Lauren McAdams – Going Up?

December 10, 2011 — January 29, 2012

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft presents Going Up?, a solo exhibition of whimsical metal sculptures by Texas artist, Lauren McAdams. The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s most recent bodies of work, Flying Rings and the Women Series.

In Flying Rings, McAdams’ fanciful interpretations of finger rings appear to whiz, fly and zip their way up and down the high-tension cables she has installed in HCCC’s Artist Hall. Replete with feet, propellers and wheels, the Flying Rings are full of character, a fact noted in the titles of each piece (McAdams has given them human names such as Shauna, Tedd, Jeff and Marcos). Full of playful energy and brimming with the implication of movement, the rings appear like energetic teenagers or young adults—ready to burst into action, but not yet able to put their ambitious plans into effect. In this series, McAdams seems to have been influenced both by her own youth and her students at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she is in her fourth year as Assistant Professor of Art Metals/Jewelry.

In the Women Series, McAdams continues her exploration into the potential capabilities of different individuals and again shows the viewer her sense of humor. However, instead of the fictional characters she references in Flying Rings, her subjects are highly influential and controversial female pop-culture icons. Taking the form of historical match strikers, these works of copper, brass, steel, vitreous enamel, enamel paint, fine silver, and matches depict women who, in the artist’s words, have “a lot of potential to start fires.” Some of today’s most powerful celebrities, such as Angelina Jolie, Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, are immortalized in exquisite detail in the sculptures, which are both beautiful and amusing.

Lauren McAdams is Assistant Professor of Art Metals/Jewelry at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. She received her MFA from Arizona State University and her BFA from Murray State University in Murray, KY. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and has been published in two different volumes of Lark Books’ 500 Series: 500 Metal Vessels and 500 Wedding Rings. Visit McAdams’ blog at to learn more about the artist and her work.

Above, from left to right: Lauren McAdams, Leigh. Copper, brass, mokume gane. 2011. Photo by Lauren McAdams. Lauren McAdams, Action Figure (Angelina Jolie). Copper, brass, steel, vitreousenamel, enamel pain, fine silver, match. 2011. Photo by Lauren McAdams.