Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

In Residence

Friday, May. 27, 2016 – Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Natasha Hovey, “Positioning,” 2015. Glazed ceramic and matte medium. Size variable. Photo by Natasha Hovey.

Natasha Hovey, “Positioning,” 2015. Glazed ceramic and matte medium. Size variable. Photo by Natasha Hovey.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is delighted to present In Residence, an exhibition displaying works produced by seven artists who began their residencies at HCCC in 2014: Clara Hoag, Natasha Hovey, Jera Rose Petal Lodge, Sarah Mizer, Alexis Myre, Collette Spears, and Rena Wood. This annual exhibition of clay, fiber, glass, metal, and mixed media celebrates HCCC’s Artist Residency Program, which has supported makers and their ingenuity in the field of craft for the past 15 years. Read more.

About the Exhibition

Clara Hoag’s sculptural ceramic works cobble figurative elements with architectural forms that inspire a critical comparison between building infrastructure and the human body. Hoag’s work reflects on the human condition and a transforming urban experience. Limbs reach outward, beckoning the viewer, while scaffolding and soaring skyscrapers act as supports. Individual elements are assembled to comprise her works. Further informed by her process, Hoag explores the ambiguous boundaries between fragility and stability, construction and decomposition.

Natasha Hovey uses her medium of clay to examine unknown frontiers of human physiology and disease at a microscopic and genetic level. She is inspired by processes of genetic mapping that interpret and reduce complex bodily systems into more easily comprehensible, two-dimensional representations. Hovey transforms genetic diagrams into large-scale ceramic installations that play across the gallery wall. Her ceramic forms are replicated through slip-casting, and, when arranged, their use of space and scale allows viewers to come into contact with these complex biological functions made tangible.

Forging dynamic works through lines of steel and precious metals, Jera Rose Petal Lodge creates fluid objects that function as jewelry pieces as well as interactive sculptures. Inspired by architecture and geometric forms, her jewelry is made up of shapes and kinetic patterns that become activated through interaction and play. Drawing from architectural principles, Lodge’s jewelry pieces are as much about the space within the delicate wire chambers she creates as the strength of their overall structure.

Sarah Mizer’s work ranges, in medium, from glass installations to billboards and 3-D prints. She takes inspiration from natural surroundings and distilled depictions of nature throughout art history. She is particularly interested in the way in which 16th– and 17th-century vanitas still-life paintings explore themes of transience and decay, reminding viewers of the fragility of their own lives. The verdant gardens and flourishing weeds she encountered during her time in Houston became her subjects—refined, and in some cases elevated, by the fragile glass blossoms she creates. She continues to develop this work in self-contained pieces that render nature in both glass and 3-D printing, speaking to themes of time and fragility through material and display.

Alexis Myre builds microcosmic mixed-media works that apply material in intricate and symbolic ways. Plexiglas serves as the base for thread that is both embroidered and held carefully taught over the surface with pins, defining and mapping the space. Additionally, lines of graphite, paint, and found objects feature in her work. Referencing her background in mathematics, industrial design, and metalsmithing, each material thoughtfully serves within the confines of her work. Plexiglas brings rigidity to its structure, while pencil markings reference underlying logic, and the tension of the thread holds kinetic potential in an interconnected universe.

The double-walled ceramic vessels created by Collette Spears are made with incredible precision. The elaborate interconnected carvings of the outer walls overlay the vessels in a way that feels as balanced and naturally rendered as ribs encasing organs. She explores the therapeutic potential of her artistic process by paying particular attention to vulnerability, pattern, and connection.

Fiber artist Rena Wood’s sinuous wall pieces make manifest processes of memory. Each stitch and knot traces the passage of time and the construction of memory—in her mind, as well as in her hands—through skilled, repetitive action. She forms and breaks down materials within the same piece to evoke the ambiguous and volatile nature of memory, which constantly retains and forgets, constructs and deconstructs. Applying her fiber techniques to metal wire during her residency, she was able to explore the memory and movement held in different materials.

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