In The News

Former Resident Antonius-Tín Bui Among Winners of $100,000 Award in Craft

Maxewell/Hanrahan FoundationPosted May 18, 2022 in In The News

Exploration and insight require time and commitment. The Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation Awards in Craft seek to make both possible for devoted craftspeople and artists from around the country who strive to express what we see and experience in our world through engagement with material. The award recognizes practitioners committed to material mastery and exploration with practices encompassing the stewardship of living cultural traditions, unique insight in material study, and the advancement of craft at the intersection of other fields including science. We recognize that arts funding, especially for craftspeople, is lacking in the US, and we encourage others to commit to these fields.

 

2022 marks the first year for the Awards in Craft, and each year we aim to give five craftspeople $100,000. These are one-time, unrestricted awards intended to amplify the voices and work of each craftsperson and give them time and funding as they grow in their careers and propel their work forward. This year’s award winners were selected by a committee of panelists for their unique and visionary approach to material-based practice, their potential to make significant contributions to their craft in the future, and the potential for this award to provide momentum at a critical juncture in their career.

Continue Reading »

Curator Kathryn Hall to Leave the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

GlasstirePosted April 5, 2022 in In The News

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) recently announced the forthcoming departure of longtime Curator Kathryn Hall, and its subsequent national search for a new curator.

By Jessica Fuentes

HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall. Photo by Scott Cartwright.

Ms. Hall, who began her time at HCCC a decade ago as a curatorial fellow, will leave her position in June. During her time at the organization, she curated twenty-five exhibitions exploring themes like food, culture, and social practice. She will be relocating to New York, where she is pursuing several independent projects.

In a press release announcing Ms. Hall’s departure, HCCC’s Executive Director Perry Price stated, “The impact that Kathryn has made on the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft over her decade-long career here is immeasurable. Without the exhibitions she has curated, the work she has fostered with artists and colleagues from the Houston area and across the country, and the scholarship and ideas she has generated, the field of contemporary craft and the arts community of Houston would be much diminished.”

Continue Reading »

Explaining Invisible Things: Jennifer Ling Datchuk at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

GlasstirePosted December 31, 2021 in In The News

By William Sarradet

“Jennifer Ling Datchuk: Later, Longer, Fewer,” installation view at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Jennifer Ling Datchuk’s exhibition Later, Longer, Fewer is an examination of Datchuk’s relationship to female labor, as well a critical look at the artist’s own identity as an Asian-American woman working within the craft medium of ceramics. It is a group of work, much of which is from this year, that follows the artist’s credo: to explain invisible things.

Continue Reading »

The Control Over Women’s Bodies, Expressed in Porcelain, Rope, and Hair

HyperallergicPosted November 9, 2021 in In The News

Jennifer Ling Datchuk’s exhibition is filled with the haunting, rhythmic sounds of gently clattering porcelain.

By Lauren Moya Ford

Jennifer Ling Datchuk, still from “Tame” (2021), video (photo by Walley Films, courtesy Jennifer Ling Datchuk)

HOUSTON — While conducting research at the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center in 2018, Jennifer Ling Datchuk came upon a poster that caught her attention. “Chinese Carry Out Family Planning for the Revolution” by the Shanghai People’s Publishing House features a smiling, smocked woman who holds a bottle of birth control pills and is surrounded by cartoons of a woman and a child engaging in lively activities. The slogan below reads, “Later, Longer, Fewer,” encouraging women to have later marriages, longer periods between births, and fewer children. The 1974 poster is a precursor to China’s one-child policy that was instituted five years later to slow the country’s climbing birth rates.

As empowering as the poster’s message may seem, it also draws certain parallels with the most recent restrictions on women’s reproductive rights in Texas, where Datchuk has lived and worked for the past 13 years. In response to the poster, Datchuk wrote, “This message suggests that women have the power and access to resources in order to make these decisions in the first place.” Now as then, from Shanghai to San Antonio, women’s bodies are subject to state control.

Continue Reading »

This Time ‘Round: Jennifer Ling Datchuk At Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Arts and Culture TexasPosted October 20, 2021 in In The News

By Nancy Zastudil

Creative expression is often responsive to, or even dictated by, circumstance. German playwright Berthold Brecht recognized as much with his 1939 poem “Motto.” In dark times, he wrote, there will be singing. But, the singing will be about the dark times.

San Antonio-based artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk reminded me of Brecht’s riddle-like assurance while discussing her current exhibition Later, Longer, Fewer: The Work of Jennifer Ling Datchuk, on view at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft until Jan. 8, 2022. The works in the show include the artist’s signature blue and white porcelain sculptures, multimedia installations, and video, all of which “directly address viewers by critiquing the realities and contemporary perceptions of women’s access and liberation.”

“Later, Longer, Fewer: The Work of Jennifer Ling Datchuk” at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Installation photo by Katy Anderson.

Continue Reading »

Once an Outlet for Rebels and Outsiders, Zines Are Making a Comeback for Everyone

Texas HighwaysPosted October 1, 2021 in In The News

The exhibit ‘Copy Culture’ at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Zine Fest Houston are two upcoming events for zine fans

By John Nova Lomax

Sarah Welch’s Holdouts and Holdouts: Giveth and Taketh are featured in the exhibit Copy Culture. Courtesy of the artist.

