Texas Masters Series:
May 30, 2014 — September 7, 2014
In the Front Gallery
Opening Reception – Friday, May 30, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
5:45 – Artist Talk by Sandie Zilker
6:00 – Curator’s Talk by Mike Holmes (La Frontera)
The opening will also feature La Frontera in the Main Gallery, and Taking Shape: Celebrating the Windgate Fellowship in the Artist Hall. The current resident artists will open their studios to the public following the artist talks.
Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker
Essay by Elizabeth Kozlowski
This summer, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Houston metalsmith and educator, Sandie Zilker, the fifth artist to be featured in HCCC’s Texas Masters Series. The Houston native joins the roster of former Texas Masters—Harlan Butt, Cindy Hickok, Rachelle Thiewes, and Piero Fenci—nominated by their peers and recognized for their roles as career artists in Texas who have made a significant impact on the field of craft. As the 2014 Texas Master, Zilker’s work is featured in this solo show, and she will serve as one of three jurors for the CraftTexas 2016 biennial exhibition at HCCC.
As evidenced by her jewelry, Zilker is no stranger to experimentation in color, contrast, texture, pattern, and form. Using the body as a frame of reference, she pulls from elements of illusion and surprise to elevate adornment to its fullest potential. Each of her pieces is packed with personality, increasing the wearer’s senses and creating a unique relationship between wearer and object.
Zilker’s exhibition at HCCC serves as a retrospective of her jewelry work over the past four decades. The show includes an exploration by the artist of newer technologies, including video, as well as installation. She sums up her philosophy: “I’m kind of noisy, and so is my work. There is usually something loud about everything I do or make. Being boring or bored is my worst fear.”
This year marks Zilker’s 40th anniversary teaching at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Glassell School of Art, where she is head of the Jewelry and Enamel Department and the Three Dimensional Design Department. She also serves as the School’s Coordinator of Student Events and Exhibitions, which requires her to organize and oversee lecture series, as well as faculty and student exhibitions on and off site.
Zilker holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Metalsmithing from the University of Houston and a Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is included in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; Designmuseo, Finland; and Norden Feldske Kundiondustrimuseum, Norway. She has exhibited at HCCC in several juried shows, such as Fresh Metal, CraftHouston: Texas 2006 and Metal Moods. Her jewelry has been published in numerous books, including 500 Brooches, 500 Bracelets, 500 Plastic and Resin Objects, and Showcase 500 Art Necklaces.
Zilker has twice served on the Board of The Society of North American Goldsmiths and co-chaired the organization’s 2010 Annual Conference in Houston. She recently served as the liaison for Metalsmith Magazine and now serves on the Exhibition Committee. She has been an Honorary Board Member of the Houston Metal Arts Guild and serves on the Advisory Committee at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
In addition to brief teaching positions at institutions such as Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, Zilker’s professional life has included other passions, such as co-owning a catering company, that she feels have enhanced her work and teaching. She continues to do both limited-series work and precious-material commissions at her studio in Houston.
Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker was curated by Elizabeth Kozlowski, Curator at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Above: (1) “Fence Finials Reconsidered—Chartreuse,” 2014. Sterling silver, brass, copper, enamel, polymer clay, resin fence finials. Photo by Cara Murray. (2) Exhibition view of “Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker” at HCCC. Photo by Logan Beck. (3) “PetalPoint Series,” 2004. Sterling silver, enamel on copper. “Leaf Bouquet Series,” 2006. Sterling silver, enamel on fine silver, obsidian, chrysocolla, quartz, garnet, fossil coral, cuprite, rhodonite. Photo by Logan Beck. (4) “X/O Series,” 1994. Sterling silver, copper, brass, pencil, acrylic, Astroturf, roof tile. Photo by Logan Beck. (5) “Long Dangling Points,” 2014. Sterling silver, Styrofoam, multimedia. Photo by Logan Beck. (6) “Off the Grid,” 2014. Image still from video, featuring “Gold Heel Collar,” 2012. Bronze, shoe heels, magnet. Model: TiShuan Scott. Photo by Abdiel Urcullu. (7) “Cone with Points Series,” 2014. Brass, copper, enamel, auto paint, sterling silver, pearls. Collaboration with Humberto Quintanilla, Jr. Photo by Logan Beck. (8) “Black Heel Collar,” 2010. Bronze, cubic zirconium, shoe heels, synthetic garnet. Photo by Logan Beck. (9) “Off the Grid,” 2014. Image still from video, featuring “Wine Wear: Multi-Color,” 2006. Sterling silver, onyx, wine-glass bases. Collection of Dan & Mina Graur. Model: Alice Dennard. Photo by Kelly Heather. (10) “Armored Car Elbow Ornament,” 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck (11) “Zig Zag Series,” 1989. Sterling silver, turquoise, emerald, garnet, amethyst, sponge. “Zig Zag Green” and “Red” are from the collection of Nana Booker. Photo by Logan Beck. (12) Sandie Zilker. Photo by Roswitha Vogler. (13) “Fence Finials Reconsidered Series,” 2014. Sterling silver, stone, pearls, moonstone, brass, copper, enamel, polymer clay, plastic and resin fence finials. Photo by Logan Beck.