Wiggers on Herrick for Modern Magazine

Recently, Director and Chief Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers was invited by Modern Magazine to write about an object for their “Curator’s Eye” section. The magazine invited “curators of leading twentieth-century and contemporary design collections to discuss one object that they feel is particularly noteworthy. Wiggers wrote about Laurie Herrick’s beautiful weaving, Crater (1969). She wrote that the weaving was, “based on Herrick’s personal response to Crater Lake, Oregon,” and that it, “employs a wide range of weaving techniques in her preferred palette of natural fibers in light, bright, and dark tonalities.” See a PDF of the piece here.

Posted on 09/30 at 03:10 PM

Tool at Hand Challenge…Extended to Friday!

CALL to ARTISTS


OPEN TO: Currently enrolled students at Pacific Northwest College of Art, (PNCA), and Oregon College of Art and Craft, (OCAC)

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, October 4, 2013, by 5:00pm PST



PROJECT SUMMARY:

What would it be like to create a work of art using only one tool?

The Tool at Hand is coming to the Museum of Contemporary Craft this October! Apart from having the chance to experience this internationally lauded exhibition, the stars have aligned to offer you—PNCA or OCAC students—the rarified opportunity to participate in this unique project.

In the spring of 2011, the Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee Art Museum, and curator Ethan Lasser invited fourteen contemporary artists from the United States and the United Kingdom to break from their usual practices and make a work of art using only one tool. For a group of artists who are accustomed to working with extensive tool kits that include dental drills and 3D printers, this commission presented a thought-provoking challenge. The Tool at Hand presents these finished works and the tools used to craft them together with short videos produced by each artist.

In conjunction with The Tool at Hand, Museum of Contemporary Craft invites students of PNCA and OCAC to apply for The Tool at Hand PDX Challenge, which tests your skills and creativity by asking you to create work of art made using only one tool. Winners of MoCC’s juried challenge will receive a stipend of $25 from Blick Art Materials to create that special work of art, which will be displayed in MoCC’s Community Showcase Gallery and Lab in conjunction with the final weeks that The Tool at Hand will be on view, December 3, 2013–January 11,2014.

Choose your tool wisely and let the making commence!



DETAILS:

- Before submitting your proposal, be sure to peruse The Tool at Hand website and the MoCC exhibition page to read much more about the project and to see some of the works produced. Applicants must fully understand the parameters of the challenge in order to submit a successful proposal.

- The Tool at Hand PDX Challenge is open to currently enrolled students at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC).

- Applicants may submit one project proposal only.

- Collectives as well as individual artists are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in collective projects that highlight the collaborative nature of creative production.

- Makers must adhere to the stipulation that only one tool can be used to produce an artwork.

- All materials used in The Tool at Hand PDX Challenge must be approved by MoCC staff in advance. Museum of Contemporary Craft retains the right to request or refuse any materials prohibited in the Museum including: living materials, decaying materials, organic materials that have not been sterilized, materials that are off-gassing, materials that disrupt the Museum in any way with sound, smell, or light.

- The content of artworks must appropriate and inclusive to diverse audiences. Museum of Contemporary Craft retains the right of final decision regarding the work to be shown, how it will be displayed and will approve construction prior to execution.

- Makers are responsible for the on-time delivery and pick up of artwork.

- Unless otherwise restricted, all artwork may be photographed and reproduced for educational purposes connected with Museum of Contemporary Craft.

- Projects should reflect the MoCC’s goal of being a center of dialogue and inquiry in pushing boundaries of what defines craft and how we think of it, engaging with idea and object in equal rigor.



FACT SHEET:

Entry Deadline: Monday September 30, 2013, by 5pm PST

Notification of Jury Decision: October 7, 2013

Work Must be Delivered Ready for Installation to MoCC by: The week of November 18, 2013. Artwork should be accompanied by any installation instructions, your project statement, and catalog information, (title, tool used, date, media, dimensions).

Exhibition Dates: Tuesday December 3, 2013 – January 11, 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday December 5, 2013

Work Must be Retrieved from MoCC by: The week of January 13, 2014

Jury: Brian Hutsebout, Sculptor + Designer / MFA Applied Craft + Design; Sarah Margolis-Pineo, Associate Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft

Compensation: $25 for materials from Blick

Consignment in Gallery Store: Artworks may be sold through the MoCC Gallery Store for a 50% consignment. This is optional and will be negotiated in a separate contract through the Gallery Store.



