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

PODCAST: WorldCraft Lecture: Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam of Studio Brahma Tirta Sari

Agus Ismoyo (Indonesian) and Nia Fliam (American) have been working collaboratively to produce contemporary batik textiles in their studio, Brama Tirta Sari, (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), since 1985. Brahma Tirta Sari, which means creativity is the source of all knowledge, was founded on the belief that there are many relevant traditions rooted in cultures throughout the world. Ismoyo’s ancestors were batik makers in the court city of Solo in Java. He was trained in industrial management at the Industrial Academy (AKPRIND) in Yogyakarta. Fliam originally explored dye resist techniques from Africa and Asia in America. She completed her fine arts degree at Pratt Institute in New York City before coming to Indonesia in 1983 to study traditional batik. Currently, Brahma Tirta Sari is recognized for their intricate, nuanced, and time-intensive fine art textiles. The studio has received critical acclaim for their use of traditional textile techniques to explore the contemporary potential of the medium. Ismoyo and Fliam have exhibited worldwide, and this year, will be featured in the exhibition Out of Southeast Asia: Art that Sustains at the Textile Museum of Washington D.C., April 12 – October 13, 2013.

This lecture was cosponsored by Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) and the World Affairs Council.

WorldCraft Lecture: Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam of Studio Brahma Tirta Sari



Agus Ismoyo (Indonesian) and Nia Fliam (American), two celebrated batik artists, lecture on their work and on the variety and significance of Indonesian batik.

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Posted on 07/10 at 02:00 AM

PODCAST: WorldCraft Lecture with Martha Banyas

MoCC is pleased to welcome Martha Banyas, collector and world traveler, who will present a brief history of batik cloth in Java, Indonesia. Recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible World Heritage, the art and craft of batik has a singular and rich legacy that is intrinsically tied to the cultural life of Indonesia. Banyas will discuss batik’s early role in sea trade, its influence on historic events, and its current cultural and economic status. Using batiks from her personal collection, Banyas will introduce the techniques of the craft, and survey some regional and historic styles.

WorldCraft Lecture: Martha Banyas



MoCC is pleased to welcome Martha Banyas, collector and world traveler, who will present a brief history of batik cloth in Java, Indonesia.

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Subscribe to the Museum podcast for other great recordings.

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Posted on 07/05 at 02:12 PM

PODCAST: CounterCraft: Crafting Conversation

PSU’s MFA in Art and Social Practice presents Crafting Conversation to Get What You Want: Art and Social Practice and the Art of the Ask, a panel discussion organized and moderated by Jen Delos Reyes in conjunction with CounterCraft, six weeks of programs, workshops, and events culminating with Open Engagement 2013, PSU’s annual conference exploring art and social practice.

Crafting Conversation to Get What You Want: Art and Social Practice and the Art of the Ask will ask socially engaged artists Harrell Fletcher, MK Guth, and Ariana Jacob, to reflect on how they reach out to communities, craft an ask, and otherwise manage to convince collaborators and institutions to realize projects along side them.

CounterCraft: Crafting Conversation



Museum of Contemporary Craft and PSU’s MFA in Art and Social Practice presents Crafting Conversation to Get What You Want: Art and Social Practice and the Art of the Ask.

Download (mp3)
Subscribe to the Museum podcast for other great recordings.

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Posted on 07/02 at 02:54 PM

PODCAST: CraftPerspectives Symposium: Craft and Social Practice

This symposium is in conjunction with Open Engagement, an international conference that explores socially engaged art making organized by Portland State University’s Art and Social Practice MFA concentration. Craft and Social Practice is a project of Museum of Contemporary Craft that will explore the role of craft-based media and technique in relation to social practice. In recent decades, many artists have turned to an interdisciplinary approach to making that draws from a range of materials and processes. The use of handcraft with project-based works has become an increasing trend. Perhaps rooted in the counterculture and DIY movements of the 20th century, craft has become a compelling vehicle to bring together collaborators to engage in social work, ranging from critical resistance to collaborative gesture.

This symposium seeks to explore: How can practices that have traditionally emphasized the production of objects play a part in a contemporary art movement that is invested in dialogue and the social as a means of production? What is it about craft-based media that is appealing to socially-engaged artists and how is it being engaged? How has craft always been a social practice, from workshop to dining table?

CraftPerspectives Symposium: Craft and Social Practice



This symposium is in conjunction with Open Engagement, an international conference that explores socially engaged art making organized by Portland State University’s Art and Social Practice MFA concentration. Craft and Social Practice is a project of Muse


Download (mp3)
Subscribe to the Museum podcast for other great recordings.

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Posted on 06/26 at 09:55 AM

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