILA ATI ODUN KAN – 12 MOON IS ONE COMPLETE CALENDAR YEAR,” 2020. Mixed-media tapestry sculpture installation. 100 x 26 x 100 inches. Photo by ARTWITHAKIRASH STUDIO LLC.

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Posted July 22, 2022 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) July 22, 2022 – Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to announce its newest class of residents for 2022 – 2023, a group of outstanding artists working in a variety of craft disciplines.

For more than 20 years, the Center’s artist residency program has offered time and space for craft artists to focus on their creative work and interact with the public. The program supports emerging, mid-career, and established artists working in all craft media, including but not limited to clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media.  This year, more than 145 artists applied from all over the U.S. and beyond, and 11 artists were selected for a three-to-twelve-month residency. The juried selection was based on quality of creative work, ability to interact with the public, career direction, and program diversity. In addition to 24/7 access to studio space, HCCC provides the artists with a materials-and-living stipend, a variety of professional development opportunities, and a group exhibition at the conclusion of the residency cycle.

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