TO APPLY:

Direct applications by email to Brian Hutsebout (bhutsebout@pnca.edu) by Monday September 30, 5pm PST. Be sure to include:

1. Name, contact Information, and website

2. A current CV

3. A written description of your proposed Tool at Hand PDX Challenge project, (250-500 words), articulating what tool you would use, what media you would engage, and what the final product would be. Up to ten concept images/renderings will be eagerly accepted.

4. Three digital work samples with attached catalog information, (title, date, media, dimensions), and project descriptions that illustrate of your previous art practice.



CONTACTS:

Brian Hutsebout, Sculptor + Designer / MFA Applied Craft + Design
bhutsebout@pnca.edu

Sarah Margolis-Pineo, Associate Curator
smargolis-pineo@museumofcontemporarycraft.org

Posted on 09/26 at 04:06 PM

An Interview with Nicole Nathan

“Quality is contagious. Nothing is more important to a woodworker than his tools. If you owned a tool chest full of well-crafted tools, how could you possibly justify doing shabby work? You dishonor your tools. You dishonor yourself.” —John Economaki

Museum of Contemporary Craft Curator of Collections and Registrar Nicole Nathan curated Quality is Contagious: John Economaki and Bridge City Tool Works in collaboration with fine-furniture-maker turned-entrepreneur-and-tool-maker John Economaki. Her challenge was to convey the interconnectedness of Economaki’s approach to work and life by exhibiting his furniture, tools, sketches, prototypes, and videos side by side. There is no separation between craft, design, and art for Economaki. All intersect and overlap — and all are crucial to his practice. Editorial intern Daniel Casto spoke with Nathan about how she approaches crafting an exhibition of this breadth of material and theme, and what makes the role of a curator both challenging and thrilling.


Nicole Nathan shows visitors through the “Quality is Contagious” exhibition. Photo by Matthew Miller ’11.

UNTITLED Magazine: Hi Nicole. So you’re the Curator of Collections and Registrar here at Contemporary Craft. Can you tell us a little bit about that means exactly?

Nicole Nathan: I oversee our physical object collection here at the museum—I monitor when things are going in and out of the collection, when they are being lent to other institutions, when they’re coming back, when we need to pull things from our collection for display. I also curate exhibitions based on people and pieces within the collection, or that have some sort of historical context that relates to it.

UNTITLED Magazine: Did Quality is Contagious come about because of a piece that we had in our collection?

Nicole Nathan: John has a piece, the [Vaughan Street] Dessert Trolley, that has been in our collection since the mid-80s. It was included in our book, Unpacking the Collection, it was featured in Craft in America in 2007, so that’s kind of the centerpiece around which this exhibition is — well, not necessarily based, but we wanted to tell his story, and having that piece gave us the means to do that. The exhibition is about John as a maker, as an artist, a designer, businessman — [as] a person who continues to make; but in different ways. He started out as a furniture-maker in the mid ‘70s, made some really amazing pieces which are part of the exhibition, and was hugely successful. He had a piece in the Smithsonian, he had all sorts of commissions, and then woke up one night unable to breathe because he had developed an allergy to wood dust.

… Continue reading on UNTITLED.

Posted on 09/09 at 01:49 PM

PODCAST: A Conversation with Surabhi Ghosh, MoCC Artist-in-Residence

Part open studio, part residency, part master class, Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) has invited consummate makers of all types to temporarily relocate their studios to the Lab for week-long terms, July 8 through August 4. Resident artists will work from the Lab during daily open hours, 11am-6pm, connecting directly with the Museum’s audiences as they engage in their creative practice. In addition, artists will offer daily two-hour, drop-in workshops for visitors of all ages to have access the materials, processes, and concepts of various crafts. The intent of the Open Studio summer residency is to provide a public venue for the work that often happens behind the scenes in the artist studio. We believe that this residency provides a wonderful opportunity to share publicly all the starts, stops, challenges, and inspirations that happen as work is created. Furthermore, we hope to provide a space for direct and open dialogue between creative practitioners and the community around craft-based ideas, practices, and processes.

