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Without Boundaries: Transformations in American Craft
Craft Alliance (CA) is pleased to announce the opening reception of Without Boundaries: Transformations in American Craft, from 6 – 8 pm on Friday, August 24 at CA’s Delmar Loop Gallery. Without Boundaries: Transformations in American Craft presents a selection of contemporary artists who have been working in craft materials over a span of twenty-five years. Their dedication to their art has not only persevered through our ever changing cultural climate, but continues to be passionate, relevant and powerful today. This exhibition is curated by Lynn Friedman Hamilton, a former gallery director and independent curator. Lynn Friedman Hamilton designed an exhibition that speaks to the materials used in contemporary art today and that investigates how the artists’ work has evolved and adapted over the years.
Artists include John Babcock, Martha Banyas, Mary Bero, Sonja Blomdahl, Jon Brooks, Sharon Church, Nancy Crow, Val M. Cushing, Arline Fisch, Cliff Garten, Henry Halem, Tim Harding, William Harper, Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Patricia Hickman, Jan Holcomb, Michael James, Margie Jervis, Glenn Kaufman, Ray King, Gerhardt Knodel, Jane Lackey, Tom Lundberg, Eleanor Moty, Nance O'Banion, Gretchen K. Raber, Amy Roberts Chamberlain, Mary Ann Scherr, Marjorie Schick, Sylvia Seventy, Helen Shirk, Sherri Smith, Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Rachelle Thiewes, Bill Underhill, Patti Warashina, and Paula Colton Winokur.
Without Boundaries was inspired by the 1986 exhibition Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical, curated by Paul J. Smith at the American Craft Museum. Celebrating the art of the handmade in the1980s, this landmark exhibition demonstrated the shift in the word craft. Paul J. Smith stated, “Modern industrialized society eliminates the need to make essentials for living by hand. As a result craft has transcended its traditional role and meaning.” Craft was being reinvented and Smith discussed craft in four ways: the object as a statement, an object made for use, the object as a vessel, and the object as personal adornment. Poetry of the Physical presented a variety of artists who worked in all craft media and who were, at that time, on the forefront of the art scene.
The word craft continues to evolve in the 21st century, and so do the artists who work in the craft media. For Without Boundaries, Lynn Friedman Hamilton selected work by following up with the artists who participated 25 years ago in Poetry of the Physical. What she found was that the artists and their art have taken some interesting turns and adaptations. Without Boundaries again redefines craft by including work in craft materials in combination with materials considered unconventional for craft, including video.
Lynn Friedman Hamilton not only takes an interest in the materiality of the work but asks the question, “What are the transformations to the artists’ ‘essential core’ and how have the trajectories of their lives affected and reinvented their art?” Elements in their Transformations include the use of technology, new materials and a focus on current events and personal experiences.
Fiber artist Michael James utilizes digital imagery in his work, printing photographic images of nature on fabric which he incorporates in his quilts. Glass artist Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend also includes digital manipulations and photographic images to reflect on her life experiences. Originally classified as a glass artist, Ray King has moved into large site-specific installations and has embraced video art to allow the viewer to experience his sound and light investigations.
The artists in Without Boundaries have also found techniques to re-use or ‘up-cycle’ everyday objects in their work. Glen Kaufman, inspired by garments depicted in votive sculptures from early Mesopotamia, uses red polyethylene newspaper delivery bags with plastic fences as his armatures to create his own interpretation of this ancient garment.
Concern for the environment and details of daily life are important issues that these artists explore. In her powerful porcelain sculptures, Paula Colton Winokur traces the fragility of Icelandic glaciers, while Patti Warashina delves deep into personal narratives.
This exhibition presents craft as a contemporary, relevant art form constantly adapting to new materials and ever changing technology. As Stefanie Kirkland, Director of Exhibitions explains, “The work confronts and reflects current issues. Every artist in this exhibition continues to develop personally as an artist and as a person; each of them influences and inspires emerging artists; and they remain powerful voices in the forefront of the contemporary art scene.” This dynamic and exciting exhibition charts the Transformations of craft in the last twenty-five years, and sets the tone for how craft will continue to develop and evolve over the next twenty-five years.
Without Boundaries: Transformations in American Craft is part of the American Arts Experience.
|Where||Craft Alliance 6640 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63130|
|Next on||This event is over.|
|Time||10:00 am–5:00 pm|
More About Craft Alliance
Craft Alliance is a non-profit art in the Delmar Loop section of University City. The organization has a retail gallery of art at the University City location and also operates numerous workshops and classes designed to educate and develop artists in the areas of painting, sculpting and pottery design. Craft Alliance was established in 1964 and has since provided inspiration and education in the areas of art and craft in the St. Louis area.