Join Houston artists, Edward Lane McCartney, Olga Starostina and Demi Thomloudis, as they discuss their work and personal stories in relation to the themes presented in La Frontera.
Edward Lane McCartney
Edward Lane McCartney is a Houston-based artist who has been creating art jewelry for the past 15 years. His work is held internationally in many private, public, and museum collections. His jewelry is often infused with social content. Sometimes, his work is material driven, sometimes conceptual, yet always wrought from his own aesthetic. While McCartney works primarily in metals, recently, his work has left the site of the body, moving to a larger sculptural scale and incorporating mixed media, with a focus on color, optical kinetics, and material, in both three- and two-dimensional forms. McCartney continues to study at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; serves on the board of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, where he was once a resident artist; and is active in the local arts community. McCartney’s work is represented by Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, Texas.
Olga Starostina is a jeweler/metalsmith, born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and currently living and creating in Houston, Texas. Starostina believes that her training as a systems engineer has had a great influence on the way she approaches the jewelry-making process. Her love of problem solving and investigation of new possibilities originally led her to experiment with aluminum free casting. Her engineering mindset drives her to find innovative ways to cold connect this underappreciated metal. She says, “It is fascinating that a material can change so drastically, from a smooth and industrial look and feel to an intriguing organic form, with a delicate texture. In my work, I primarily use recycled materials. I employ scrap aluminum, such as cans, gutters, ladders and car parts. I often combine aluminum with leather, which I acquire at local thrift stores in the form of coats, bags, and shoes. I believe that the joining of disparate materials, such as leather and aluminum, changes them both and creates a whole new entity. Much as skin holds together the human body, leather unites the aluminum parts, constructing a body for a newly emerged soul.”
Originally from the greater Philadelphia area, Demi Thomloudis received her BFA in metals and jewelry from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2007 and her MFA in jewelry and metalwork from San Diego State University in 2013. Her attraction to jewelry is forged by the opportunities it presents the maker, offering an intimate three-dimensional way to construct ideas. Through experimentation, her chosen materials reveal their individual qualities, which are used to dictate the fabrication of each composition. Thomloudis finds that the intimacy of jewelry encourages a physical interaction between the viewer and the object and compels the viewer to inspect the intricate details of materials and workmanship. Her work has been featured in national and international exhibitions, including SPRAWL and La Frontera at HCCC. She is a current resident artist at HCCC through August, 2014.
Above, from left to right: Edward Lane McCartney, “If Bullets Were Jewels,” 2010. Brooch. Reclaimed sterling silver and 14k gold, cubic zirconia, reclaimed red gemstone. 8.8 x 4.8 x 1 cm. Photo by Jack Zilker. Demitra Thomloudis, ‘Reconstructed: Framed,” 2012. Brooch. Cement, sterling silver, resin, steel, pigment, thread, duck tape. 8.9 cm x 6.4 cm x 4.4 cm. Photo by Seth Papc. Olga Starostina, “The End of a Desperate Journey…,” 2013.Brooch. Recycled aluminum, copper, leather. 10.2 x 25.4 x 1.2 cm. Photo by Cara Murray.