Archive by Author: rhenry


Posted December 8, 2020 in Press Releases

This spring, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents Forms of Inheritance: The Work of Anna Mayer, an exhibition of ceramic and bronze sculptures that explores humanity’s reckoning with mortality and demonstrates the fragility and fierceness of the natural world.

Anna Mayer’s social and sculptural practice explores the impact of humanity throughout geologic time, with a focus on the temporal relationship between humans and the land beyond an individual’s life span. Her work in the exhibition reflects deeply upon the realities of death and decay. Drawing upon a language of mourning and burial practices, she uses materials like raw clay and porcelain dinnerware to communicate a narrative of what remains when people die and what is left for others to inherit. By grinding pieces of dinnerware she inherited and mixing the bits with raw clay to give it a new texture and purpose, she creates sculptures that appear to seep and bubble-up from the ground. These ceramic works are juxtaposed with a pair of bronze hands and feet that are cast from a composite of Mayer’s own body, along with the fingers and toes of others from communities in Los Angeles and Houston, where the artist has lived. By combining attributes from different people to form a new body, Mayer identifies a need for a society that relies on the collective strength of individuals.  Continue Reading.


Posted December 1, 2020 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) December 9, 2020 – In 2021, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present a solo exhibition by outstanding Lubbock ceramicist and educator, James C. Watkins, who was recently named a Texas Master by HCCC. Watkins joins an impressive roster of other Texas Master awardees—including curator Clint Willour (Houston) and artists Harlan Butt (Denton), Cindy Hickok (Houston), Rachelle Thiewes (El Paso), Piero Fenci (Nacogdoches), and Sandie Zilker (Houston)—recognized for their roles as career artists, professionals, or educators who have made a significant impact on the field of craft in Texas.

James C. Watkins has built an extraordinary career as a ceramicist and an educator. He received his MFA from Indiana University and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. His work has been featured in 40 solo exhibitions and 164 group exhibitions around the world, and he has pieces in 23 permanent collections, including the White House Collection of American Crafts at the Clinton Library (Little Rock, AR), the Shigaraki Institute of Ceramic Studies (Shigaraki, Japan), the Everson Museum (Syracuse, NY), and, most recently, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX). Continue reading.


Posted October 13, 2020 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) October 13, 2020 – Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is pleased to present Meta-Formation: New Connections in Contemporary Blacksmithing. The exhibition showcases some of the best metalworkers in the field today, illustrating the magic of forged metal. The featured work, from sculpture to functional ware, exemplifies a diversity of artistic expression, while embracing approaches that go beyond traditional blacksmithing techniques.

Spearheaded by New Orleans-based metalworker and designer Rachel David of Red Metal, Meta-Formation first debuted at the Appalachian Center for Craft (Smithville, TN) in 2019. Jurors Andy Cooperman, Hoss Haley, and former HCCC Curatorial Fellow Sarah Darro selected works from an open call, giving preference to those that exhibited outstanding sculptural and design qualities. Continue reading.


Posted October 13, 2020 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) October 13, 2020 – Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present In Residence: 13th Edition, an exhibition celebrating the Artist Residency Program, which has supported artists working in the field of craft for almost two decades. The show features work in clay, metal, and fiber by 2019-2020 resident artists Lauren Eckert, Tim Gonchoroff, Nicolle LaMere, Audrey LeGalley, Maxwell Mustardo, Abi Ogle, Masako Onodera, and Brian Vu.

The Artist Residency Program at HCCC gives resident artists a space for creative exploration, exchange, and collaboration with other artists, arts professionals, and the public. HCCC Curatorial Fellow María-Elisa Heg notes, “This edition of In Residence finds HCCC’s resident-artist cohort adapting to unprecedented times. The works on view represent a determined continuation of craft practice, affirming its vital importance to the world at this time.” Continue reading.


Posted October 13, 2020 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) October 13, 2020 – This spring, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents Breaking Tradition: Contemporary Approaches to the Decorative Arts. The exhibition features three artists—Sophie Glenn, Steven Young Lee, and Beth Lipman—who challenge the dominant cultural narratives of the decorative arts through unconventional furniture, porcelain, photography, and cast-metal pieces.