MoCC Open Studio Artist-in-Residence: Surabhi Ghosh



Volunteer project manager Greg Stuart discusses the studio practice of Surabhi Ghosh, Open Studio Artist-in-Residence, July 30 – August 3, 2013

For this residency, Surabhi Ghosh created a large-scale pieced fabric composition that expands on her series Striations, an ongoing project that is inspired in part by the Gee’s Bend quilts. For this iteration, Ghosh will investigate a new “function” by transforming the gallery into an abstract landscape—a maze, a map, an active location. To contribute to this endeavor, museum visitors are invited to bring old clothes, (especially pants, trousers, and jeans), and donate their time, skills, and conversation to the creation of this work. Similar to most fiber-based processes, the Striations pieces are the result of an accumulation of media, whereby many small parts come together to make a whole over time. By the end of the week, this piece will become a document—a record of time—of group interaction.

Ghosh’s work draws on the liminal power of the decorative. Disregarded visual information that permeates cultural spaces, the decorative hides in plain sight. Repositioning ubiquitous and universal motifs—circles, dots, hexagons, and stripes—she builds intricate compositions using simple repetitive marks, creating pieces that reside at the intersection of abstraction, minimalism, and ornamentation. She is an Associate Professor of Fibers at the University of Oregon and holds degrees from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and the University of Georgia, Athens.

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Posted on 08/27 at 10:09 AM

Soundforge and Music On The Street

“…when music is involved, more often than not, the atmosphere changes and all of a sudden art comes alive and exploration is encouraged.”

Associate Curator, Sarah Margolis-Pineo, talks to Matthew Bernstein from Music on the Street, a regular series of Oregon Music News.

From the article:

What is the purpose from the artists’ perspective? How did it all come about?

With Soundforge comprised of video, audio, and sculptural elements and rooted in the idea that forging metal is an act of music making, Craig and Remson have interpreted craft not only as finished objects—the steel structures and video—but also as the “crafting” of a musical score. The intent of the installation is to create an interactive platform for visitors to engage in conversations relating to music making and craft, and how the two spheres of creative practice interact.

What would they like viewers to take away? Is there a specific message?

That museum-going can be a lively and interactive experience where visitors not only engage but, in fact, contribute to the work. Our other exhibition currently on view, Object Focus: The Bowl, was conceived in much of the same spirit. MoCC intends to be a different kind of museum, presenting shows that enliven and expand the understanding of craft and cultivating a space for experimentation, creativity and connection.

You can read the full interview here.

Posted on 08/26 at 11:58 AM

PODCAST: A Conversation with (F) Utility, MoCC Open Studio Artists-in-Residence

Part open studio, part residency, part master class, Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) has invited consummate makers of all types to temporarily relocate their studios to the Lab for week-long terms, July 8 through August 4. Resident artists will work from the Lab during daily open hours, 11am-6pm, connecting directly with the Museum’s audiences as they engage in their creative practice. In addition, artists will offer daily two-hour, drop-in workshops for visitors of all ages to have access the materials, processes, and concepts of various crafts. The intent of the Open Studio summer residency is to provide a public venue for the work that often happens behind the scenes in the artist studio. We believe that this residency provides a wonderful opportunity to share publicly all the starts, stops, challenges, and inspirations that happen as work is created. Furthermore, we hope to provide a space for direct and open dialogue between creative practitioners and the community around craft-based ideas, practices, and processes.

MoCC Open Studio Artists-in-Residence: (F) Utility



Volunteer project manager Greg Stuart discusses the studio practice of (F) Utility, Open Studio Artists-in-Residence, July 22 – 27, 2013

(F) Utility will take the backdoor into a conversation about craft by examining the complete opposite of what is culturally considered a crafted object: the obsolescent object. By focusing their lens on garbage, the artist collective will examine the systems that support the production of trash, namely the lack value and inconsequential labor, and in turn, employ craft as a solution to this global problem. Their project, Defining the Grey Areas, is a physical and conceptual exploration of the in-between, the nebulous margins, the simultaneity of absence and presence, the illusive, the oppressive, the humorous, and the inclusive landscape of Portland. They will ask the public to bring in discarded items of “trash” and transform them into crafted objects. Their project consists of four parts: 1. Accumulate and gather 2. Catalogue 3. Narrate 4. Transform.

