The Gallery at RAC Presents The Art of Craft

ST. LOUIS (April 7, 2014) – The Regional Arts Commission presents six artists with outstanding work in metals, ceramic, and fibers with its exhibition The Art of Craft, One Definition.From sterling silver grasshoppers to clay forms that suggest narratives of the sea, these artworks demonstrate “remarkable technical skill” and celebrate craft beyond its outdated designation as having utilitarian purpose. As Curator Nancy Newman Rice observes, each offering has “something unique to communicate: a story, an observation, a purpose, or an idea.”

Join us at the opening reception on Friday, April 18 from 5:30 – 7:30pm, and at our gallery talk, which will take the form of a panel discussion concerning the meaning of craft, on Wednesday, May 14, from 5:30 – 7:00pm.

The exhibit runs from April 11 to May 17. All events are free and open to the public.

EXHIBIT NAME: The Art of Craft, One Definition

ARTISTS: Erin Vigneau Dimick, James Ibur, Sherri Jaudes, Laura Elizabeth Mullen, Yael Shomroni, Laura Strand

CURATOR: Nancy Newman Rice

DATES: Opening Reception:   Friday, April 18, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Gallery Talk: Wednesday, May 14, 5:30 – 7pm

Gallery Hours:   Mon to Fri 10 – 5pm, Sat 12 – 5pm

Exhibit runs from April 11 through May 17

All events are free and open to the public

LOCATION: The Gallery at the Regional Arts Commission

6128 Delmar Blvd. 63112 (across from The Pageant)

Free parking behind The Pageant or metered street parking

EXHIBIT DESCRIPTION: The Regional Arts Commission presents six artists with outstanding work in metals, ceramic, and fibers with theexhibition The Art of Craft, One Definition. “Finding a clear explanation of the difference between ‘fine art’ and ‘craft art’ is outdated,” curator Nancy Newman Rice proposes – the boundary between what might traditionally be designated as craft art versus fine art is a fluid one, much like a shoreline that continually shifts with the activity of the ocean waves.From sterling silver grasshoppers to clay forms that suggest narratives of the sea, these artworks demonstrate “remarkable technical skill” while also communicating something unique: “a story, an observation, a purpose, or an idea.”

Join us at the opening reception on Friday, April 18 from 5:30 – 7:30pm, and at our gallery talk, which will take the form of a panel discussion concerning the meaning of craft, on Wednesday, May 14, from 5:30 – 7:00pm. The panel will include curator Nancy Newman Rice and Duane Reed of Duane Reed Gallery (St. Louis, MO), Jane Sauer, formerly of Jane Sauer Gallery (Santa Fe, NM) , and clay artist Jim Ibur.

The theme of material environments, natural and man-made, is evident throughout all the works exhibited in The Art of Craft in diverse forms, such as clay vessels, bone necklaces, embroidered maps, and silver dragonflies. All six artists – ceramicists Yael Shomroni and James Ibur, textile artists Laura Strand and Erin Dimick, and metalsmiths Sherri Jaudes and Laura Mullen –demonstrate that while no clear boundary between fine art and craft art can be drawn, craft art is thoroughly driven by a commitment to the medium.

Yael Shomroni celebrates the everyday experience with good humor; her ceramic vessels act as utilitarian objects and seek not to transcend that tradition, but to honor it. The materials, shapes, and glazes Shomroni uses are informed by her Mediterranean heritage and memories. James Ibur presents enigmatic clay forms with surfaces that look ancient, eroded, and cracked, and that speak to marine origins. These vessels and forms invite dual narratives of exterior and interior, of coded surface information and the equally cryptic passages within.

Laura Strand, pursuing her deep interest in textiles and textile craft, investigates map-making as a way of examining one’s relationship with the surrounding landscape. Strand’s maps take a close look at land resources and offer an exploration of the cycles that pit irrigation methods against the natural landscape, while Erin Dimick’s work examines “the tension between the language of math and logic…and the textile (feminine) arts.” Dimick works with vintage math pages to disentangle gendered stereotypes and to examine the role of language in systems that establish hierarchy.

Metalsmith Sherri Jaudes gives us glimpses into smooth, subtle natural realms fashioned from precious metals and inhabited by meticulously crafted insects. Jaudes’ insects invite us to relate to them – “we are very much like insects,” Jaudes states, “technically complex…yet looking for simple things” like food, shelter, and security. Laura Mullen combines industrial and precious materials – iron and steel with silver, diamonds, and pearls – in necklaces that raise questions about material values, body adornment, and viewer interaction. The deliberate material exploration comments smartly upon contemporary society.

The Art of Craft opens at the Gallery at RAC on April 11. The opening reception will be on Friday, April 18 from 5:30 – 7:30pm, and the gallery talk will take place on Wednesday, May 14 from 5:30 – 7:00pm. The exhibition closes on May 17.

 

About the Regional Arts Commission |www.art-stl.com

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts. As the largest annual funder of the arts in the region, since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 6,000 grants totaling over $80 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, consortiums and programs. Directed by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by the chief executives of St. Louis City and County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region. Find us online at www.art-stl.com. Visit our cultural calendar at www.ArtsZipper.com or follow us on Facebook at Regional Arts Commission and on Twitter at RACStLouis.

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