Historically, the decorative arts prize a strict hierarchy of material and technique set forth by a select group of arts professionals and collectors. HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall says the artists in this exhibition disrupt assumptions about the genre’s history, by making it relatable to a broader audience: “By recontextualizing traditional archetypes, patterns, and decorative motifs in a modern world, these three artists look critically at how they identify with these cultural artifacts.” Continue Reading.


Posted July 14, 2020 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) July 14, 2020 — Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to announce the selection of Houston-based artists Hillerbrand+Magsamen as the recipients of the inaugural Interdisciplinary Craft + Photography Artist Residency. Offered by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Houston Center for Photography (HCP), the three-month residency was created in response to the growing number of artists who are working at the intersection of contemporary craft and photography and supports those with an experimental, multidisciplinary edge, who are testing the boundaries within both fields. Continue Reading.


Posted July 14, 2020 in Press Releases

(HOUSTON, TX) July 14, 2020 — Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to announce its newest class of residents for 2020 – 2021, a group of 10 outstanding artists working in a variety of craft disciplines.

This year, the artist residency program is generously supported by new grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the John & Robyn Horn Foundation. Grant support by both the NEA Art Works program and the Horn Foundation will provide an increase in monthly stipends for the residents, as well as contribute to the operations, exhibitions, and administrative needs of the innovative program.  Continue Reading


Ean Escoto on Craft & Science in Jewelry Making

Posted August 9, 2019 in Blog

In the spring of 2019, HCCC intern Kelly Dolan interviewed former resident artist, Ean Escoto. As a jeweler and metalsmith, Escoto presents a new style of craft that takes the concept of jewelry into the contemporary aesthetic. Escoto, by incorporating roboticics into his designs, makes exceptional work that conveys a sense of meaning and whimsy to his audiences.

Ean Escoto working in his studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo courtesy of Blaize Middleton.

Kelly Dolan: You initially went to school to study bioengineering; however, you graduated with a degree in applied design for jewelry, metalsmithing, and ceramics. How has bioengineering influenced the combination of electronics and jewelry in your work, and what other influences inform your work?

Ean Escoto: I would argue that art and science are born of craft; art and science were predated by craft as disciplines while present within craft as practices. Bioengineering and craft, particularly art jewelry, both satisfy my core interests, providing people with something meaningful. Bioengineering generally seeks to enhance people’s quality of life by supporting their physical needs. Craft tends to focus on the impact of objects of daily use on people’s lives. For me, they both start with the body.

Jewelry objects are literally attached to the body as items of use or metaphorically attached as items of consideration. Most often, they serve as prostheses of identity, evoking meaning for the wearer and the viewer. I find this platform for expression really great for the types of engagement I would like to have with others.

Science and engineering have greatly informed my approach to living with appreciation and curiosity. Science is a formalization of the fact that the natural world will answer any question you ask it. The challenge of science is in the difficulty of understanding what you actually want to ask, learning how to phrase it, and interpreting the answer you receive. The glory of science is that the answers we receive spawn even better questions. It really seems like the universe will never run out of wonder. Engineering provides a powerful set of problem-solving tools. The basic idea is to break a problem into smaller parts that you either understand or don’t understand. You solve the parts you understand, quantify what you don’t understand, and use that information to find or create resources which will allow the problem to be solved.

When I make jewelry, I apply the tools I have to solve the problems I am interested in. The initial motivation behind introducing electronics to my practice was to make objects activate people’s theory of mind. I wanted people to consider what the object is thinking. This ability to consider the thoughts of another is worth celebrating. Leveraging this experience is a powerful tool for getting people to engage in the other types of experiences I am trying to promote. Continue Reading »


Posted July 26, 2019 in Press Releases

Ten Artists Selected for Residencies at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

(HOUSTON, TX) July 26, 2019 — Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is proud to announce its new class of resident artists for the 2019 – 2020 cycle. The Artist Residency Program is designed to offer 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.