(F) Utility is Chandra Glaeseman, Jennifer LaMastra, and Sarah Wolf Newlands. Glaeseman is a sculptor whose work examines the marks civilization makes. She holds degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design and Maine College of Art. Since 2007, Glaeseman has been interested in what she refers to as “the garbage factor,” viewing waste as “a holistic portraiture of who we are as a society.” She is an assistant professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Jennifer LaMastra is a wearable art sculptor who believes that the entire process of collecting, altering, sculpting and wearing non-traditional materials is a practice of paying attention. An active participant in Portland’s popular Junk to Funk Fashion Show since 2006, LaMastra’s work has been exhibited in several group and solo shows, including a six-month billing for her wears at the Portland International Airport. She has a background in design and technical theater, as well as cosmetology and physical theater. With degrees in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and Portland State University, Sarah Wolf Newlands has been in several group and solo exhibitions and featured in many publications. An assistant professor in the Department of University Studies at PSU, she currently teaches courses in drawing, painting and contemporary art history. Layer by layer, she uncovers familiar things – clothing, curtains, socks – and arranges them into formal compositions.

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Posted on 08/22 at 02:09 PM

OPB reviews Quality is Contagious: John Economaki and Bridge City Tool Works

OPB’s Aaron Spencer interviewed artist and tool-maker John Economaki about his current exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Craft for an upcoming episode of Oregon Art Beat. Excerpts from that interview were included in a recent review of Quality is Contagious, published on OPB.org.

From the article:

“Tools are not often thought of as art. They’re pragmatic utensils whose functionality is creation, a means to an end. They’re an artist’s paintbrush or a sculptor’s chisel.

But John Economaki sees tools differently. His tools have weight, sexy lines and rich finishes. Not the assembly-line items you let sit in a garage, but instead the kinds of tools you’d see on a display table at Restoration Hardware.

‘Tools sit and do nothing most of the time,” Economaki says, “and I always thought, why can’t they have a function when they’re doing nothing? Why can’t they be inspirational just through their presence? Why can’t they be a silent voice of encouragement to the maker?’”

Economaki and his company, Bridge City Tool Works, produce 8,000-10,000 tools a year on a made-to-order basis through manufacturing houses all over the country. His work is featured in a new book Quality is Contagious and in an exhibit by the same name now open at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland. The exhibition is on view at MoCC until February 8, 2014.

Read the full review on OPB.org here.

Posted on 08/22 at 05:40 AM

PODCAST: A Conversation with Cumbersome Multiples, MoCC Open Studio Artists-in-Residence

Part open studio, part residency, part master class, Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) has invited consummate makers of all types to temporarily relocate their studios to the Lab for week-long terms, July 8 through August 4. Resident artists will work from the Lab during daily open hours, 11am-6pm, connecting directly with the Museum’s audiences as they engage in their creative practice. In addition, artists will offer daily two-hour, drop-in workshops for visitors of all ages to have access the materials, processes, and concepts of various crafts. The intent of the Open Studio summer residency is to provide a public venue for the work that often happens behind the scenes in the artist studio. We believe that this residency provides a wonderful opportunity to share publicly all the starts, stops, challenges, and inspirations that happen as work is created. Furthermore, we hope to provide a space for direct and open dialogue between creative practitioners and the community around craft-based ideas, practices, and processes.

MoCC Open Studio Artists-in-Residence: Tracy Schlapp and Daniel Duford of Cumbersome Multiples



Volunteer project manager Greg Stuart discusses the studio practice of Tracy Schlapp and Daniel Duford of Cumbersome Multiples, Open Studio Artists-in-Residence, July 15 – 20, 2013.

Tree Dreams is a collaborative partnership between Cumbersome Multiples and Bay Area writer, Kristin Kaye, author of Tree Dreams: A Field Guide, Vol. 1. This ongoing project shares the devotional act of tagging trees with the public at large. During the residency, Cumbersome Multiples will be printing broadsides on their proofing press, (using antique wooden type). Some of the language in the broadsides will be generated by the conversations that they have with participants and passersby. They will also be carving and printing images for future Tree Dreams volumes. And finally, they will be spending time attending to the labor of assembling Tree Dreams tagging kits. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to assemble their own Tree Dreams kit, designed especially for the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Participants will sew a hand-printed book cover to a pre-printed interior and assemble tagging kits. They will then leave the studio to tag together on the park blocks — or just outside of the museum to build a shrine. Images from the outdoor activity will be posted at Tree-dreams.org and be shared with the MoCC community.