Remember zines, those self-published, photocopied mini-magazines that proliferated among Generation X youth? During their heyday, these periodically produced journals informed readers what was and wasn’t punk in the ’80s and where you could skate and see underground concerts.

The movement seemed to crest in the ’90s, riding along a premium coffee-fueled tsunami that included grunge music, flannel shirts, and Third Wave feminism as exemplified by the Riot Grrrl movement. Looking back, I am a bit astonished there was never a movie starring Winona Ryder as a feisty and soulful zinester.

For the casual observer (namely, me), it had long seemed that zines, alongside record stores and bookshops, were yet another casualty of the internet. This notion was confirmed to me back around 2002, when I was music editor for the Houston Press, the Bayou City’s alternative weekly. I had the bright idea to write a story on Houston’s music zine scene, and found out it no longer existed. The entire movement had migrated to the internet, where anyone could write fired-up, raging blogs or cringeworthy self-confessional LiveJournal entries. It seemed, for a time, zines all but disappeared.

But zines have come roaring back. Cities around Texas, including San AntonioAustin, and Fort Worth, are not just home to a few scattered zines, but fertile enough to spawn yearly festivals and other events. Beginning Saturday, Houston kicks off its own zine season, with two complementary and intertwined events: the opening of Copy Culture: Zines Made and Shared at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and the release party of HomecomingZine Fest Houston’s 2021 anthology of Bayou City zines, occurring later that same day at Axelrad Beer Garden. Then, on Nov. 13, there’s a festivals devoted to zines at Zine Fest Houston.

Continue Reading »

Get “Suited Up” and Learn about Past and Future Body Armor

Houstonia MagazinePosted July 7, 2021 in In The News

The new Houston Center for Contemporary Craft exhibition, sure to please every Bayou City geek, runs through September 11.

By Rebekah Kibodeaux

IMAGE: J.A. VILCHES/XEPHYR STUDIOS

A typical weekend in Houston doesn’t generally involve riding horseback into a Medieval battle or charging alien enemies alongside The Avengers, thus largely reducing the average occurrence of spotting someone dressed in an iron chest plate or an intricate leather gorget on the corner of Rusk and Main. With the 2021 Comicpalooza convention right around the corner, however, don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly inspired to learn a little more about the art of the cosplay.

In Midtown, there’s an exhibit already in play that hopes to demonstrate just that. The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and its resident artists continually produce and present eye-catchingly unique pieces that promote an array of art styles: metal-smithing, woodworking, fabric and wool manipulations, and paperwork, to list just a few. Until September 11, visitors will have access to their latest exhibition, Suited Up: Contemporary Armor Making in Texas, which highlights suits of armor inspired by historical re-enactments and iconic pop-culture warriors and explores the extraordinary craftsmanship behind armor making in the Lone Star State.

Continue Reading »

Sculpting Ground into Gold: James C. Watkins at HCCC

Rice Design AlliancePosted April 28, 2021 in In The News

By Michael McFadden

Studio portrait of James C. Watkins. Photo by Bonni Oakes. Courtesy Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

In working with clay, an artist communes with a material tradition that spans thousands of years and stretches around the planet. With each passing decade, the medium becomes more accessible, more demystified, easier for the untrained to manipulate. Yet, ceramics remain an amphitheater from which stories and traditions are shared.

While other mediums carry certain historical baggage that weighs them down, the versatility found in clay connects cultures across imagined and fabricated boundaries. Over the course of his storied career, ceramicist James C. Watkins, who lives and works in Lubbock, has spent decades learning and mastering skills of the craft and implementing them in his practice.

On view at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) through May 8, 2021, Texas Master Series: James C. Watkins honors the artist for his dedication to his craft. While the exhibition focuses on more recent works, it showcases the breadth of Watkinss career and the diversity of his skill and inspiration.

Continue Reading »

The History of Craft and How Artisans Created America — Glenn Adamson’s New Book Gets a Texas Moment

Paper City MagazinePosted April 21, 2021 in In The News

Crafting a Legacy Lets You Get Involved

By Crystal Correa

Glenn Adamson’s groundbreaking new book, “Craft: An American History,” rewrites the history of our country’s craft movement with its focus on diversity and inclusion. The charismatic author is the featured speaker at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s spring benefit, Crafting a Legacy, set for Thursday, April 22, 6 pm.

There’s nothing like wrapping yourself in a crocheted or handwoven textile, seeing the ridge marks of evenly spaced fingers on clay that has been delicately turned into a useful ceramic piece, or basking in the mystical properties of Native American jewelry. But have you ever stopped to think about the artisans behind these masterpieces?

Continue Reading »

Anna Mayer Reconstitutes Loss in Houston

MomusPosted April 20, 2021 in In The News

By Laura August

Anna Mayer, “Fireful of Fear,” 2008 – present. Process image from the retrieval of a wildfired ceramic sculpture from the charred landscape in Malibu, CA, 2018. Photo by Poppy Coles. Courtesy of Anna Mayer.

Anna Mayer’s first solo exhibition in Houston, Forms of Inheritance, opens with a photographic mural printed on cotton canvas and splayed across a wall facing the entrance. Flames pour from chemical storage facilities, black smoke billowing thickly across the sky. A small patch of trees at the front of the image is blithely green, doomed. The label identifies the blaze as a 2009 petroleum fire near San Juan, Puerto Rico, and yet the scene is so eerily familiar that I want to insist it must be Houston.

Continue Reading »