A juried selection is held annually to award eight-to-ten artists a three-to-twelve-month residency. Each year, more than 80 applicants from all over the U.S. apply. The selection is 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 each artist with a modest materials and living stipend and a variety of professional development opportunities. Their work is also included in the annual In Residence group exhibition at the conclusion of the residency cycle.

In exchange, the residents are required to have their studios open to the public for at least two days each week, in support of HCCC’s mission to advance education on the process, product, and history of craft.  Visitors to the Center have the unique opportunity to walk into the artists’ studios, ask questions, and watch them work. This deeper level of interaction between artists and visitors allows the public to learn about a range of craft processes and techniques and helps artists to gain exposure, make connections within the Houston community, and educate people of all ages about craft.

2019 – 2020 HCCC Resident Artists

Audrey LeGalley, Clay (San Antonio, TX)
June 1 – August 31, 2019

Tim Gonchoroff, Clay (Charlottesville, VA)
September 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020

Maxwell Mustardo, Clay (Pittstown, NJ)
September 1 – November 31, 2019

Abigail Ogle, Fiber (Blountsville, AL)
September 1, 2019 – February 28, 2020

Masako Onodera, Metal (Menomonie, AL)
September 1 – November 31, 2019

Lauren Eckert, Metal (Mullica Hill, NJ)
December 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020

Brian Vu, Clay (Arlington, TX)
December 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020

Nicolle LeMere, Clay (Houston, TX)
March 1 – August 31, 2020

Dee Clements, Fiber (Chicago, IL)
June 1 – August 31, 2020

Sophie Glenn, Metal (Smithville, TN)
June 1 – August 31, 2020

To see current and past resident artists at HCCC, visit:

The application for the 2020 – 2021 cycle opens January 1, 2020. For more information, visit:

About Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is a nonprofit visual arts center dedicated to advancing education about the process, product, and history of craft.  HCCC provides exhibition, retail, and studio spaces to support the work of local and national artists and serves as a resource for artists, educators and the community at large.

Located in the Museum District at 4848 Main Street, HCCC is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM. Closed major holidays. Admission is free. Free parking is available directly behind the facility, off Rosedale and Travis Street. HCCC is three blocks south of Wheeler Ave. MetroRail station on Main Street.

HCCC is supported by individual donors and members and funded in part by The Brown Foundation; Houston Endowment, Inc.; the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance; Texas Commission on the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kinder Foundation; the Morgan Foundation; Windgate Charitable Foundation; and the Wortham Foundation. HCCC is a member of the Houston Museum District and the Midtown Arts District.

For more information, call 713-529-4848 or visit Find HCCC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @CraftHouston.



Houston Art Legend Gets a Crafty Tribute in River Oaks

Paper CityPosted May 2, 2019 in In The News

The Texas Arts Scene Owes This Man a Debt
By Matthew Ramirez

Perry Price, chair Betty Moody, honoree Clint Willour, chair Anne Tucker (Photo by Katy Anderson)

What: Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s 10th Annual Crafting a Legacy Spring Luncheon

Where: River Oaks Country Club

PC Moment: It was an afternoon to remember for the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, a renowned-nationally cultural institution that’s still just barely old enough to drive (the 17-year-old HCCC was established in 2002).

Honoring legendary arts patron Clint Willour, nearly 300 guests in bright, colorful, spring-appropriate floral prints and hues stormed River Oaks Country Club to honor the man whose mentorship and presence has steered the course of the Texas art scene for 50 years.

Chaired by Betty MoodyAnne Tucker, and Cindi Strauss (who was out of town on MFAH business), the trio crafted an exquisite luncheon in observation of a full decade of HCCC’s signature fundraising event, its Crafting a Legacy Spring Luncheon.

HCCC executive director Perry Price welcomed the well-heeled throng of guests with salutatory greetings, before guest speaker and ceramic artist and educator Piero Fenci took the floor for some insightful remarks.

Fenci then ceded the podium, however, for art power chair duo gallerist Moody and curator Tucker, who introduced their friend and the day’s honoree.

A slide show of Willour alongside his many distinguished art world peers throughout the decades was displayed as the two shared their personal hilarious and heartwarming tales of Willour, many of which left the audience both laughing and crying.
Continue Reading »