Cumbersome Multiples is a Portland-based print and design collective led by husband and wife artist team Daniel Duford and Tracy Schlapp, Cumbersome Multiples collaborates with artists and writers to create limited-edition multiples using a 1928 Chandler and Price letterpress, a cabinet of mixed lead type, block prints and whatever else happens to be in the studio. Cumbersome Multiples leads print-based workshops and produces small-batch paper ephemera such as cards, notes and stationery.

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Posted on 08/12 at 02:14 PM

PODCAST: A Conversation with Abi Spring, MoCC Open Studio Artist-in-Residence

In this podcast, volunteer project manager Greg Stuart discusses the studio practice of Abi Spring, who was MoCC’s Open Studio Artist-in-Residence from July 9 – 13, 2013. Spring’s work revolved around a common aspect of craft – repetition – and a traditional craft material – glass – to investigate meditative process and how the accumulation of marks in an object can result in an object that invites contemplation. Like the layers of glacial ice that hold records of atmospheric history, each layer in this piece will reveal a record of the day it was made. As part of a series of work that she will continue past the residency period, each day Spring took a single piece of clear glass, and made regular repeating drip marks with white glass paint enamel in lines over the surface. She also had a piece of glass available daily for visitors to paint on with the same white enamels. Each day this panel was replaced so that the visitors who were inclined to could add a row of drips or marks. At the end of the week this collaborative piece was fired into one solid panel that presents as a monolithic record of the time period.

Open Studio Artist-in-Residence Interview: Abi Spring



Volunteer project manager Greg Stuart discusses the studio practice of Abi Spring, Open Studio Artist-in-Residence, July 9 – 13, 2013.

About Abi Spring
Spring holds degrees from the Australian National University, Canberra and Maine College of Art, Portland, and has exhibited in numerous galleries throughout Oregon and Washington. She is inspired by music, in the way tonal modulations, rhythms, harmonies, and patterns combine and function as a portal to another world. She wants to create the visual equivalent with her work in glass objects that function as triggers for emotional states that cannot be defined by language.

About the MoCC Artist-in-Residency Program
Part open studio, part residency, part master class, the Artist-in-Residency program at Museum of Contemporary Craft invites consummate makers of all types to temporarily relocate their studios to the Lab for week-long terms. Resident artists work from the Lab during daily open hours, 11am-6pm, and connect directly with the Museum’s audiences as they engage in their creative practice. Artists also offer daily two-hour, drop-in workshops for visitors of all ages to have access the materials, processes, and concepts of various crafts. The intent of the Open Studio summer residency is to provide a space for direct and open dialogue between creative practitioners and the community around craft-based ideas, practices, and processes.

Download

Posted on 07/22 at 08:54 AM

East and West: The Hammered Metal Object

East and West: The Hammered Metal Object is an exhibition of 11 Japanese and 11 American artists’ contemporary interpretations of the ancient art form of hammered metal. These metal workers from different parts of the world share an understanding of the aesthetic possibilities of gathering and controlling a hard, but malleable substance. In their hands, metal art moves beyond functionality to objects that celebrate and enhance the inherent beauty of the metal.

Contemporary Japanese and American metal artwork reflect the emphasis within the two traditions. Very similar tools are used, but the results are quite different. East and West: The Hammered Metal Object will include two works by each of the 22 invited artists and will showcase a wide range of methods and styles.

The artwork can be seen in the Portland area at the Waterstone Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Craft Gallery Store. Events planned to coincide with the opening of the exhibition include a panel discussion on Aug 2 from 6-9 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. The panel will include artists from both countries responding to questions from a moderator and the audience.

This exhibition also allows an opportunity for the metal artists to learn from one another. Several of the Japanese artists will be conducting workshops teaching Japanese techniques and all of the visiting artists will participate in an informal “hammer-in” during the day on August 2.

Posted on 07/11 at 11:30 AM

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